DEER HUNTERS: TAG YOUR DEER PROPERLY
Dec. 8, 2011
Nonresidents should know laws regarding transport through other states, as well
PRATT — The regular Kansas firearm deer season is winding down, but archery season remains open the rest of the year, and several whitetail antlerless-only seasons will be held in January. After a deer is taken, hunters must dress the deer out, cool it down, and get it to a place for processing — all of which is hard work. But before moving the deer, the hunter must fill out his or her carcass tag and attach it to the deer. There is more to this than meets eye.
“Hunters need to make sure they attach the carcass tag securely,” says Mark Rankin, assistant director of Law Enforcement for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). “We have problems every year when hunters get to a locker or are stopped en route and there is no tag on their deer, but they say they have tagged it. Follow-up often reveals that they did have a permit, but the carcass tag had blown off in the back of the vehicle. In that case, we have no choice but to investigate. In some cases, a citation may be issued.”
The best way to tag a deer is to follow the directions in the 2011 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, Page 16, available at KDWPT offices and license vendors, as well as the KDWPT website, www.kdwpt.ks.us.
Another issue regarding tagging affects nonresidents who may want to have their deer meat processed in Kansas and shipped home, but they want to travel home with the head and antlers. Or they may want to donate the meat in Kansas and travel home with the head and antlers. Kansas law requires that the carcass tag remain attached to the animal until processed and remain with the meat.
“In these cases, we suggest that the hunter keep the top part of their deer permit with the head and antlers,” Rankin explains. “The carcass tag must remain with the carcass, but if the hunter keeps the top half of the permit with the head and antlers, he’ll be within the law.”
It’s not just Kansas law that’s at issue, however. Many states have adopted strict regulations to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). Typically, these regulations do not allow the transportation of a deer head with brain tissue from a state with confirmed CWD cases (which includes Kansas). Hunters have been cited in other states and had their deer confiscated for not complying with the transportation laws of that state. Boned meat, as well a the cleaned skull cap and antlers, may be all that can be legally transported in some states.
Nonresident hunters should check the laws regarding transport of deer in all states through which they plan to transport any portion of a harvested deer.