PRATT – The 2019 dove season opens on Sept. 1 and there is no better time to introduce youth to hunting. Aside from a proper-fitting shotgun, a good supply of shotgun shells, and a mentor, special equipment isn’t needed. Better yet, you won’t have to battle the bitter winter temperatures that are sure to come with later hunting seasons.
Several organizations, including Pheasants Forever, Westar Energy’s Green Team, and the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation, take advantage of this mild season by hosting youth hunts on opening weekend. These special events are safe, fun and free, and more often than not, they’re hosted on lands rife with opportunity. Find a hunt near you, and pass on the joys of wingshooting this fall.
OSBORNE COUNTY PHEASANTS FOREVER HUNT, Sept. 1-2
The Osborne County Pheasants Forever (PF) chapter, in partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), invites youth ages 10-16 to participate in an opening weekend dove hunt on Sept. 1 or 2, 2019. This hunt is expected to provide kids with plenty of shooting action as the birds flock to grain fields for morning feeding and ponds for evening water.
Participants should have limited previous dove hunting experience, and those who have not hunted before will be given preference. Only youth may hunt, and they must be strong enough to handle their shotgun safely. Participants will have at least one adult mentor at their side to assist them, so parents can rest easy knowing their child will have guidance.
Hunts will either take place the evening of Sunday, Sept. 1 at local private ponds or early morning on Monday, Sept. 2 on a Glen Elder Wildlife Area managed crop field. Participants will be notified several days in advance as to where and when their hunt will take place. After the hunt, participants can enjoy a free meal courtesy of the Osborne County PF chapter.
Shotguns can be provided upon request, and 12 and 20 gauge shotgun shells will be provided for all hunters. Hunters age 16 will be required to have a hunting license and Harvest Information Stamp (HIP) stamp prior to participating.
Parents must pre-register their child by calling the Glen Elder Area Office at (785) 545-3345 (8 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays). Deadline to register is Wednesday, August 28. Spots are limited, so families are encouraged to register early.
For more on this event, contact Chris Lecuyer (KDWPT) at (785) 545-3345 or John Cockerham (PF) at (785) 346-6527.
WESTAR ENERGY GREEN TEAM HUNT, Sept. 1-2
Dove season is here and the Westar Energy Green Team is hosting its annual youth dove hunt to kick off the season. It’s an excellent way for youth to learn the dove hunting basics, and with plenty of birds flying at close range.
Hunts will take place at Jeffrey Energy Center near St. Marys on Sunday, Sept. 1 and Monday, Sept. 2 either in the early morning or late afternoon.
Youth 16 and younger may participate, given they have their own shotgun and are accompanied by a non-hunting adult. Hunters age 16 must have a hunting license and HIP stamp. Non-toxic shells will be provided to all hunters.
The Center’s spacious wheat and sunflower fields have been prepared to draw plenty of doves, so action should be lively.
Hunters will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunts will be scheduled as requests dictate and hunting groups can be formed.
To sign up a youth, contact Shelly Gomez at (785) 575-6355 no later than Monday, Aug. 26.
QUAIL AND UPLAND WILDLIFE FEDERATION HUNT, Sept. 1
The Jayhawk Chapter of the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF), in collaboration with KDWPT, invite youth age 15 and younger to register for an exclusive dove hunt at Clinton Wildlife Area.The Sept. 1, 2019 opening day hunt will begin at sunrise. Parents are welcome to attend as mentors, however mentors will be available if needed.
Participants can expect lots of opportunity, as the hunt will take place on specially-managed dove fields on Clinton Wildlife Area reserved for youth only.
Non-toxic shells will be provided and shotguns are available upon request.
For more details and to register, contact Dr. John Hill at (785) 550-5657 no later than Wednesday, August 28. Spots are limited, so hunters are encouraged to register soon.
For more information about the Jayhawk Chapter of QUWF and other sponsored events, visit www.jawhawkquwf.com.