By MIKE CORN
It's apparently open season on Kansas wildlife, or at least the laws that govern them.
While a series of legislative proposals affecting Kansas wildlife have been given adverse recommendations by a subcommittee appointed to review them, another flurry of bills have been introduced.
The adversely reported bills -- exempting under-16 non-residents from license requirements, requiring the killing of a doe by archers before pursuing a buck and getting rid of the requirement to have a hunting license prior to hunting prairie rattlesnakes -- were unfavorably recommended by a subcommittee of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, said Chris Tymeson, chief counsel of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. The recommendation was made Monday.
While that's a victory for KDWP, other bills are being introduced, including one in the House on Wednesday that would allow the unregulated hunting of mountain lions or wolves.
Only two mountain lions have been confirmed in the state, the latest in Trego County northwest of WaKeeney. Currently, it is illegal to shoot a mountain lion, other than for protection.
Another bill, would grant much greater leeway to a person who accompanies a disabled person into the field. Rather than being required to stay in proximity of the disabled person, under the new bill the companion would have to stay within a mile of the person.
Tymeson is unsure what to take of the bill.
"How do you know if they're poaching or not?" he asked, noting that it would present many enforcement issues.
Two other bills are pending, one doing away with the requirement that prisoners of war need a license to hunt and the other directing KDWP to reopen the west entrance into Tuttle Creek State Park river pond area.