Hunting on private land in Kansas requires permission from the landowner, whether the land is posted or not. While Kansas ranks near the top among states for the deer, pheasant and quail hunting opportunities found here, it ranks near the bottom when comparing the amount of public hunting land available. It’s a fact that Kansas land is 97 percent privately owned, and although there are 1 million acres enrolled in the state’s Walk-in Hunting Access (WIHA) program, most hunting occurs on private land.
Getting permission before taking a single step on private land is one of the most important things you can do as a hunter, not only to keep you and your group from being charged with trespass, but also to ensure the future of our hunting heritage. Landowners fed up with trespassers may eventually close their land to all hunters. It’s simple: if you want to hunt, ask; if you’re not sure of a boundary, ask; if you don’t see Public Hunting or WIHA signs, ask.
Landowners may post their land with signs requiring written permission for hunting access, or they may simply paint posts or signs with purple paint, which also signifies that written permission is required. On this land, hunters must have a written permission slip from the landowner. This can be more convenient for landowners because they don’t have to press trespass charges. If a game warden encounters hunters who don’t have the required written permission, a citation can be issued onsite.
Hunters who treat Kansas landowners and their land with respect will enjoy some of the best hunting in the U.S., and they’ll likely create friendships that may last a lifetime. Hunters and landowners who witness any illegal activity, including trespassing, should call the toll-free Operation Game Thief number, 1-877-426-3843 or the local game warden, whose phone number can be found on Page 49 of the 2016 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary.