Guest Author - MaryBeth Crabb
Can anyone obtain a permit to hunt on Fort Riley, the military reservation in Kansas?
The short answer is, yes.
There are three areas in the state of Kansas which the military has designated open for hunting. All the rules and regulations set by the state of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks(KDWP)apply,but each area also has specific military regulations which pertain only to it.
Anyone wishing to access these areas must have proof of completion of a National Rifle Association (NRA) certified hunter education course, no matter their age, even though some hunters,are exempt if hunting the state lands.
ALL hunters must wear at least 200 square inches of blaze orange on their persons at all times. This consists of 100 square inches on the back,chest and a hat or cap on the head.
The Smokey Hill Army National Guard Range is open for hunting to military and retired military personnel who have completed a trespass training class and who possess a statewide or Unit 4 deer permit.
Fort Leavenworth military installation has been designated an Urban Deer Unit. This is an Archery-Only unit. Any military or retired military personnel who have attended the trespass training class and hold a statewide or Unit 10 deer permit may hunt Fort Leavenworth.
Fort Riley military reservation is open to both military and civilian hunters and trappers. Fort Riley has 71,000 acres of prime prairie and timberlands open for recreation. Big game such as Elk and Whitetail Deer can be harvested as well as Turkey,upland bird,waterfowl and furbearers. Anyone who is eligible to obtain a Kansas hunting or trapping license is eligible to apply for a Fort Riley hunting or trapping permit, including non-Kansas residents.
Fort Riley is an active military installation, and so considered a closed base. This means that access to the fort is by Department of Defense Identification Card and automobile registration tag, or a daily civilian visitor’s tag. Keep in mind when hunting or trapping on the base that Fort Riley’s military mission has precedence over the regular announced Kansas hunting or trapping seasons . Portions of the base may be closed at any time without prior notice, resulting in access restrictions or denial. There are Always areas that are OFF LIMITS on the fort. The Impact Area and the Multipurpose Range Complex are off limits at all times. Listings and maps will be posted at all eleven deer check stations and at the Environmental Office.
The hunting and trapping permit process on Fort Riley goes something like this : First, a hunter must attend a hunter education course if they have not already done so. Secondly, they must acquire all the necessary state permits, tags, and licenses required for the hunt. Each hunter must then register all firearms with the Directorate of Emergency Services. Next, a hunter should obtain a Fort Riley Hunting Access Permit and Fort Riley Recreational Vehicle Marker card , and last the hunter should apply for the Fort Riley hunting season permit from the Environmental Office.
Prior to receiving the Fort Riley Deer Permit each hunter must attend a mandatory pre-hunt briefing. This briefing is to inform each hunter about fort rules, special regulations, and safety issues which pertain to the fort.
Hunters must choose a specific hunting season on the fort. Fort Riley has a Regular Firearms and Regular Archery season. A hunter must choose one as their primary hunting choice, they can’t receive both permits. Active duty soldiers and their immediate family members may be granted exceptions if a deployment, block of leave, or other duties keep them from hunting their chosen season.
Each Elk, or deer harvested on the fort must be tagged with the proper Kansas tag as well as the Fort Riley tag.
In the last four years, there has been several different wildlife management techniques implemented on the fort in an effort to improve the overall age, size, and mass of the Whitetail bucks harvested . Hunters are asked to take special precautions ,use restraint and good judgment when harvesting their deer, and attempt to only harvest deer over 2 ˝ years of age. A bag limit of 3 Whitetail deer per hunter is in effect on the fort.
Listed below are the 2009-2010 Fort Riley Firearms Deer Hunting Seasons
September 1-20 The Special Archery-only Season opens.
September 12-20: Youth/disabled hunting season opens.
September 21-October 4: Traditional Muzzleloader Season
September 21-December 31: Regular Archery Season
November 27-29: This is a Special DOD ID Card holder Firearms Deer Season.
December 18-22: This is the second part of the Regular Firearms Deer Season
December 26-29: This is the third part of the Regular Firearms Deer Season
January 1-17: If found necessary , this will be the Antlerless-only Deer Season.
For more detailed information on hunting military reservations in Kansas see the links below.