Dove season is synonymous with the opening of the fall hunting season in Kansas, and this year officials will be implementing a new electronic permitting system which should help KDWPT officials to better track hunting activity and species numbers better.
Starting Monday, Sept. 1, electronic permitting will go online with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Hunters can register before they go by setting up an account at iSportsman.com. They can get an electronic permit before they head out, and then when they complete their hunt, they can complete the online form. The system will not be online before Aug. 30, according to Mike Nyhoff, KDWPT wildlife area manager.
With the account, you are ready to “Check-In” and “Check-Out” to a property from anywhere using computers and smart phones, or cell or land-line phones.
The KDWPT hopes the new system will allow them to collect the information about hunting pressure, harvests and hunter preference they need to maximize hunting opportunities on our limited public lands. With the older card system, it takes many man hours to collect the permits at the stations, and then input the data back at the station, so it can take months before accurate data is available. The new system will be instant and automatic.
It should also cut down on lines at the permitting stations at the beginning and end of the hunting day too.
According to KDWPT, the new electronic daily hunt permit system, hosted by iSportsman, will be in use at the Cheyenne Bottoms wildlife area beginning Sept. 1.
This year, the paper based system is still available as the department evaluates the success of the new program, but by next year electronic permitting may be the only option, according to Nyhoff.
The Kansas Wetlands Education Center attracts doves with a four acre plot located near the mitigation marsh, which provide young hunters in Barton County a good hunting opportunity close to home. Doves are attracted to forbes with nutrient rich seeds, and wildlife managers at Cheyenne Bottoms have provided a mix of primarily proso millet. Another five acre plot is located less than a mile east of the intersection of K-156 and NE 50 Road in the southeast portion of the Wildlife Area.
Dove season runs from tomorrow, Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 and Nov 1-9. The daily limit is 15 mourning or white winged doves, with 45 in possession. There is no limit on Eurasian or ring-necked doves, but a full wing must be left on the bird.
Monday is also the opening day for hunting rails and snipes. Contrary to what some may have been told, snipe hunting is not done at night, in the woods, with a bag. Snipes and rails are actually shore birds, and they’re pretty fast, making them truly a challenge to hunt. In fact, the word “sniper” first described someone who was a good enough sportsman to accurately shoot one.
Snipe also look similar to other shore birds, like dowitchers and yellowlegs, which it is illegal to hunt. Snipe fly in a zig-zag pattern while the others fly in a straight line. For more information about their differences, go to the KDWPT website, and select the migratory bird tab. Snipe season runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 16, with a daily bag limit of 8, with 24 in possession.
Rails are a little bit slower, but still a challenge. Their season runs from Sept. 1 to Nov. 9, with a daily bag limit of 25 with 75 in possession. Hunters need to know what they are looking for, because only the Virginia rails and soras are legal to hunt, and they share territory with King rails. However, Kings are about twice as large as Virginias according to KDWPT.
Hunters over 16 years old, and younger than 74 years old need to pick up a hunting license before they go. They can be purchased online at https://www.ks.wildlifelicense.com/start.php or over the counter at several locations in Barton County, a list of which can be found at the KDWPT website.