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Rifle Hunting Season in Kansas - KOAM TV 7

Rifle Hunting Season in Kansas

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MAPLETON, KS -

December 2nd is the start of rifle hunting season in Kansas. Which means big business for the area.

Just last year Jimmy Greer bagged a 181-inch buck. This year, he's still waiting for a repeat performance.

"I've seen some decent bucks," Greer said. "Nothing I wanted to shoot, but quite a few. I've probably seen 6, 8 bucks today."

Greer traveled to the Timber Hills Lake Ranch in Mapleton, KS from his home in Louisiana... Just to hunt.

He's not the only one to make the pilgrimage. Ranch Manager Aaron Gibson says hunters from Minnesota, Mississippi, and elsewhere have made their way to Southeast Kansas.

"We get people from all around the United States, all the different states," Gibson said. "And occasionally we get people from other countries as well."

All because of the state's reputation for breeding trophy bucks.

"We have a lot of big deer antler-wise as well as body-wise," Gibson said. "And of course, the bigger the antlers the more popular it is with hunters."

"Here in the Midwest we've got very productive soil and good habitats so the whitetail deer grow large antlers," Wildlife Manager David Jenkins said. 

Kansas is celebrating it's 50th year of having an open deer season. Which, Jenkins says, started with only 1,00 harvested deer in 1965. 

"In 2014 we've allocated about 200,00 tags and harvested 90,000 deer state-wide," Jenkins said.

"Kansas is probably top-3 in the United States to kill big bucks which is why most hunters come here," Greer said.

"4 years in a row we've had bucks score over 200 inches harvested off our property," Gibson said. "Which is a pretty big feat in and of itself."

And it's numbers like that which keeps attracting hunters like Greer

A 2013 report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates more than 112,000 non-resident hunters in Kansas in a year; the 4th best total in the nation. With all hunting activities generating more than $600,000,000 in economic impact.

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