Several events designed for youth, disabled, women, and novice hunters
PRATT -- On the weekends of April 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23, the Westar Energy Green Team will host first-time turkey hunters at its Jeffrey Energy Center west of Topeka. Assisted by volunteer, employee guides and hunting from stationary ground blinds, youngsters and their adult mentors will hunt in prime fields closed to the public until the youth hunters are through.

Hunts will begin in the early morning. Participants must bring shotguns, shells, and turkey permits for Unit 2; everything else will be provided.
While an adult mentor is required, no turkey hunting experience is needed because this hunt is designed for those who have minimal experience turkey hunting. Success rates in past years of the program have been high, and with good bird numbers again this year, young hunters should have a good chance to bag a bird.

Hunters will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply, phone Brad Loveless at Westar Energy, 785-575-8115, by Thursday, March 30. Successful applicants will be notified by Monday, April 3.

Two other special spring turkey hunts will be conducted in the scenic Flint Hills region of the state, near Council Grove . These hunts provide opportunities for disabled and women hunters. The event for hunters with disabilities will be held on Saturday, April 8, during the disabled and youth special season. The women’s hunt will be held on Saturday, April 22, during the second weekend of the regular spring turkey season. All hunters will be provided with guides.

These two special hunts -- coordinated by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks in cooperation with area chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation , Quail Unlimited , Ducks Unlimited , and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- provide opportunities for novice and experienced hunters to learn about turkey hunting. The groups sponsoring these events have recognized that without assistance from mentors, disabled and women outdoor enthusiasts may never participate in hunting or may discontinue hunting.

Although aimed at beginning turkey hunters, more experienced hunters may participate as enrollment allows. Participating hunters will be guided to locations on public and private land. Volunteers will arrange transportation to hunting sites. Each event will also include door prizes, a turkey hunting presentation, and a hunter’s breakfast and lunch.

Registration is required before April 1. For more information, phone Brent Konen, Council Grove Wildlife Area manager, at 620-767-5900.