November 1, 2012

Young hunters get chance to hunt before regular pheasant and quail season opens

PRATT—Those of us who’ve hunted pheasants and quail for years have the second Saturday in November indelibly marked on our mind’s calendar. That’s the traditional opening day of Kansas’ pheasant and quail seasons, and rain or shine, good bird populations or not, we’ll honor our bird hunting heritage and get out in the fields on opening day. However, the weekend before opening day is perhaps even more important to our youth and our hunting traditions.

November 3-4 are reserved for youth 16 and younger to hunt pheasants and quail under adult supervision. The youth season was established as part of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Pass It On program, which is designed to recruit and retain hunters. The youth season provides young hunters and their mentors the opportunity to be in the field before the crowds of opening day. Adults may not hunt. Public lands and Walk-In Hunting Access lands are open, and hunting pressure is usually light. Adult mentors can pass on their hunting knowledge to youth without giving up their own opening day traditions.

Resident youth 15 and younger do not need anything other than an adult supervisor to hunt during the youth season. Hunter education certification is recommended but not necessary as long as the youth hunts under adult supervision. Sixteen-year-old hunters need a hunting license and hunter education is required to purchase a hunting license, unless they opt for the apprentice license. Anyone 16 or older who has not completed an approved hunter education course may purchase an apprentice license, which is a one-time deferral of the hunter education requirement. Adult supervision is required at all times for an apprentice license holder, even during the regular season.

Daily bag limits during the youth pheasant and quail season are half those of the regular season; 2 rooster pheasants and 4 quail.

An annual resident hunting license is $20.50. However, resident youth age 16-21 qualify for a multi-year hunting license, which is valid through the year they turn 21. It’s a bargain at $42.50 for the hunting license and $72.50 for the combination hunting/fishing license.