Free deer hunting permits for the upcoming archery season will be available for soldiers who will soon deploy overseas, said Alan Hyneck, Fish and Wildlife Biologist at Fort Riley.
Many soldiers at Fort Riley might miss a majority of the regular hunting season because of a deployment expected in early fall. To solve this problem, Fort Riley has moved up the archery season to begin Monday.
“Extend[ing] the season for soldiers deploying to Sept. 1 gives them an extra 21 days to hunt,” Hyneck said. “The [soldiers] have got a lot on their minds. [It’s] something nice to do for them.”
The extended hunting season applies to deploying soldiers only. Hyneck clarified that for civilians and soldiers not being deployed this fall, Fort Riley’s “regular archery-only season will begin on Sept. 22 and end on Dec. 31.”
The extended season at Fort Riley only covers bow hunting; dates for the muzzleloader season and firearm seasons will remain the same, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks’ Web site.
This is the first time archery season has been lengthened for soldiers being deployed overseas. The State of Kansas must approve all extensions to any hunting season.
The archery season extension was “first approved in June and got final approval last week,” Hyneck said.
Though the Fort Riley permits are free, applicants must still “abide by state regulations and must buy Kansas permits,” Hyneck said.
Hyneck estimated that he has already issued 25 deer tags and expected 40-50 soldiers to come in overall for their free permits.
Free deer hunting permits for deploying soldiers may be obtained at the Conservation Office at Fort Riley between the hours of 7:30 a.m and 4 p.m.
—Compiled by Amanda Foster