Kansas is known for its trophy whitetail deer and a new bill could allow more out-of-state hunters a chance to hunt. Kansas House Bill 2167 would allow landowners with over 80 acres to resell their tags to non-residents.
State Representative Ken Corbet introduced the bill. He says it will be a money maker for everyone. Other supporters of the bill believe it will help local businesses as more hunters come to the state. Corbet estimates this program will attract 4,500 tourists each year. It also would help control the white-tail population on private land. This, in turn, reduces crop depredation.
The bill faces strong opposition from many, including the Kansas Department of Wildlife. Representative Eric Smith says, “If you start allowing more people to come in and just hunt those, we’re going to lose genetics, we’re going to lose the revenue that we’re gaining in this state through out-of-state hunters.”
Others worry that outfitters will abuse the program by brokering with landowners. Ultimately, this could lead to overpopulation of female deer and do nothing to control the population.
Corbet defends the bill. He says it’s the landowners choice to take part in the program. “The landowner knows how many deer he has, and if he wants to get involved, he can, and if he doesn’t, he doesn’t,” he said, “But at least it lets him have the opportunity to make a decision.”
A program much like the one detailed in HB 2167 was implemented 20 years ago. Ultimately, the state suspended it due to poaching and permit violations. Since then, similar legislation has been presented and voted down at least 5 different times.
The bill narrowly passed its first-round vote with a 63-60 outcome and will move onto the final house vote Wednesday, February 27th.
Would you take the opportunity to buy a private land tag for Kansas?