Harvey County to expand hunting at East Park

Chad Frey
Hunting at Harvey County East Park will expand this year, meaning more revenue for the county.

The third fall/winter hunting season at Harvey County East Park will be expanded — with the addition of another plot of ground and more state revenue as a result.

For the past two years the county has contracted with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to create two walk-in hunting areas: one designated for waterfowl (ducks and geese) and one for archery deer.

Following approval by the county commission Tuesday, there will be an additional archery deer plot added to the mix.

“(Hunting use) has just grown each year,” said Cass Miller, director of the Harvey County Parks Department.

A year ago, hunters from about 30 cities and a 12-county area made use of the waterfowl hunting area. For the archery deer area, hunters came from five different cities and nine different counties.

Five waterfowl hunting blinds, constructed and installed by volunteers from an organization called Delta Waterfowl, will be available — just as there have been in the past. The state low plains late zone duck season runs from Oct. 31 to Jan. 3, 2021. Goose seasons vary based on goose type.

In addition, there will be a hunting area north of the park for archery deer only — a 5-acre plot that has been used the past two years. An additional 68-acre plot will be added for archery deer hunting, west of the current hunting areas. The additional deer hunting acreage will increase the lease by $1,999.

“There are no trails or other things in that area,” said Chares Cope, with the KDWPT. “We thought that having someone being in there, that would reduce the chance of someone coming in there illegally and hunting there.”

The state archery deer season runs from Sept. 13 to Dec. 31.

The KDWPT contracts with property owners across the state to create “Walk In Hunting Areas.” Most of those areas, which are clearly marked and published in an annual atlas and online mapping system/app, are first come, first served. In the case of the county park, and other public-held lands, hunters are required to check in the day before using an online or phone system operated by the KDWPT.

This year the county will receive more than $4,400 in reimbursement for the use of the park lands as hunting areas.