The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) Special Hunts Program offers a variety of limited hunts, many designed to introduce youth and novices to hunting in an uncrowded setting with opportunity for success. About 300 special hunts are available.
The application period for November, December, and January special hunts runs through 9 a.m. on Oct. 1, with drawing results emailed by Oct. 5. Special hunts will be conducted in all regions of the state on both public and private land. The hunts are located on KDWPT managed lands, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-managed lands and some WIHA properties.
Not all special hunts are for youth or novices. Many are open to all hunters, and each special hunt targets specific game species, including doves, upland game, waterfowl, and deer. Hunts on public lands are typically on refuges and state parks where access is limited to a few opportunities each year.
Specifically, there are three categories of hunts: open, youth, and mentor. Open hunts are available to all hunters. Youth hunts require parties to include at least one youth 15 or younger who must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older. Some youth hunts may have more specific age requirements, and adults may not hunt. Mentor hunts are open to both youth and/or inexperienced hunters who are supervised by a licensed adult 18 or older (mentor). A mentor is a licensed hunter 18 years or older who supervises and/or participates in a hunt restricted to youth or novice hunters. Some hunts require the supervising adult to be 21 years or older.
Many veteran hunters find new satisfaction in serving as mentors, introducing a relative, friend, or neighbor to the wonder of the hunt in a wildlife-rich setting. Parents or grandparents may take children or grandchildren who have never hunted but show an interest. Mentors and novices do not have to be related.
Hunter Education is not required for youth 15 and younger accompanied by an adult 18 or older. However, persons 16 and older who do not have hunter education may purchase a one-time-deferral apprentice hunting license, which exempts them from the hunter education requirement through the calendar year in which it is purchased. All hunters 16 and older need a valid Kansas hunting license.
For more detailed information or to apply, go online to ksoutdoors.com. Click “Hunting/Special Hunts.” Those who do not have computer access may apply by telephone at 620-672-0791.
Image courtesy Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism