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Youth dove hunting events provide high-quality experiences

 

Dove hunting can be a perfect opportunity to get a young hunter started in wingshooting. The weather is mild, action can be fast and shot opportunities numerous. It is safe and allows close supervision by a mentor as hunters sit quietly and wait for doves to fly into a feed field or water source. With a little pre-season shotgun practice, a young hunter can enjoy a fantastic hunting experience. And to improve the odds of success, a youth dove hunting event like those listed below offer limited access to fields specially managed to attract doves.

 

In northcentral Kansas, the Osborne County Pheasants Forever (PF) Chapter and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) will host an opening weekend dove hunt. This hunt is expected to provide young hunters with plenty of shooting action as the birds flock to grain fields for morning feeding.

 

Youth between the ages of 10 and 16 who have had limited dove hunting experience are invited to register. Applicants who have not hunted before will be given preference to participate. Only the youngsters will be hunting, and each hunter will have at least one adult mentor at their side. All hunters must be strong enough to handle their guns safely.

 

The hunt will begin early Saturday morning, Sept. 2, on the Glen Elder Wildlife Area near Waconda Lake in Mitchell County. A managed crop field on the lake property will be reserved exclusively for this event. Hunters will meet before sunrise on the morning of the hunt at the Glen Elder Wildlife Area shop in Cawker City to organize and be paired with adult mentors before heading to the field. After the hunt, all participants will enjoy a free lunch provided by Osborne County Pheasants Forever where stories of the morning’s hunt can be re-lived and shared.

 

Young hunters who would like to participate in the hunt must pre-register by calling the Glen Elder Area Office at (785) 545-3345 (8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays). The sign-up deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. Spots are limited, so hunters are encouraged to register early.

Shotguns can be provided for kids who do not have one. Twelve- and 20-gauge non-toxic shotgun shells will be provided. Hunters 16 and older must have hunting licenses and Harvest Information Program (HIP) permits.

 

For more information or if you would like to assist with this event, contact Chris Lecuyer (KDWPT) at 785-(545) 3345 or John Cockerham (PF) at (785) 346-6527.

 

In northeastern Kansas, the Jayhawk Chapter of the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF) and KDWPT will host the chapter’s 10th Annual Youth Dove Hunt on Sept. 2. Hunters 16 and younger are invited to register for the hunt, which will take place at Clinton Wildlife Area west of Lawrence and begins at sunrise. Mentors will accompany all participants, but non-hunting family members are encouraged to attend.

 

Non-toxic shells and eye and ear protection will be provided to participants, who are encouraged to dress in camouflage or dark-colored clothing. Shotguns are available on request. Participants age 16 must have a Kansas hunting licenses and HIP permits.

 

For more details and to register, contact Dr. John Hill at (785) 841-9555 or (785) 550-5657, or by e-mail at hills4ku@hotmail.com.

 

The Westar Energy Green Team is hosting its annual youth dove hunt at Jeffrey Energy Center near St. Marys Sept. 1-4. Early-morning and late-afternoon hunts will be offered.

 

Youth 16 and younger are invited to register. Hunters must bring their own shotguns and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. Sixteen-year-olds must have hunting licenses and HIP permits. Non-toxic shells will be provided. Wheat and sunflower fields have been prepared to attract doves, so action should be lively.

 

Hunters will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To request an application, call Jeanine Heinisch at (785) 575-6355 by Friday, Aug. 25.

Youth outdoor festival in Hays August 19

 

If you’re interested in introducing your child to the world of shooting sports, hunting, fishing and other outdoor-related activities, head out to Hays on August 19 for the 20th Annual Youth Outdoor Festival. Hays area businesses, conservation groups and shooting sports groups have teamed together to offer a free day of target shooting and outdoor activities for youth 17 and younger and your family is invited to attend. The event will be held Saturday, August 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hays City Sportsman’s Club, located 1/4 mile north of I-70 Exit 157.

 

Youth will learn the ins and outs of trap and skeet shooting, archery equipment, air rifles and BB guns, muzzleloaders, small-bore rifles, and more. There will also be a casting competition, paintball target shooting, and a furharvesting demonstration.

 

Youth will be closely supervised at each station by experienced volunteer instructors, and all equipment will be supplied. Hunter Education certification is not required, however, youth are required to be accompanied by an adult.

 

There is no cost to attend and families can register onsite the day of the event.

 

A free lunch will be provided courtesy of Eagle Communications and the Hays Chapter of Pheasants Forever. Youth will also have chances to win prizes, including guns, fishing tackle and other outdoor equipment.

 

For more information, contact Kent Hensley at (785) 726-3212 or Troy Mattheyer at (785) 726-4212.

Sign up for Hunter Ed before fall seasons start

 

Taking Hunter Education has never been more convenient thanks to Internet-assisted courses designed to allow students to complete their classwork at home. After a student completes their Internet work, they can attend a field day to complete their final test and certification. Field days typically include live-fire, a trail-walk and safe gun handing exercises. Students must register for an Internet-assisted course (field day) before completing the online portion.

The easiest way to find a class that meets your schedule is to visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click Hunting, then Hunter Education. Students must be 11 or older to be certified. However, hunters 15 or younger may hunt without hunter education certification provided they are under the direct supervision of an adult 18 or older. Otherwise, anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 must be certified by an approved course before they can hunt in Kansas.

Those who prefer to learn in a classroom setting may sign up for a traditional hunter education course. Traditional courses are usually held over two to three days, totaling 10 hours of class time. To access a list of traditional courses currently being offered, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click Hunting, then Hunter Education.

Classes fill up quickly, so register early and make sure you’re Hunter Ed certified before fall seasons start!

Listen to the animals at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center

 

Bioacoustics: chirps, whistles, croaks and clicks; sounds that combine in an animal opera of high drama for eavesdropping scientists. Discover what animals are saying during the free program, “Listening to Animals,” on Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m. at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center in Great Bend.

 

Mark Nolen, professor of biology at Hutchinson Community College, will share information on the up-and-coming field of biology called bioacoustics – the study of animal communication and sound. Nolen will explain how studying the sounds animals use to communicate provides a window into animal worlds and information on their social interactions.

 

Apart from listening to a choir of interesting animal sounds, participants will learn how knowledge of bioacoustics in our environment can enrich our experience in nature and add a new dimension to the scientific understanding of biology and ecology.

 

“Listening To Animals” will be a kickoff to the KWEC’s Cheyenne Bottoms FrogWatch year. FrogWatch is a citizen science program administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that enlists volunteers to monitor local frog and toad populations by listening for their calls. KWEC staff will provide training and resources to volunteers so they can identify local frogs and toads throughout the breeding season at Cheyenne Bottoms. Attendees of the March 12 program do not have to participate in FrogWatch, however information about FrogWatch will be available.

 

To participate in FrogWatch, call the KWEC at (877) 243-9268.

Waconda Lake to host annual youth and women’s pheasant hunt

 

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and sponsoring partners will conduct the 2016 Youth and Women’s Celebrity Pheasant Hunt at Waconda Lake (Glen Elder Reservoir) on Saturday, Dec. 10. The event will begin at 7:15 a.m. with breakfast in the Hopewell Church basement at Glen Elder State Park, followed by a pre-hunt safety program. Hunters, guides, and mentors will then spend the remainder of the morning and early afternoon hunting various limited-access refuge areas around Glen Elder Reservoir. Lunch will be provided by the Waconda Lake Association.

 

Youth ages 11-16 and women are eligible to apply for this hunt, which is designed to provide comfortable and positive hunting experiences for new or beginning hunters. Previous hunting experience is not required, and some shotguns and ammunition can be provided for those without equipment. Hunters must apply no later than Dec. 1 by calling the Glen Elder Area Office at (785) 545-3345 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Forty spots will be available.

