PRATT – Opening day of the 2018 dove season is coming and there’s good reason Kansas families are blocking off the weekend of Sept. 1-2: it’s a great introductory season for new hunters. Youth don’t have to battle winter temperatures, cart around dozens of decoys, or own any special equipment to hunt doves. Apart from a location, all youth hunters really need is a pair of jeans and earth-colored shirt, a proper-fitting shotgun and good supply of shotgun shells, and a mentor.
If you’ve got the clothing part covered, often there are organizations out there – like Pheasants Forever and Westar Energy – that can help with the rest. These special hunts are safe, fun and perfect for families.
OSBORNE COUNTY PHEASANTS FOREVER HUNT, Sept. 1
The Osborne County Pheasants Forever (PF) chapter, in partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), invite youth age 10-16 to participate in an opening-day dove hunt, Sept. 1, 2018. This hunt is expected to provide kids with plenty of shooting action as the birds flock to grain fields for morning feeding.
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. Each participant will have at least one adult mentor at their side to assist them, so parents can rest easy knowing their child will have guidance.
The hunt will take place early morning on the Glen Elder Wildlife Area, where a managed crop field on the public wildlife area will be reserved exclusively for the 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 pair up with mentors. After the hunt, participants can enjoy a free lunch courtesy of the Osborne County Pheasants Forever chapter where stories of the morning’s hunt can be relived and shared.
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 29. Spots are limited, so hunters are encouraged to register early.
Shotguns can be provided, and 12 and 20 gauge shotgun shells will be provided for the hunters. Hunters age 16 will be required to have a hunting license and Harvest Information Stamp (HIP) stamp prior to participating.
For more on this event, contact Chris Lecuyer (KDWPT) at (785) 545-3345 or John Cockerham (PF) at (785) 346-6527.
WESTAR ENERGY DOVE HUNT, Sept. 1-3
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 Saturday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 3 in the early morning or late afternoon.
Youth 16 and younger may participate given they have their own shotgun, are accompanied by a non-hunting adult. Hunters age 16 must have a hunting license and HIP stamp. Nontoxic shells will be provided.
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 by Friday, Aug. 24.