KANSAS

Deer Forecast 2004 -- MIDWEST

Outdoor Life Online Editor

With more private lands under hunting leases, and the change to one antlered deer per season in 2000, the Kansas deer harvest is in decline, says Department of Parks and Wildlife big-game biologist Lloyd Fox. The 72,500 deer taken in 2003 were 10,000 fewer than in 2002 and well below 2000's harvest of 111,000 deer. On the upside, there are more bucks than ever that are at least 2½ years old, especially in hunting units 2, 3, 12, 16 and 18. But don't be fooled by age ratios of bucks in any one unit, Fox warns. Two seasons ago, for example, more than half of the bucks taken in Unit 5 were yearlings, yet a hunter still bagged a bruiser toting a 249-inch rack.