New to Kansas-Walk in Hunting Areas (WIHA)


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MBaboon
October 10, 2010, 02:26 PM
Just wondering if there are any Kansas people here that utilize the WIHA land that's available, specifically for firearms deer hunting.

My hunting background is from Missouri where I had access to a nice farm and hunted with family. Now I have to take things solo and utilize available WIHA land. I think I have found a few real nice spots by internet scouting, and plan to set out on some scouting here next weekend and several more weekends thereafter.

My specific questions are what kind of hunting pressure is seen? Do alot of people hit the opening days of season (Wed, Thurs) or wait until the weekend?

Another thing I am not used to is hunting post rut. I realize I will have to pay attention to food sources but am a bit unsure what to look for as far as available crops/natural food that deer like in this region during the cold winter months.

Thanks for the help.

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wgp
October 10, 2010, 08:47 PM
My buddy and I hunt WIHA land almost exclusively, as we have lost almost all of our private land access due to pay-to-hunt outfitters. We do not hunt WIHA for deer, just birds, but I think I can give some useful information.

The quality of WIHA land varies greatly. You really need to do some scouting. You'll also find that the majority of WIHA land is in Western KS, which may be an issue for you. Some tracts are just short praire grass that I doubt would hold hardly any game, other tracts have feed, grain, good cover.
Many WIHA tracts do not permit firearm deer hunting, so check the directory that Kansas publishes carefully. That directory is on-line and available printed in lots of places.

Personally I don't like hunting public land for deer, as you have no idea how many other people are there with a big rifle (as opposed to bird hunters with shotguns). Put on a lot of orange.

We find that pressure on good WIHA land is pretty high early in the season, but pressure seems to decrease as the season goes on. We will frequently see what appear to be large groups working with outfitters going from WIHA tract to WIHA tract. Unfortunately for you the firearm deer season is very short here and thus pressure is likely concentrated. On opening day, if we're on our favorite WIHA tracts, we will get there by 4 or 5 am to stake our claim.

What is in your favor is that our deer herd is large and everywhere. We hardly ever walk a WIHA tract for pheasant without flushing deer. Look for tracts with weedy/grassy draws and waterways, maybe some timber somewhere. Standing crops or milo stubble on or adjacent to the property will be good.

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