Kansas Hunting Guide
All across the state, Kansas has a wide variety of habitats and game species. In addition to this, Kansas’ permissive gun laws and hunting heritage make it a popular destination for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.
What to Hunt
The vast range of topography, climate, and vegetation give Kansas one of the nation’s most diverse selections of game species.
Kansas is home to healthy populations of whitetail and mule deer. Whitetails have grown in numbers over recent years, and can now be found across the state. Kansas offers a draw for resident firearms permits allowing for either species / either sex. Over-the-counter permits are offered to residents for white-tailed deer, archery either species, muzzleloader either species, and hunt-own-land. Non-resident deer permits must be obtained through a draw. Kansas has sold out of permits in past years.
Throughout the 1800s and 1900s, pronghorn populations declined significantly in Kansas. However, reintroduction efforts have been fairly successful. Today, Kansas is home to a stable population of huntable pronghorn antelope, especially in the westernmost counties of the state.
Pronghorn seasons usually run from September through October, with early and late seasons for archery, one season for muzzleloaders, and one season for firearms. Pronghorn permits are typically due in June. There is a competitive draw for firearm and muzzleloader permits in Western Kansas, and resident archery permits are available over-the-counter.
There are limited elk hunting opportunities in Kansas, with the state only issuing 20 permits each year out of 900 applications. These permits are given only to military personnel and state residents. Elk are primarily hunted near Ft. Riley, but there are individual elk and small herds to be found throughout the state. Hunting elk is permitted throughout Kansas, except for Morton County.
Over 27 species of duck can be found in Kansas, including wood ducks, blue-winged teal, and mallards. In general, duck numbers increase in late August, and peak in December or January. Habitats with poor conditions are less likely to see ducks regardless of a state-wide increase in migration. Each year, hunters harvest approximately 228,000 ducks from Kansas. Ducks may be taken with bow and arrow, falconry, or shotgun that is not larger than 10-gauge and has a capacity of no more than three shells.
Nine subspecies of geese can be found in Kansas, and almost all of them are at (or above) their population objectives. The state’s positioning within the central flyway makes it an excellent place to seek out a variety of goose subspecies.
Small Canada geese, light geese, and white-fronted geese nest farther north, while large Canada geese nest further south. It is estimated that Kansas is home to approximately 1.25 million geese.
The ring-necked pheasant is the most popular game bird species in Kansas. The state’s annual pheasant harvest is typically one of the highest in the nation. Pheasant populations in Kansas are particularly strong in the west and mid-west parts of the state.
Bobwhite quail are one of Kansas’ most popular game bird species. Quail can be found throughout the state, but most notably in the southeast region. Bobwhite quail are the most popular subspecies, but Kansas also supports a population of blue quail.
In the 1960s, wild turkeys were successfully reintroduced into Kansas. Today, the Rio Grande subspecies is the most common type of turkey found in the state. Hybrid Rio Grande/Eastern turkeys can also be found in Kansas.
Spring turkey season typically takes place in April and May, while fall season runs October-November. Hunters may use archery equipment, shotguns, and muzzleloading shotguns with shot sizes 2-9. Hunters may obtain a second game tag allowing them to harvest two turkeys.
Other Kansas game species include: Sandhill Crane, Crow, Light and Dark, White-Fronted and Canada Geese, Woodcock, Snipe, Dove (Mourning and White-winged), Exotic Dove Season, Squirrel, Rabbit, Coyote, Pheasant and Quail, Greater Prairie Chicken, Turkey, Merganser and Coots, Rail, Teal, Bull Frog, Antelope, etc. found in the "Hunting Seasons" section at bottom of the page
Where to Hunt
Kansas has designated many different areas of its open land for hunting and outdoor recreation.
Managed Dove Fields
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism has designated many locations for dove hunting. Regulations of these areas may change depending on weather and habitat conditions. Be sure to check with the area manager before planning your trip.
Public Wildlife Areas
Wildlife areas are managed specifically for hunting opportunities. These areas are often located near state parks, which offer camping, but the areas themselves generally do not provide camping facilities. Check with the area’s management for camping and lodging information.
Controlled Shooting Areas
Controlled Shooting Areas are private, pay-to-hunt areas that have been authorized by the state. Hunter education is not required on these areas, but hunters must possess a special CSA license. To gain access to CSAs, permission from the landowner is required.
Species Management Areas
Kansas has designated management areas for a variety of species in the state. These areas are maintained to create optimum living conditions for their respective species. Kansas has species management areas for elk, deer, antelope, and turkey.
For the purposes of waterfowl hunting, Kansas has divided the state into distinct waterfowl zones. Each of these zones are subject to their own restrictions and seasonal regulations.
A hunting license is required for all hunters 16 years of age or older.
|5 Year Resident Hunt License||$102.50|
|Nonresident under 16||$42.50|
|Senior Resident Hunt||$15.00|
|Lifetime Hunting License||$502.50|
|Resident Junior Furharvester||$15.00|
Anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 must complete a hunter education course to hunt in Kansas. Any prospective hunter must be 11 years old to take a hunter education course. Youth hunters under the age of 15 are exempt from this requirement, provided they are supervised by a licensed, adult hunter.
Like many states, Kansas offers youth and apprentice hunting licenses. Kansas also designates youth hunts throughout the year.
No one under the age of 12 may hunt alone -- these hunters must be supervised by a licensed, adult hunter over the age of 18. Anyone over age 12 may hunt alone, provided they have completed a hunter education course.
For the purposes of trapping, Kansas considers the following mammals furbearers: badger, bobcat, beaver, gray fox, red fox, swift fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, striped skunk, and weasel. A furharvester license is required to trap or hunt any of these animals or sell their furs.
|Sandhill Crane*||Oct 15 2022 - Jan 5 2023|
|Crow||Nov 10 2022 - Mar 10 2023|
|Light Geese||Oct 29 2022 - Feb 12 2023|
|Dark Geese||Oct 29 2022 - Feb 12 2023|
|Elk*||Aug 1 2022 - Mar 15 2023|
|Duck*||Oct 8 2022 - Jan 29 2023|
|White-Fronted Geese||Oct 29 2022 - Feb 12 2023|
|Woodcock||Oct 15 2022 - Nov 28 2022|
|Deer*||Sep 1 2022 - Jan 31 2023|
|Snipe||Sep 1 2022 - Dec 16 2022|
|Dove (Mourning and White-winged)||Sep 1 2022 - Nov 29 2022|
|Squirrel||Jun 1 2022 - Feb 28 2023|
|Exotic Dove Season*||no closed season|
|Rabbit||no closed season|
|Coyote||no closed season|
|Pheasant and Quail||Nov 12 2022 - Jan 31 2023|
|Greater Prairie Chicken||Nov 21 2020 - Jan 31 2021|
|Turkey*||Apr 3 2023 - Apr 11 2023|
|Apr 12 2023 - May 31 2023|
|Oct 1 2022 - Nov 10 2022|
|Merganser and Coots*||Oct 8 2022 - Jan 29 2023|
|Rail||Sep 1 2022 - Nov 9 2022|
|Teal*||Sep 10 2022 - Sep 25 2022|
|Canada Geese||Oct 29 2022 - Feb 12 2023|
|Bull Frog||Jul 1 2022 - Oct 31 2022|
|Antelope||Sep 24 2022 - Oct 31 2022|
*Hunting dates for this species may vary by zone, method of take, or subspecies of animal. Visit the state’s website here to find out more.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information.