Hunting in Kansas

Published on 11th April 2023

An image of rifle hunter wearing a blaze orange clothing while hunting in Kansas

Thinking of hunting in Kansas? Well, I got you! 

Kansas is not only a land of stunning prairies and picturesque landscapes. It’s also a trophy hunter’s paradise with its humongous big games. 

Another unique experience Kansas offers its hunters is the Walk-in Hunting Access (WIHA) program. This provides hunters access to enrolled private land, expanding the available hunting areas.

Wanna know more about hunting in Kansas? Let’s keep going!

Kansas Hunting Seasons

The Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks (KDWP) does it right with hunting regulations. It has long hunting seasons for various games, giving hunters time to prepare. 

Kansas hunting seasons vary depending on the species and harvest method used. Here’s the rundown of the general season for hunting in Kansas. 

Deer Season(White-tailed and Mule Deer)Archery: Mid-September to the end of December
Muzzleloader: Early to Late September
Firearms: Late November to early December
Extended Firearm: Around January
Elk Season*Draw-basis permitArchery: Mid-September to December
Muzzleloader: Throughout September
Firearms: October to December & January to mid-May
Antelope Season*Draw-basis permitArchery: Late September to early October & Mid- to late October
Muzzleloader and Firearms: Early October
Wild Turkey SeasonFall: October to mid-November
Spring: Early to mid-April & Mid-April to late May
Upland Birds SeasonQuail and Pheasant Hunting: Mid-November to late January
Waterfowl SeasonCrow Hunting: Early November to early March
Dove Hunting: September to late November
Ducks Hunting: Mid- to late September & October to early January 
Geese Hunting: Late October to mid-February & Mid-February to late April
Furbearer SeasonBobcat Hunting: Mid-November to mid-February
Coyote Hunting: Year-round
Fox Hunting: Mid-November to mid-February

Let’s be upfront: Kansas does not have a wide selection of big game species for hunters. Yes, a bummer, right?

But don’t let that discourage you. Kansas has unique and thrilling hunting experiences for every licensed hunter to enjoy. 

Here are the popular hunting games you can take down in the Home of the Giants:

Dear Hunting

Did you know Kansas is famous as a Home of Giants? That name would make sense once you see a deer in the state. 

Kansas is known for producing large, trophy-sized deer. With that, many dear trophy hunters have this state on their bucket hunting list. 

Deer season happens between September to January. The state divides these seasons into different segments based on categories. It includes

  1. Archery season
  2. Muzzleloader season
  3. Regular firearm season
White-Tailed Deer 

White-tailed deer hunting is pretty famous in Kansas. And well, they’re humongous compared to those in other states. 

Because of the rich agriculture, deer had plenty of food to feast over. The diverse landscape makes it one of the best states for dear hunting. It has a variety of habitats, like forested areas for deer to inhabit. 

White-tailed hunting in Kansas is an opportunity for all hunters, regardless of residency status. Residents can buy a white-tailed deer permit over the counter or online at

Getting non-resident deer permits can be quite tricky due to its drawing system. But don’t fret because the chances of drawing tags are high. Non-resident hunters can apply for the draw throughout April.

Mule Deer 

Mule deer reside mainly in the western side of the state. Similar to whitetail deer, this subspecies is humongous because the state has resources for them to grow. 

But unlike white-tailed deer, Kansas only opens Mule hunting to resident hunters. And hunters must go through a random drawing system for a mule hunting permit. 

Drawing a mule tag is much more challenging than a whitetail deer tag. 

Elk Hunting 

The Kansas native and ancient elk populations experienced a drastic decrease due to habitat loss. In recent years, efforts have been made to reintroduce elk to the state. Thanks to that, their numbers have gradually increased.

Although limited, the state still offers hunters a unique elk hunting experience. Of course, if they’re fortunate enough to draw a permit. The KDWP allots 20 or so tags every year, making it more competitive to draw one.

The application period for the lottery occurs from early May to early June. Also, a preference point system is in place for residents and military personnel.

Antelope Hunting 

Like elk hunting, the state limits antelope hunting in Kansas. That is to conserve the relatively smaller population of antelope in the state. 

State hunters can find these species in the western part of the state. Just search for shortgrass prairies and sagebrush steppe, and you’ll spot a few bucks.

Drawing an antelope permit is less competitive than the mule and elk ones. The state authorizes 170 permits yearly for resident hunters. 

Interested antelope hunters can apply for the lottery from early May to early June.

Wild Turkey Hunting 

Wild turkey hunting in Kansas is a popular outdoor activity. It attracts hunters with outstanding wild turkey hunting opportunities for the Rio Grande and Eastern subspecies.

Rio Grande turkeys are more widespread in the state. This turkey subspecies primarily resides in western and central Kansas. Meanwhile, Eastern wild turkeys mainly live in the eastern and southeastern parts.

To hunt wild turkeys in Kansas, all hunters must obtain a valid hunting license and a turkey permit to hunt wild turkeys in Kansas. Fall turkey hunting permits are available for both resident and nonresident hunters.

However, spring turkey hunting is only for resident hunters. Hunters must apply for a lottery where the state distributes 500 spring turkey permits to random applicants. Application for spring turkey hunting starts from early January to early February. 

Pheasant and Quail Hunting 

Kansas is a true paradise for upland bird hunters. Ranking as one of the best pheasant and quail hunting states in the US is not new for the state. 

The state’s vast grasslands and agricultural lands create the perfect habitat for these prized upland birds. The most sought-after Bobwhite quail species reside in the state’s eastern and southern parts. 

Ring-necked pheasants are abundant across Kansas, particularly in the central and western regions of the state. That’s where vast grasslands and crop fields provide ample cover and food sources. 

While hunters don’t need a specific permit to hunt these birds, they must still get a hunting license to hunt upland birds in the state legally. 

Coyote Hunting

Coyote hunting can be an excellent way for young hunters to develop their skills and ignite their passion for hunting. 

And thanks to the coyotes’ growing population, you can enjoy coyotes’ hunting experience in Kansas. Coyote hunting in Kansas is open year-round, with no bag limits, which allows hunters to experience the thrill of the chase whenever they desire.

But like any other species, hunters must have their hunting license with them when hunting these predators. 

One advantage of coyote hunting is you can easily gain access to your desired private land. That’s because many landowners are lenient in coyote hunting access to their land. 

Where to Hunt in Kansas? 

Want to embark on an unforgettable hunting adventure in Kansas? Discover the thrill of the hunt in these prime locations across the Sunflower State:

Turtle Creek Management Area

This 1,000-acre wildlife area in southeastern Kansas is a dream come true for big game hunters. 

What sets this location apart is its reputation for being home to a nice buck. That makes this management area popular in deer seasons. 

The area’s woodlands provide deer with ample resources to grow and settle. Going here means you have a higher chance of encountering a big buck during your hunt.

Milford Wildlife Area

This over 20,000-acre wildlife area is a fantastic hunting destination in Kansas. It has diverse habitat and plenty selection of wildlife, making it a prime location for various games. 

Whether you’re after big or small games, waterfowl, or upland birds, Milford has it all for you. 

Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area

This over 8,000-acre wildlife area is the prime destination for waterfowlers. Although it has diverse habitats, this hunting location attracts migratory birds and other wetland species.  

As I’ve said, this wildlife area is not just about waterfowl hunting. It also supports a healthy population of whitetail deer due to its vast woodlands and river bottoms. Archery deer hunting is pretty much productive in this area. 

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

This 22,000-acre is a vital habitat for Central Flyway migratory waterfowl. Unlike Kansas’ wildlife areas, this location is under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Although limited, hunters can explore different hunting opportunities in 8,000 acres of the area. Quivira is a popular destination for waterfowl hunting due to its numerous wetlands and the presence of migratory ducks and geese. 

Migratory and upland game birds are also available to hunt in this area. Please note that hunting for other game species, such as deer and turkey, is not permitted within the refuge.

Cimarron National Grassland

Located in Southwestern Kansas, this prime hunting destination is for hunters who seek unique experiences in a picturesque setting. 

It features a diverse landscape of rolling grasslands, riparian woodlands, and sand-sage prairie. Meaning, you’re subject to hunting a vast selection of game species here. 

In fact, Cimarron National Grassland is home to a healthy population of pronghorn antelope. Just remember that you must have a special permit before you kill and bag a pronghorn in Kansas.

Kansas Hunting Regulations

To ensure a safe and enjoyable hunting experience, it’s essential to follow the regulations set by the KDWP. 

Hunting License

Kansas offers various hunting license options to cater to the different needs and preferences of hunters. Both residents and non-residents can buy licenses, though prices and certain privileges differ between the two groups. 

Special hunting licenses are also available in the state. That includes a youth, senior, and apprentice hunting license. 

Resident AdultAnnual Hunting: $27.50
Annual Hunting and Fishing: $47.50
5-year Hunting: $102.50
5-year Hunting and Fishing: $182.50
Resident Youth(ages 16-20)Multi-year Hunting: $42.50
Multi-year Combination: $72.50
Note: Hunters under 16 do not need a license to participate in hunting. 
Resident Apprentice $27.50
Resident Senior Annual Hunting: $15.00
Annual Hunting and Fishing: $25.00
Lifetime Combination: $42.50
Non-resident AdultHunting: $97.50
Hunting and Fishing: $137.50
Non-resident Youth(Ages under 16)$42.50
Non-resident Apprentice $97.50

Hunter Education

All hunters born on or after July 1, 1957, must complete a certified Hunter Education course. Kansas wildlife managers will ask you for a certificate before granting you a hunting license.

The program aims to reduce the number of hunting-related accidents, protect natural resources, and ensure a positive and sustainable hunting experience for future generations.

Harvest Information Program Permit (HIP)

The Harvest Information Program Permit is necessary for hunting migratory game birds in Kansas. This program serves different purposes in conserving migratory birds, such as:

  1. It provides accurate harvest data 
  2. It helps in making informed wildlife management decisions
  3. It monitors population trends
  4. It ensures compliance with federal requirements. 

In Kansas, hunters are required to have a HIP Permit when hunting migratory game birds such as ducks, geese, doves, woodcock, snipe, coots, and rails. 


Although limited, hunting in Kansas is a great way to experience the thrill of hunting literal big game species. Coupled with the long hunting season, this state would not disappoint you.