Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

For Immediate Release                                              

August 26, 2011

Service Reminds Hunters and Landowners of Federal Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

Contact: Leith Edgar 303.236.4588; Leith_Edgar@fws.gov

Canada Geese - Credit George Gentry USFWSWith the recent failed corn crops in Kansas due to this year’s drought, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) reminds all hunters and landowners of the federal waterfowl hunting regulations concerning crop manipulation (baiting).  Farm producers, who utilize their land for hunting or lease the hunting rights on their land, need to make sure they are following federal waterfowl hunting regulations concerning baiting.

With the drought and heat conditions in Kansas this year, and the failed corn crops in parts of Kansas, farmers are looking to manipulate the crops to prepare the fields for next year, said Kenny Kessler, special agent with the Service.

“As a waterfowl hunter or land manager, it is your responsibility to know and obey all Federal and State laws that govern the sport,” he said. “While it is permissible to manipulate a crop for dove hunting, the only legal hunting that can occur for waterfowl is if, under these circumstances, the crop is ‘normally’ harvested,” Kessler said. “Rotary mowing of a corn crop, for example, would not be a ‘normal’ harvest, and therefore, hunting waterfowl, would not be allowed on or near the areas manipulated as such.”   

Hunters should avoid hunting waterfowl over unharvested crops that have been trampled by livestock or subjected to other types of manipulations, such as disced down crops that distribute, scatter, or expose grain.  Areas where grain is present and stored, such as grain elevators and grain bins, are illegal to hunt waterfowl, as are areas where grain is present for the purpose of feeding livestock.  Additionally, hunting over freshly planted wildlife food plots that contain exposed grain is illegal. Finally, it’s illegal to hunt croplands where a crop has been harvested and the removed grain is redistributed or “added back” onto the area where grown.

On the other hand, waterfowl hunting is allowed in fields of unharvested standing crops, including over standing crops that have been flooded. It’s also permissible to flood fields after crops are harvested and use these areas for waterfowl hunting. It’s advisable for landowners to follow normal harvesting timelines if corn fields are planned to be used for hunting waterfowl.

For additional information, see Waterfowl Hunting and Baiting, and Dove Hunting and Baiting.

If you have questions, contact the Service’s Special Agent in Topeka, KS, at (785)-232-5149 or Wichita, KS, at (316)-788-4474.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit the Service online. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr gallery.

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