Hunters can gain access to exclusive hunting areas statewide through Special Hunts Program
Each year, hunters can apply for exclusive entry into areas with limited access through the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Special Hunts Program. This special access tends to mean a higher quality hunt and potentially greater harvest rates, but just like with any other outdoor activity, nothing is guaranteed. Because access to these areas is limited, hunters must apply online for the hunts they desire. The application period for Fall and Winter 2013/2014 Special Hunt opportunities will open July 16 and close Aug. 11.
During the application process, hunters will select what type of species they would like to hunt as well as what type of hunt they prefer, be that an open hunt, a youth hunt, or a mentored hunt. Open hunts are available to all successful applicants, regardless of age or hunting experience. Youth hunts require parties to include at least one youth 18 or younger, accompanied by an adult 21 or older who will not hunt. And mentored hunts are open to both youth and novice hunters supervised by a mentor 21 or older who may also hunt.
Applicants will be entered into a random computer drawing conducted within one week of the application deadline. Successful applicants will then be emailed their hunt permit, as well as any necessary maps and other pertinent information.
2013/2014 Fall and Winter Application Deadlines:
- 1st Draw (Sept. and Oct. Special Hunts): August 11, 2013
- 2nd Draw (Nov., Dec., Jan., Feb. Special Hunts): Sept. 29, 2013
Last year, the Special Hunts Program made 646 hunts in 13 counties available for the fall/winter hunting season. Depending upon the location and species being hunted, special hunts can range from a half-day up to the entire length of the season.
Although similar to the Walk-In Hunting Access (WIHA) program in that private landowners are compensated for the use of their land, the Special Hunts Program allows landowners to exercise more control over the use of their land. Rules such as which dates hunting can occur, how many people can hunt, as well as what species can be hunted are all left to landowners’ discretion. In addition, land areas designated for special hunts provide limited access to the public, whereas WIHAs provide open access to hunters.
For more information on the Special Hunts Program, visit ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting/Special Hunts Information,” or contact KDWPT public land supervisor Mike Nyhoff at (785) 628-8614 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism