Kansas Offers Fantastic Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities

Here’s why you should add Kansas to your list of duck and goose hunting destinations

© Michael Kleinwolterink

This content is a paid advertisement from Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, in conjunction with the DU Travel Program. Ducks Unlimited editorial staff had no role in the creation of this content.

No matter your waterfowling dreams, you can make them come true in Kansas. Kansas has some of America’s best marshes and ultra-long seasons. If a species quacks, honks, whistles, or squeals, it probably comes to Kansas in great numbers.

You should, too. Here’s why.

Waterfowl Central

Ever see a flock of 50,000 geese? How about a hunt with six or more species of ducks in your hunting party’s bag? Both can happen in Kansas.

Kansas is smack dab in the center of the Central Flyway and sits in the migratory path of millions of waterfowl. Most stay a long time once they find Kansas’ outstanding wetlands, lakes and rich grain fields.

Whatever your favorite species of waterfowl, Kansas has you covered. On some late-season hunts, huge numbers of drake mallards may show hunters more green than a St. Patrick’s Day parade. There are clouds of teal that buzz by, and some of America’s best populations of pintails in their stunning “duxedo” plumage.

You want geese? Kansas has them by the thousands as the snows, whitefronts, and several varieties of Canada geese find all they need to winter well in Kansas.

Photo © Rob St. Sauver

Seven Months of Seasons

Nope, that’s not a typo. Kansas’ waterfowl hunting begins with the special teal season in early September and the late snow-goose season runs through the end of April. Except for a few weeks in early fall there’s a duck or goose season open that entire time.

Kansas is divided into four duck-hunting zones, each with its own season, customized to migration patterns and local wetlands. The earliest season is where the first migrants arrive at wetlands so shallow they’re often the first to freeze.

The last to open is the zone in southeast Kansas, where the first huge flocks of arriving mallards may have shared the skies with Santa’s reindeer. At least two zones stay open into late January.

Goose seasons offer even more opportunity than duck seasons. Mid-winter can be a great time for mixed flocks of hundreds of snows, whitefronts, and Canada geese of several kinds. Sometimes the best hunts come just before the mid-February closing day.

Unlike some states, Kansas welcomes non-residents to hunt as many days as they like during those long waterfowl seasons. It’s also possible to purchase licenses valid through the entire 7 ½ months of seasons.

Photo © David Bunchalk

Public Wetlands Galore

For just the price of licenses and stamps you can hunt waterfowl on hundreds of thousands of acres of prime public marshes, lakes and streams. Some host more than a million-plus birds through the fall and winter migrations.

Public areas range from the 20,000-acre Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, which is America’s largest interior marsh, to small portions of state fishing lakes.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism manages more than a dozen wetland complexes primarily for waterfowl hunting. Don’t overlook the state’s 24 large, federally owned reservoirs. They offer quiet coves for puddle ducks and wind-swept points for canvasbacks and other divers. The rivers and streams that feed these lakes have their great times, too.

There are four large national wildlife refuges with public hunting areas. That includes the famed Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. It’s about as big as Cheyenne Bottoms, both in size and reputation.

There are hundreds of miles of the Arkansas and Kansas rivers open to the public, too. They can offer great cold-weather hunting for those willing to drift in a canoe until they find a promising spot.

So there’s your proof: lots of waterfowl and more public areas than you’ll be able to hunt in Kansas’ super-long seasons. I hope you’ll go to see it all for yourself. You’ll find there’s #NoPlaceLikeKS for a successful waterfowl hunt.

Photo © David Bunchalk

For more information on waterfowl hunting in Kansas go to KSOutdoors.com.

For information on great places to stay and eat, go to TravelKS.com.

This content is a paid advertisement from Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, in conjunction with the DU Travel Program. Ducks Unlimited editorial staff had no role in the creation of this content.