If you’re looking for an amazing hunting opportunity with low competition and high odds of success, look no further than the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Special Hunts Program. The program offers hunting opportunities with limited access to public and private land, providing the potential for higher quality hunts and greater harvest rates. Because each hunt is open to a limited number of hunters, applications must be made online, and random drawings will determine who is selected. The application period opens July 16, 2016, and the deadline for First Draw Hunts (hunts occurring in September and October) is Aug. 10, 2016. The application deadline for Second Draw Hunts (hunts occurring in November, December, January and February) is Sept. 28, 2016.
There is no fee to participate in a special hunt, and the application process is open to residents and nonresidents. During the online application process, hunters will select hunts by species, date and category, which includes Open Hunt, Youth Hunt, or Mentored Hunt. All applicants are eligible to apply for Open Hunts, 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 may not hunt. Mentored Hunts are open to both youth and novice hunters supervised by a mentor 21 or older who may also hunt. There are more than 500 individual hunting opportunities available for the 2016-2017 hunting seasons.
A random computer drawing will be conducted within one week of the application deadline. Successful applicants will be emailed their hunt permit, as well as necessary maps and other pertinent information. Hunters are responsible for purchasing any licenses and permits required by law.
This year’s special hunts provide access to public and private lands that are not open to public hunting. The hunts will occur on wildlife areas, state parks, private land parcels, a national wildlife refuge, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers areas and even city- or county-owned properties. Hunts are divided by species, weapon and hunt type. Most of the hunts are for deer and upland game, but opportunities are also available for waterfowl, doves, turkey and furbearers.
For more information on the Special Hunts Program, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting,” then “Special Hunts Information.”