 

A unique aspect of this event is that participants will interact with and hunt alongside a few Hero-Celebrities invited to serve as hunting mentors. Past mentors include former professional athletes, television personalities, and military personnel who have recently returned from deployment.

Participants can also visit trap shooting stations that will be set up west of the KDWPT Glen Elder Area Office. From 1:30 – 4 p.m., the public is welcome to enjoy shooting at the stations.

 

All participants will receive a commemorative item from the event, as well as additional prizes provided by sponsors. The hunters’ banquet and dinner will be held Saturday night. All event participants are invited to attend and will be asked to RSVP for the banquet when they sign up for the hunt.

 

For more information on this event, or to serve as a volunteer mentor, contact Chris Lecuyer at (785) 545-3345.

Council Grove youth shotgun and archery clinic October 29

 

Youth age 11-16 are invited to a free shotgun and archery shooting and safety clinic on Saturday, October 29 at Council Grove Reservoir. This special event will provide participants with opportunities to enhance their firearm and archery shooting skills in a fun and safe environment under controlled instruction. The clinic will be led by certified firearm, archery, and hunter education instructors and all gear and supplies – including shotguns, shells, bows, arrows, targets, and eye and ear protection ­– will be provided. Participants must preregister for this event before Oct. 21 by calling Brent Konen, Council Grove Wildlife Area manager, at (620) 767-5900. Participants are not required to be hunter education certified, but certification is preferred.

 

The clinic will begin at noon at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) area between Marina Cove and Neosho Park, approximately 0.25 miles west of the COE office at the west end of the dam. Check-in and a free lunch provided by the Flint Hills Chapter of Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF), will begin at 12 p.m. Instruction will then begin at 12:30 p.m. and end at approximately 4 p.m.

 

Door prizes will be awarded, including a youth model 20-gauge pump-action shotgun and a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle.

 

This event is part of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) “Pass It On” Program. Event sponsors include KDWPT, the Kansas Hunter Education program, Archery in The Schools, COE, the Flint Hills QUWF, the Chisholm Trail Chapter of Safari Club International, the Bill Young Foundation, and the Morris County Hunter Education instructors.

Youth invited to hunt deer at Jeffrey Energy Center

 

Youth 12 and older with little or no deer hunting experience are invited to apply for a special deer hunting opportunity at Jeffrey Energy Center, courtesy of the Westar Energy Green Team. The center is located 7 miles north of St. Marys, and hunts will be held during the firearm deer season, Nov. 30 through Dec. 11, 2016. Applications will be accepted until Friday, Nov. 4 and successful hunters will be notified by November 11. To apply, contact Barb Cornelius at (785) 575-8125.

 

Successful applicants must be accompanied by an adult mentor. Hunts will be in the early morning or late afternoon. A limited number of slots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis with priority going to those with little or no deer hunting experience. Hunting will be done from blinds, and participants will be led by volunteers, who are experienced hunters. Hunters are encouraged to bring their own rifle, but one can be provided if needed.

 

Every hunter must have a deer permit valid in Deer Management Unit 9, and hunters 16 and older must also have a hunting license and hunter education certificate.

 

An orientation session will be conducted on Saturday, Nov. 19, when organizers will instruct youth hunters on general firearm safety, deer biology and assist youth with sighting in rifles.

 

The Green Team’s annual youth deer hunts are designed to encourage youth interested in learning about hunting to give it a try. The hunts provide safe and fun hunting experiences in an area where the odds of success are high due to the abundance of deer.

There’s still time to take Hunter Education

 

Fall hunting seasons may have started, but there’s still time to get into a Kansas Hunter Education class near you. October is chock-full of opportunities, and with Internet-assisted courses, finding one to fit your schedule has never been more convenient. The easiest way to find a class near you is to visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting,” then “Hunter Education.” Students must be 11 or older to be certified. However, hunters 15 or younger may hunt without hunter education certification provided they are under the direct supervision of an adult 18 or older. Otherwise, anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 must be certified by an approved course before they can hunt in Kansas.

