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Kansas Reduces Number of Mule Deer Permits Available for 2016

mule deer
Travis Smola

Fewer mule deer permits comes in response to falling number of deer.

If you’re a Kansas hunter planning to hunt mule deer this season, there will be less chances of getting a permit this year. There will be 100 fewer either sex firearms permits this season.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism announced the number of permits will decrease from 600 to 500 due to a decline in mule deer that is happening across several Great Plains states. The population loss has also resulted in the complete elimination of an either-species antlerless permit good for mule deer or whitetails.

As for why the number of animals is dropping in Kansas and several neighboring states, the KDWPT speculates it may be due to several factors.

Some of the Kansas mule deer are starting to migrate farther west, possibly in response to changes in habitat or disease. Further cutting into the mule deer population are the additional 2,000 animals a year that are harvested by hunters in the Sunflower state.

In addition, increased conversion of natural grasslands to farmland is a double-edged sword when it comes to managing Kansas’ deer herds. Where grasslands disappear, mule deer struggle. “This gives the whitetail deer more of an advantage because they feed well on agricultural land,” KDWPT deer biologist Lloyd Fox told News-PressNow. “When CRP grassland acres are going strong, mule deer do well.”

It seems officials have a reason to limit permits and be concerned considering mule deer populations if their neighbors are anything to go by. Recent aerial surveys have shown the mule deer population to be dropping in Nebraska to the north.

In order to apply for the limited number of firearms either-species/either-sex firearms deer permits, prospective hunters must apply online between June 6 and July 18.

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Kansas Reduces Number of Mule Deer Permits Available for 2016