Application Strategy 2022: Kansas Deer
Note: The Kansas application deadline for nonresidents is April 29, 2022 and the resident deadline for draw permits is June 10, 2022. You can apply online here or by phone 620-672-0728.
To view important information and an overview of Kansas’s rules/regulations, the draw system, tag and license fees and an interactive boundary line map, check out our State Profile. You can also view the Species Profiles to access historical and statistical data to help you identify trophy areas.
Important dates and information
- You can apply online here or by phone 620-672-0728.
- Nonresident deer permit draw: application period April 1 to 29, 2022.
- Resident any deer firearms permit draw: application period May 10 to June 10, 2022.
- Resident whitetail any season permit: purchase through Dec. 31, 2022.
- Resident archery: purchase through Dec. 31, 2022.
- Hunt-own-land deer permit: purchase through Dec. 31, 2022.
- Antlerless whitetail deer permit: purchase through Jan. 31, 2023.
License fees and costs
Note: All fees listed in the tables below for both residents and nonresidents will have an internet convenience fee added at time of applying online for a permit or preference point. You must front the entire cost of the tag.
In Kansas, both residents and nonresidents must have a hunting license.
2022 Kansas license costs
|License||Resident cost||Nonresident cost|
|Either species/either-sex firearms deer||$52.50||N/A|
|Any-season whitetail deer||$42.50||N/A|
|Archery Either-species/either-sex deer||$42.50||N/A|
|Muzzleloader either-species/either-sex deer||$42.50||N/A|
|Nonresident whitetail deer||N/A||$442.50|
|Nonresident mule deer stamp||N/A||$152.50|
Applicants in Kansas can opt to apply as a party though group sizes are limited to five total applicants. All applicants within a party must apply for the same unit and weapon choice.
Kansas does not average your points for a group application. The application will be entered into the draw with the lowest point total of any applicant in the group. So if you apply with anyone who has zero points, then everyone attached to that application will also enter the draw with zero points and any accrued points by any party member will add no value to your group application.
Even if you decide to apply as a group, each person must apply individually; however, there will be a question on the application about groups. The first applicant in the group to apply would choose the create group option on this question. This will create a group under this applicant’s Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) number. Each applicant applying after the group has been set up would choose the join group option and they would fill in the group leader’s KDWP number at that time.
The Kansas Draw System
The resident draw system
Residents are allowed to hunt whitetail deer over-the-counter (OTC) each year. The permits they purchase are good for anywhere they have access whether it’s public land, walk-in or private. They can hunt during the archery, muzzleloader and rifle seasons with these permits. Residents can also choose to purchase an either-sex species permit if they want to hunt with archery equipment or with a muzzleloader. These permits are good for both eastern and western deer zones.
If a resident would like to hunt mule deer with a rifle, they must apply for the draw. If successful, the permit they draw will allow them to hunt either West Zone Mule Deer, which includes Unit 1, 2, 17, 18, or the East Zone, which includes Unit 3, 4, 5, 7, 16.
The nonresident draw system
The nonresident draw process happens earlier in the year and applications are due April 30 this year.
The first phase of the nonresident deer draw is exclusively for whitetail deer. Nonresidents are required to purchase a nonrefundable $97.50 hunting license prior to applying for a deer permit and, in order to apply, they are required to submit the $27.50 application fee as well as the entire cost of the deer permit, which is $442.50. There is also a $14.53 service fee added to the transaction in order to proceed. If you are unsuccessful in drawing your whitetail permit, you will be refunded the cost of the whitetail permit; however, the state will retain all other fees during the application process.
If you choose to apply for archery or muzzleloader in Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 17 or 18, then you will be eligible to try and draw a mule deer stamp during the application process. This will add an additional $152.50 to your total during the checkout process. This portion of the draw takes place after all of the whitetail permits have been issued. If you were successful in drawing a whitetail permit, which happens on a preference point system, you will now have a chance to draw the mule deer stamp. This happens on a random draw and the odds vary by unit. There is no way to increase your odds of drawing the mule deer stamp and, if this is the only goal, expect for it to take years.
If you are successful in drawing a whitetail permit, but not successful in drawing a mule deer stamp, then you will be refunded only the amount of the mule deer stamp. If you are unsuccessful in drawing either your whitetail permit or the mule deer stamp, then you will be refunded the cost of the whitetail permit as well as the cost of the mule deer stamp; however, the state will retain all other fees due at the time you apply.
All successful deer applicants will also receive a doe permit for whitetail deer.
Kansas is an incredible state to add to your overall application strategy. Not only are the odds currently 100% with one point for whitetails, but they are very high even if it’s the first year you have ever applied. The long story short is that this is an excellent backup plan kind of state even for the most engaged application warrior. With the draw deadline coming just after we see the results in New Mexico, this can allow you to see the smoke clear on this aggressive application state and make your move based on how the results treat you in the Land of Enchantment. It’s not unlikely that, if you got serious about it, a deer tag in one of the best states in the country is likely to happen six to eight times in a 10-year period if you applied every year.
