WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A hunting strategy often used in Kansas is a hot topic for state wildlife officials.

It’s called baiting. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks could soon recommend changes to regulations on baiting, impacting game like deer and turkey.

While some say baiting can harm the wildlife and environment, others believe it’s a benefit.

The KDWP says baiting often leads to large gatherings of animals, which research says can spread disease.

“In the case of a feeder, we have saliva in the environment or saliva accumulating on a feeder,” said Drew Ricketts, Extension Wildlife Specialist.

Kansas State University Research and Extension Wildlife Specialist Drew Ricketts says the high concentration of animals and the exposure to each other’s saliva helps spread disease.

“There’s much more data to support supplemental feeding of deer to promote herd health,” said Clifford Shipley, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

Shipley says supplemental feeding is good for game animals because it keeps them well-fed.

It also helps outfitters and hunting guides.

“It makes their hunts more accessible and enjoyable for the people who go on deer hunts,” Shipley said.

The KDWP says its informational forums will give them a chance to share data on the dangers of baiting and hear feedback before they take any steps to change regulations.

“Public input is paramount to the process for any potential regulatory changes for us,” said Jake George, Wildlife Division Director for the KDWP.

Baiting is already banned on public lands in Kansas, but private lands are still fair game.

If the KDWP decides to propose a new baiting regulation, it won’t be introduced until 2024 at the earliest. Any changes to current policy would likely take more than a year.