PRATT – Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) Special Hunts Program is just that: a program that provides lucky hunters with special hunting experiences. The program offers hunting opportunities with limited access to public and private land, providing the potential for higher quality hunts and greater harvest rates. Interested hunters must apply online. The application period for First Draw Hunts (hunts occurring in September and October) closes Aug. 10, 2015. The application period for Second Draw Hunts (hunts occurring in November, December, January and February) closes Sept. 28, 2015.
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, including 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. And 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 2015-2016 hunting seasons.
Applicants will be entered into a random computer drawing conducted within one week of the application deadline. Successful applicants will be emailed their hunt permit, as well as any 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 27 different wildlife areas, seven state parks, 11 private land parcels, one national wildlife refuge, two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers areas and three city/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. There are 317 Open Hunts, 121 Mentor Hunts, 71 Youth Hunts, and two deer hunts for individuals with disabilities.
For more information on the Special Hunts Program, visit ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting/Special Hunts Information.”