Success in Kansas often has to do with hunting well managed properties. Finding these properties will require you to contact different outfitters and landowners in the areas you would prefer to hunt. Another option would be to contact The Draw. They have multiple outfitters all across the state with incredible track records for big deer.
Access and private land
Knocking on doors is a skill set that takes time to develop and the only way to get better at it is like anything else: practice. However, Kansas has an excellent walk-in access program all throughout the state that allows hunters looking to hunt big and small game access to thousands of acres of private land. This style of hunting is not for everyone, but it is worth mentioning that there are many big deer taken all throughout the state on these small scattered parcels of land each year.
The other option for DIY-oriented hunters is the numerous State Wildlife Areas (SWA). These can tend to get an excessive amount of pressure, but if you can hunt during the week and avoid some of the peak times of the year, there are many mature deer taken on these properties that offer additional places for hunters who don’t have or don’t want access to private land. These areas can be found here.
The points system
The Kansas system is a true preference point system and applicants with the most points automatically receive a tag.
The Kansas preference point system only applies to the whitetail draw. In order to apply for a mule deer tag in Kansas, you must first draw a whitetail tag. No preference point weighing occurs in the mule deer draw.
If you are choosing to apply as a group, remember that any points that any group member has will be irrelevant and the application will be considered with the lowest point total for any member of the group.
The 2022 Kansas mule deer breakdown
Kansas offers some incredible opportunities for mule deer hunts; however, the sheer lack of public land will be the biggest hurdle for hunters. The majority of these deer are located on large sections of private land and prior arrangements are strongly encouraged before you head out to Kansas as this could become a very frustrating hunt without some sort of access or an understanding on how little the areas you will be allowed to hunt in are.
Currently, mule deer opportunities can be found in Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 17 or 18. If you are a nonresident, you will only be allowed to hunt mule deer if you choose to apply for archery or muzzleloader and are lucky enough to draw a mule deer stamp in the random draw after you have successfully drawn your whitetail permit in any of these given units.
Kansas mule deer unit breakdown
|Public land percentage|
How to uncover hidden gems
Like many states in the Midwest or further east that are predominantly private land, the caliber of deer has little to do with what unit or area of the state they are located and has almost everything to do with how successful the outfitter, lease or the landowner is at managing their deer herd. Focusing your efforts in finding the right property with the right track record is how you will locate a hidden gem in Kansas.
Use Filtering 2.0 when planning your next Kansas hunt. You can sort by trophy potential, public land percentages and even the number of bucks taken.
Kansas Mule Deer odds — Nonresident
Kansas Mule Deer odds — Resident
|Unit||Odds at 0 points||Odds at 1 point|
|1, 2, 17, 18||47%||100%|
|3, 4, 5, 7, 16||8.4%||100%|
Managing points and expectations
Rifle mule deer permits are currently drawing at 100% for both east and west mule deer zones with one preference point.
There is not a point system in Kansas for mule deer. This is a random drawing that you can choose to participate in if you are selecting to hunt in a unit where mule deer hunting is available and if you choose to apply for an archery or muzzleloader permit. There is not currently an option for a nonresident to hunt with a rifle for mule deer in Kansas.
Remember that in order to have a chance at the mule deer stamp, then you will need to first draw a nonresident whitetail permit. This is a preference point system and, currently, the odds of drawing this are 100% with as little as one point. However, there is a rather high probability that if you are successful in drawing the whitetail permit, you will not draw the mule deer stamp and be stuck with a whitetail permit that there is no refund for. All that considered, hunting whitetails in western Kansas isn’t such a bad consolation prize as these areas are known for producing some giant bucks.
The 2022 Kansas whitetail deer breakdown
Kansas is a mecca for whitetail hunters all across the country and rightfully so. The number of Boone and Crockett caliber deer taken in this state year after year is astounding and, although the south central part of the state may be where the data points to as far as where the biggest deer live, the truth is that a giant could and does come out of just about anywhere in Kansas with the right property management and a little bit of luck.
If you want to check the box on a whitetail or you are one of the many who simply can’t get enough of hunting these deer, planning a trip to Kansas is a must and planning to hunt it often should be considered. With long hunting seasons and a state that doesn’t allow rifle hunters to hunt deer while the rut is in full swing, this is a perfect storm for folks looking not just for a chance to harvest a buck, but hunters who are looking for a next-level experience.
Working towards access on the right lease or a hunt with the right outfitter should be strongly considered to up your odds in hunting and harvesting one of these amazing deer.
PRIVATE LAND ISSUES IN KANSAS
Private land is king in Kansas and it’s no secret that the best whitetail deer hunting opportunities are on private land that will require an outfitter or a potentially substantial trespass fee to access. Still, some public opportunities can be found on public lands.
Kansas whitetail unit breakdown
|Public land percentage|
Managing points and expectations
Currently, the odds of drawing a nonresident whitetail deer permit in Kansas is 100% for applicants with one or more points.
If you do not have any points, use Filtering 2.0 to see what exactly your odds would have been last season and plan accordingly. For the most part, if you are looking to hunt whitetails and you are not in the far western side of the state, you can plan on your odds of drawing with zero points to be close to or over 90% even the first year you apply.