PRATT – Exclusive access to land not normally open to hunting and above average success rates. Sound like an expensive hunting lease? Well, it’s not. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Special Hunts program provides hundreds of such hunts each fall, and there’s no charge. All you have to do is apply.
The program offers hunting opportunities with limited access to public and private land, providing the potential for high-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 15, 2017, and the deadline for First Draw Hunts (hunts occurring in September and October) is 9 a.m., Aug. 14, 2017. The application deadline for Second Draw Hunts (hunts occurring in November, December, January and February) is 9 a.m., Sept. 25, 2017.
Any resident or nonresident hunter may apply. When applying online, hunters will select hunts by species, date and category, which include 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 2017-2018 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 area maps and other pertinent information. Hunters are responsible for purchasing necessary licenses and permits required by law.
Special hunts 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, equipment 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 ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting,” then “Special Hunts Information.”