PRATT — At the Jan. 11 Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KWPT) Commission meeting in Milford, seven lucky conservation organizations drew Commissioner Big Game Permits as part of a unique program that raises funding for conservation. The Commission Big Game Permit program allows local chapters of nonprofit organizations based or operating in Kansas that actively promote wildlife conservation and the hunting and fishing heritage to apply for big game permits. Once drawn, organizations can then sell the permits to raise funds.
The following organizations were drawn for 2018 Commission Big Game Permits:
Deer (six): National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) – Dickinson County Beard Busters, Hope; NWTF – Ford County, Dodge City ; NWTF – Golden Plains, Ellinwood; Friends of NRA - Heartland No. KS-1 Chapter; Ducks Unlimited – Atchison Chapter No. 2; Pheasants Forever – Waconda Ringnecks Chapter No. 586
Elk (one): Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation – Greater Kansas City Chapter
The Commission Big Game Permit program began in 2006, and since that first year nearly $500,000 has been raised. Seven permits, one elk, one antelope or up to seven deer, are issued each year, depending on applicant preference. Winning groups are issued a voucher, which they can sell or auction to the highest bidder. The cost of the permit and 15 percent of the total price is subtracted and kept by the group, and the rest is remitted to KDWPT with a proposal for a conservation project. Once the project is approved, the money is returned to the group to complete the project. An exception to this procedure would occur if Kansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry (KHFH) is drawn. In that case, KHFH keeps 85 percent of the funds to help pay for processing donated deer.
Following the drawing, the Commission heard Secretary’s Orders on Free Park Entrance and Free Fishing Days, which will be promoted at a later date, and voted on regulations covering threatened and endangered species special permits, enforcement actions and recovery plan procedures. A video recording of the meeting can be downloaded at ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Commission/Upcoming-Commission-Meetings.
The next KWPT Commission meeting is scheduled for March 22 at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka.