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Kansas Waterfowling


Abundant Water and Birds Promise a Great Season


Sept. 30, 2009, Kansas … Cinnamon teal, redhead, ruddy duck, mallard, pintail, canvasback, gadwall, northern shoveller, ring-necked duck—the names are as colorful as the fall season that brings the start of waterfowl season to the Great Plains.  Teal are the first migrants to Kansas in mid-September, with the other species coming along through October and November, and the ever-popular mallards arriving in December.

Kansas’ location in the heart of the Central Flyway, along with good habitat, makes for prime waterfowl hunting.  There are numerous public hunting options across the state from Benedictine Bottoms and Marais des Cygnes in the east, to the prairie wetlands of central Kansas at Jamestown, McPherson, Cheyenne Bottoms, and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge; and western wildlife areas such as No! rton, Webster and Texas Lake.  Private guides throughout the state also offer guided waterfowl hunts.  

Twenty-seven duck species are recorded in Kansas during the fall migration when more than 2 million ducks stop here to feed on their journey south.  Typically hunters take about a quarter of a million ducks during the season.  According to Faye McNew, Migratory Game Bird Coordinator for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, “The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the total duck population at about 42 million birds, a 13% increase over last year.  In addition, good hunting conditions are being reported all across the state.”  

Geese are more than abundant during the migration as well, and the number harvested has increased in recent years as seasons have been extended to control burgeoning populations.  Light geese, including Ross’, snow, and blue; white-fro! nted geese; and large and small Canada geese may all be hunted during the season, which opens at the end of October and extends into February.  In addition to the many fine public hunting areas, private landowners may be willing to allow waterfowl hunters on their property, as long as the hunters first get the landowner’s permission.

All current waterfowl hunting regulations, up-to-date hunting conditions, and information about properly identifying the various species of ducks and geese, can be found in the 2009 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary or at  Current information about avian influenza or H5N1, which has been a concern for waterfowl hunters in recent years, is also available on the website.

For more information on traveling in Kansas, visit
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