Deer Forecast-Midwest

Greenwood County

Some deer hunters think heaven looks like Greenwood County, one of the places that has given Kansas fame as a deer-hunting destination. Located in the southeastern quadrant of the state, the county has a reputation for growing big deer. The ample rain that falls in the southeast means more timber to provide cover and lush food sources. However, growing interest in hunting big deer means more hunters are willing to pay for land access, which makes it difficult for newcomers to find places to hunt here. Exceptional soil productivity and abundant winter food mean high survival and growth rates in Kansas whitetails. Bucks scoring from 130 to 160 points are not uncommon. But while hunters celebrate Kansas's whitetail bonanza, not everyone in the state shares their enthusiasm. Deer/vehicle accidents are a political issue here. The number of deer-related accidents rocketed from 203 in 1961 to a record 10,992 in 1999. Aggressive efforts to harvest antlerless deer led to a drop to 9,489 accidents in 2000. Still, state big-game coordinator Lloyd Fox says an acceleration in trophy and fee hunting has hindered efforts to control overall deer numbers in some areas. "We have traditionally managed deer so that 50 percent of our bucks are age 21/2 or older," Fox says. "The question is whether we can continue to hold those older deer if we are unable to control the population."