Online WIHA Atlas Shows Added Acres
PRATT – Walk-in Hunting Access (WIHA) is one the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) most popular programs. Through WIHA, private land is leased from private landowners and opened to public hunting. In a state where less than 2 percent of the land is open to the public, hunting access is a valuable privilege. While KDWPT owns and manages about 300,000 acres for public hunting, adding substantially to that number through purchasing would be cost prohibitive.
Started in 1996, WIHA has succeeded beyond expectations. As in recent seasons, this year’s program has more than 1 million acres enrolled, but there are a couple of items to note for 2018-2019. First, hunters who have a printed 2018 Hunting Atlas should check out the online version, as well. While the printed version is great to have in-hand while afield, the online atlas is continually updated to reflect the addition or removal of tracts.
A late effort this year to increase enrollment added more than 24,000 acres after the atlas was printed. Those new areas are reflected in the online version, so hunters should compare printed maps with online maps of the areas they plan to hunt to review any potential changes. Hunters can do this by simply visiting www.ksoutdoors.com, clicking on “Where To Hunt” (on the “Hunting” drop-down menu), “Fall Hunting Atlas,” then “Post-print Changes.”
Also, new this year, the 2018 atlas includes both fall hunting tracts and spring hunting tracts, so hunters will want to hang on to the atlas they pick up this fall. A spring hunting atlas will not be printed.