PRATT – With social distancing easily achieved, hunting remains one of the safest outdoor activities in Kansas. While all hunters can opt to pursue game on their own by utilizing the state’s public lands, staff at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism seek to create additional hunting opportunities through the department’s Special Hunts program. Through this limited draw program, hunters can gain temporary, exclusive access to private lands, wildlife areas, state parks, federal lands and city- or county-owned properties not normally hunted, ensuring a memorable experience.
Hundreds of special hunt opportunities are available each fall, all at no cost. The deadline to apply for First Draw Hunts (hunts occurring in September and October) is 9 a.m. on Aug. 10, and the deadline to apply for Second Draw Hunts (hunts occurring in November, December, January and February) is 9 a.m. on Sept. 28. A random computer drawing will be conducted within two days following the application deadline to determine which applicants are selected.
Resident and nonresident hunters may apply. Through the online application process, hunters will select hunts by species, equipment, location and more – including the hunt type: 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 hunter age 18 or younger, accompanied by an adult age 21 or older who may not hunt. Mentored Hunts are open to both youth and novice hunters supervised by a mentor age 21 or older who may also hunt.
Successful applicants will be emailed their hunt permit, as well as area maps and other pertinent information. Hunters are responsible for purchasing necessary licenses and permits required by law.
Most special hunts are for deer and upland game, but opportunities also exist for waterfowl, dove, turkey and furbearers.
For more information on the Special Hunts Program, and to apply, visit ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting,” then “Special Hunts Information.”