KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Due to growing concerns within the scientific community about increases in transmissible diseases among wildlife, staff and Commissioners with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks have taken the first steps in what will be a multi-year exploration of issues surrounding baiting wildlife – a leading cause of the unnatural congregation of wildlife and subsequent spreading of diseases.
The Department defines baiting as, “The act of intentionally placing food, or nutrient substances, to manipulate the behavior of wildlife species;” This is not to be confused with food plots planted consistent with accepted local and regional agricultural guidelines, which the Department does not oppose.
What’s Being Discussed
Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commissioners hosted a general public panel discussion on June 22, 2023, where subject matter experts from Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma shared insights into: The history of baiting in the Midwest; Increased risks of disease transmission; Nutrition and toxins associated with baiting and supplemental feeding; and animal behavior, among other concerns.
The June 22, 2023, panel discussion – which lasted approximately two hours – will serve as a springboard for several town hall-style public meetings set to take place in the coming months, during which time KDWP staff and Commissioners will solicit input from the broader public, including hunters, landowners, members of industry and more.
Though staff intend to make baiting wildlife a regular discussion item at future Commission meetings, no official regulation recommendations are planned.
Commissioners voted on June 22, 2023, to amend a pre-existing regulation (KAR 115-8-23) established in 2012 that prohibited baiting on Department Lands and Waters – the June 22, 2023, amendment added language stating baiting would be prohibited for “all activities” on public lands, not just for hunting (as the regulation was originally written).
Baiting wildlife remains a legal activity on all private lands in Kansas, which comprise nearly 98 percent of lands in the Sunflower State.