Kansas Deer Population: A reported 699,400 deer in 2023. About 707,000 deer in 2021 with 665,000 whitetails and 42,000 mule deer. A rough estimate from the state of 700,000 in 2020. The total population is up from an estimated 674,000 in 2019 and 636,000 deer pre-hunt in 2016. About 678,000 pre-hunt in 2015 and 627,000 deer pre-hunt in 2014. The herd was virtually extinct from 1900 into the 1950's. The recent population peak was around the year 2000.
Kan. game warden fires shot to free deer locked by the horns November 8, 2023 Kansas, Salina Post
... two bucks that were locked together from fighting ... One of the bucks was dead but the other was still alive and full of energy. In order to save the deer that was still alive, Game Warden Colter Silhan used a slug from his shotgun to shoot the antlers of the deer and separate them. Video on Facebook
Headless deer spurs hunt for suspected poacher northwest of Americus November 6, 2023 Kansas, Topeka WIBW-TV
... they said they found a headless deer in a field... Anyone with information about the crime should report it to Game Warden Scheve at 620-431-9873...
Deer crashes at 6-year-high, likely to increase November 1, 2023 Kansas, Peabody Gazette-Bulletin
... Kansas is home to an estimated 699,400 deer, the vast majority of them being whitetails. That population is down slightly from its peak in 2000... Deer seldom travel alone, so drivers who see one deer should be especially alert for others that might be traveling with them..,
Kreed the Conservation Dog Is a Poacher's Worst Nightmare October 6, 2023 Kansas, Yahoo
... When he approached, he found Kreed sitting obediently next to the steaming body of a mule deer doe... KDWPT announced that the suspect recently settled in court after pleading guilty for hunting without written permission from a landowner and shooting a deer without a license...
A Kansas lawmaker threatens the wildlife department over deer baiting, raising ethics concerns September 28, 2023 KCUR 89.3 FM
... A Republican lawmaker threatened to strip funding from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks if it bans people from baiting deer with piles of food... Kansas is in a shrinking minority of states that still allow baiting. Chronic wasting disease is a key factor ...
Should Kansas ban deer baiting? Chronic wasting disease, fair chase raise hunting concerns September 21, 2023 Kansas, Yahoo
... . "What we hope to be able to do is to make that information known to everybody that would like to see it and also make some recommendations about ways that people can make sure that their animals are fed without creating the kind of hazard that dumping a bucket of corn on the ground does ...
Kansas lets hunters bait deer. Most states don't. A disease might make Kansas change. August 22, 2023 Kansas, KCUR 89.3 FM
... Wildlife commissioners hope restricting the popular practice could slow the spread of chronic wasting disease ... In northwest Kansas, biologists estimate at least one-third of 2.5-year-old bucks now have the fatal disease..,
Should Kansas Ban Baiting for Deer? August 10, 2023 Yahoo
... the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks on July 3, the agency said it had “taken the first steps in what will be a multi-year exploration of issues surrounding baiting wildlife.” They cited growing concerns about the potential connection between baiting deer and the continued spread of chronic wasting disease..,
Kansas bans trail cams on state grounds April 27, 2023 Beatrice Daily Sun
... On March 9, 2023, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KWDP) voted to prohibit use of both cellular and conventional trail cameras on all public lands in the state. This move aligns them with 14 other states banning trail camera use in some capacity ...
Kansas Game Warden saves buck after 2 become antler-locked in Franklin Co. February 6, 2023 MSN
... one had unfortunately died. With a shotgun and a slug round, Twellmann said he was able to separate the pair and free the live buck ...
Seven Kansas Non-profits Awarded Big Game Permits for Fundraising January 27, 2023 Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
... The Commission Big Game Permit program – which the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks began in 2006 – allows Kansas chapters of eligible non-profit organizations to apply for one of seven big game permits, which can then be sold to raise funds for pre-approved conservation projects in the Sunflower State. One elk, one antelope or up to seven deer permits are made available ...
Emporia, Officials investigate third deer poaching in just as many months near Emporia January 17, 2023 Kansas, wibw.com
... the latest incident happened on Jan. 9 near Roads M and 155 - just southeast of Emporia...
Authorities try to determine who shot seven deer found dead last week in Washington County January 9, 2023 Kansas, The Topeka Capital-Journal
... The deer were thought to have been killed late Jan. 2 or early Jan. 3, according to a Facebook site maintained by KDWP game wardens...
Stuck deer rescued from muddy pond in Kansas November 18, 2022 UPI News
... Perez arrived to find the deer's legs were stuck in mud at the bottom of the pond, leaving its body half-submerged in the freezing water...
