Several hunting seasons are opening up at Fort Riley and in the state of Kansas.
The season that seems to be the most popular at Fort Riley is deer season. It opened on Sept. 16 for archery and muzzleloader deer hunters in the state of Kansas and at Fort Riley. The muzzleloader season will close on Sept. 29, and on Dec. 31 for archery.
Deer seasons vary a little at Fort Riley from the state of Kansas.
“The thing that differs for Fort Riley is that our firearms deer season differ from the state of Kansas and that is due to the mission. If we ran it concurrent with the state we wouldn’t be able to open near as many areas to deer hunt in because of the training occurring. We focus on the Fort Riley regular firearms deer seasons around the training holidays. Training and the mission will always come first,” said Shawn Stratton, supervisory fish and wildlife biologist, Conservation Branch, Environmental Division, Directorate of Public Works.
The regular firearms season at Fort Riley will be from Dec. 14 to 22. There also will be a Department of Defense ID card holders only firearms season Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
Hunting deer at Fort Riley requires a state of Kansas hunting license, unless exempt, a state of Kansas deer permit, Fort Riley hunting access permit, if required, and a Fort Riley deer permit, which is free of charge following a safety brief at the Environmental Division office.
To obtain a hunting license, hunters must complete a hunter’s safety course, which is offered a couple of time a year on post. Then, a Kansas state hunting license must be purchased. Information on hunting licenses restrictions and regulations can be found at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website at www.kdwpt.state.ks.us, or by visiting the Environmental Division office at Fort Riley, located at Building 407 on Pershing Court.
“Kansas tags and licenses and Fort Riley hunting access permits are available at the Fort Riley Environmental Division office and state license vendors,” Stratton said.
Once there, prospective hunters can complete the pre-hunt briefing and permit verification, which is required for all deer hunters on the installation. If a hunter is under the age of 18 and hunting with a parent or guardian then the parent or guardian can get these requirements for the youth.
Permits are issued after the briefing is complete. Not all permits are created equal, firearm permits are unlimited, while archery permits are on a first-come, first-serve basis for up to 200 hunters who are not active-duty military. The 200 archery permits have already been issued for this year. Archery is unlimited for active-duty military stationed at Fort Riley.
The Fort Riley deer permit is free, while the Fort Riley access permit is $27.50, except for active-duty Soldiers ranking E-1 to E-4 for whom there is no charge.
“The bag limit for white-tailed deer on Fort Riley is consistent with the state of Kansas. Fort Riley falls into Deer Management Unit Eight for Kansas. Each deer harvested must be immediately affixed with a valid Kansas deer tag per Kansas Regulations, “Stratton explained.
Important reminders for the hunting season
Firearms must be registered regardless of military or civilian status. Registration forms can be found online or by contacting the Directorate of Emergency Services at 785-239-6767 or in Building 219 on Custer Avenue.
Conceal carry permits are not recognized at Fort Riley.
All persons recreating at Fort Riley, including archery deer hunters, must wear at least 200 square inches of blaze orange on their chest and back and a hat of the same color at all times when they are not in a vehicle or building during any Fort Riley firearms deer season, including the traditional muzzleloader season Sept. 16 to 29 and the youth/disabled season Sept. 7 to 15 and Oct. 11 to 14.
Fort Riley recreational vehicle markers must be displayed in the front widow of all vehicles while hunting at Fort Riley.
Vehicles must only utilize roads that are specifically marked on the Fort Riley outdoor recreation map, except when retrieving a downed deer or elk.
All hunters at Fort Riley must register each time they hunt on post by visiting www.fortriley.isportsman.net.
Baiting is no longer authorized at Fort Riley
Deer drives are no longer authorized at Fort Riley
Deer stands and ground blinds must be marked or engraved in a permanent visible manner with KDWPT number and have blaze orange showing on each side if they conceal a person during the Fort Riley firearms deer season.
There are various other hunting seasons this fall including deer, elk, rabbit, squirrel, quail, pheasant, prairie chicken, turkey, waterfowl and dove.
For more information on Kansas hunting and licensing, visit www.kdwpt.state.ks.us.
For more information on hunting at Fort Riley including firearms registration forms, visit http://www.fortriley.isportsman.net/.
By Jessica Healey
1ST INF. DIV. POST
PHOTO: Retired Master Sgt Jeff Dran poses with an elk he harvested this season at Fort Riley. (Photo courtesy of Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Wright)