Solid bird numbers offer chance to "Pass It On"

The 2006 youth quail and pheasant season runs Oct. 28-29 this year, and bird populations in much of the state look very good. This provides a formula for mentors to take youngsters afield and pass on the hunting tradition. Wildlife areas and Walk-In-Hunting Access (WIHA) areas offer more than 1 million acres of public land for those without access to private ground. (Hunters should be aware that some WIHA areas are available now, but others are not open until Nov. 1. Check signs or the 2006 Kansas Hunting Atlas for details.)

All youth season hunters must be under the direct supervision of an adult 18 or older; the accompanying adult may not hunt. Youth hunters under 16 years of age will be able to participate without having to possess a hunter education certificate although resident youth age 16 and all nonresident youth must have a valid hunting license.

The youth season is an ideal opportunity for adults to teach hunter ethics and responsibility and help young hunters understand how to have a safe and enjoyable hunt. Positive, enthusiastic mentors can make this training as much fun as hunting itself. Start slow and be patient. If young hunters are not ready to hunt this year but still want to go, take them out and flush a few birds. Let them carry an unloaded firearm and practice going through the motions. When the youngsters tire, call it a day rather than wearing them out.

More information on youth hunting programs in Kansas, including the Pass It On program, phone 620-672-5911. Copies of the Kansas Hunting Atlas may be downloaded from this website. Printed copies are available at most KDWP offices and license vendors.