Out-of-state deer hunters are pursuing big bucks in Kansas. Should it let more of them in? October 27, 2022 Kansas, Yahoo! Sports
... "Each one of those deer hunters comes in, they spend time at the hotel, they purchase at least two meals a day," ... whitetail bucks with huge antlers had been shot in October 2021 in Kansas by a 10-year-old girl and a 27-year-old man...
Get ready for a Big Hunt on the Prairie October 4, 2022 Kiowa County Signal
... Mule deer stick to the western one-third of the state, mostly in the High Plains, Smoky Hills and Red Hills regions. As you head east, you see more white-tailed deer...
Chronic wasting disease in Kansas deer September 22, 2022 Dodge City Daily Globe
... Kansas’s fish and game officials have been testing hunter-harvested Kansas deer since 1996, and during the 2005 firearms season, the first documented case was discovered in a whitetail doe taken near the Cheyenne Co. town of St. Francis, in the northwestern corner of the state ... during the 2021 – 2022 deer season, 190 new positive tests were confirmed, bring the total to 738 positive tests ...
Deer to blame for increase in animal collision claims September 13, 2022 KSNT
... Deer-vehicle crashes occur in all Kansas counties, but in most cases, counties with high human populations and high traffic volumes record the most crashes.”...
CWD, Incurable, deer-killing chronic wasting disease now spreading in eastern Kansas counties August 23, 2022 Kansas, YAHOO!News
... Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, showed a chart saying CWD is thought to afflict 24% to 45% of the deer population in northwest Kansas, 25% to 38% in north-central Kansas, 14% to 28% in southwest Kansas, 0.5% to 4% in south-central Kansas and 0.1% to 0.7% in eastern Kansas..,
Crowd chases down deer in west Wichita, finally rips plastic container off its head November 24, 2021 Kansas, Wichita Eagle
Over this period the mule deer population has averaged about 7% or the total. The graph below shows just the mule deer population to provide more clarity about how their population has changed.
Hunting data was used to make some of the population estimates. The graph below illustrates the historic deer harvest data taken from Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT), 1965 to 2020.
Total population after hunting estimated at 511,000 in 2012 after hunting, 550,000 in 2010. A significant outbreak of EHD in 2012, bringing average trend over the past several years down, particularly in southwest Kansas. Drought 2010 to 2012. Hunter success around 58% in 2014. Increasing geographic fragmentation of deer populations and increasing predatory pressure from coyotes. Mule deer are mostly in west Kansas with whitetails more in the east.
Although mule deer were common in western Kansas by the late 1980s they are rare in many of those areas. In general, the Kansas deer population is below carrying capacity. Western Kansas has more CRP land and better habitat. The rut peaks in Kansas around November 13. The record harvest in 2001 is attributed to an significant increase in doe permits after speeds were increased on Kansas highway, resulting in more deer vehicle collisions, and an effort to reduce the deer population.
Data Issues: The deer harvest has fallen since the 642,000 population estimate from the state for 2016 with a smaller decrease in the number of permits issued. A 2010 estimate based on an interview with the Kansas program manager of 350,000
Chronic Wasting Disease The first case of CWD was found in a captive bull elk in Harper County in 2001. First deer detected with CWD was in northwestern Kansas in 2005. At the end of the 2018-19 deer season, 216 deer had test positive. As of Dec. 3, 2018, 184 positive cases. As of November, 2016, 136 had tested positive, 80 percent in Rawlins and Sheridan counties.
By 2020, 32 counties were infected. Spreading to the south and east, a wildlife biologists forecasts that deer populations could be drastically reduced in coming decades. By the end of 2021, 30,000 deer had been tested with about 548 that have been positive. At the end of the 2021-22 hunting season 738 deer had tested positive. In 2023 the state considered banning deer baiting after detection in 738 cervids since first discovered in 2001—all but three of which were free-ranging whitetails.
History Prior to settlement there were large herds of mule deer and white-tails were abundant in the timbered areas of eastern Kansas. "Lewis and Clark did report, in 1804, of seeing a large concentration of deer near the present site of Kansas City. Zebulon Pike found deer in east central Kansas. In 1806, Captain George A. McCall described the deer population in the vicinity of Fort Scott as plentiful." (from Deer in Kansas, p. 4). Taylor and Elder report "Deer were common along wooded portions of streams and in large timbered areas as late as 1875 (Knox, 1875). Lantz (1905) reported deer as common until 1884 but considered them extinct by 1904." By 1904 all big game animals had been hunted to virtual extinction in the state.
Kansas was one of the last states to restore the deer population, the only state without deer in 1947. Sightings began in the 1950s. An estimated 30,000 deer in 1965, the year of the first modern deer season, after efforts to restore the deer population; deer harvest of 1504 with almost 4,000 licenses issued. The 2013 harvest was 89,664 deer. About 52.6 percent of the white-tails were antlerless, 15.9% of the mule deer. About 123,195 deer hunters that season.