 

Class schedules are organized by format: traditional or Internet-assisted. Traditional hunter education courses are 10 hours long and are usually held over two to three days. Internet-assisted courses are designed to meet the needs of individuals with busy schedules by providing online classwork that can be done at home. After the Internet work is completed, students must attend a field day, which often includes live-fire, trail-walk and safe gun handing exercises before final testing and certification. Students must register for an Internet-assisted course (field day) before completing the online portion.

 

Classes fill up quickly, so early registration is encouraged. Sign up today and we’ll see you in the field!

Youth waterfowl seasons perfect introduction

 

There is something magical when a flock of ducks with wings set, sail into a hunter’s decoy spread. That sight will set even a veteran hunter’s heart to stuttering. Imagine what it can do to a young hunter. The Kansas youth waterfowl seasons provide the perfect venues to introduce young hunters to duck hunting, opening prior to the regular seasons in all zones: Oct. 1-2 in the High Plains and Low Plains Early zones, Oct. 22-23 in the Low Plains Late Zone, and Nov. 5-6 in the Low Plains Southeast Zone.

 

Youth 15 and younger may hunt under the supervision of an adult 18 or older, who may not hunt. Youth hunters may take ducks and geese, and daily bag limits are the same as those during the regulation duck and goose seasons.

 

The youth seasons provide mentoring opportunities under uncrowded and noncompetitive conditions, even on public lands because hunting pressure is light. And hunting waterfowl over decoys from a boat or blind is a very safe, controlled hunting method for a young hunter who may be just learning to handle a shotgun.

 

Take advantage of the youth seasons to get a young hunter hooked on hunting. They say there are no casual duck hunters; either you live for it or you don’t care for it. When a young hunter discovers how much fun duck hunting is, he or she may develop an outdoor passion that will last the rest of their life.

 

Find out more about the waterfowl seasons and regulations in the 2016 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, available wherever licenses are sold and online at KSOutdoors.com.

 

National Wild Turkey Federation Youth Camp Oct. 1-2

 

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) will hold the 2016 NWTF Kansas State JAKES Camp, October 1-2 at White Memorial Camp, 6 miles north of Council Grove, off highway K177. The camp is open to youth 17 and younger and features fishing, arts and crafts, BB gun shooting, trap and target shooting, 3D archery, canoeing, flint knapping, and turkey calling with turkey hunting legend Ray Eye. Youth participants can attend up to six programs on Saturday, and on Saturday evening JAKES members can participate in the annual NWTF Kansas Turkey Calling contest. Prizes will be awarded to the top three places in two divisions: JAKES, age 12 and under and Xtreme JAKES, age 13 to 17.  Later in the evening, wildlife impersonator Ralph Duren will entertain everyone with his “Calls of the Wild” program.

 

On Sunday, Pastor Gary Cargill will start the day with a sunrise service. Activities on Sunday morning include a presentation by Mick Bowman on predator calling and a program by Ray Eye on youth turkey hunting.

 

The cost is $20 for JAKES members, $30 for non-JAKES members (which includes a JAKES membership), and $20 for adults. Attendees may tent camp (bring your own tent) Saturday night or commute both days. Attendees also have the option to stay in a cabin with bunk beds and a shared bath for an additional fee. Boys and girls will have separate cabins. There are also a few RV hookups. The cost includes lunch and supper on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday, prepared by the White Memorial Camp kitchen staff. All youth participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt and win a drawing prize at the end of the event on Sunday. Some lucky youth will win a shotgun.

 

For more info and to register, contact Gib Rhodes at (620) 437-2012.

 

The NWTF Kansas State JAKES Camp was awarded the “Best State JAKES Event” in 2012, the “Best Special JAKES Event” in 2013 at the NWTF National Convention in Nashville, Tenn., and “Honorable Mention” in 2013, 2014, and 2015.