I'm crying foul.
Just as I was ready to submit my special hunts application to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, I got a message that the application period has completed.
I mean seriously, who knew?
To be honest, I've had misgivings about the wildlife agency's special hunts program for a long time, but it's nigh on to impossible to be against the idea of passing on the tradition of hunting to our youth.
I tried to with my three daughters, and the jury's still out on only one. She might like it, but age might make the idea of killing, cleaning and cooking wildlife simply unappealing.
And I never used the special hunts to pass along the tradition.
I have, however, thought about renting a novice hunter so that I could make my way into some of the prime hunting spots around the state.
You know, those "refuges" that are supposed to provide protection to wildlife, make them fat and happy.
But no, a refuge simply isn't a refuge anymore.
It's a take your kid hunting spot these days, and to be honest, I've got a problem with that. Not because of the kid, mind you, but the adult who takes the kid hunting -- and is able to actively participate in the hunting as well.
Gone, apparently, are the days when adults were willing to give of their time to see youngsters enjoy life. You know, when an adult would take a kid hunting, relishing the excitement that comes from watching a youngster shoot his -- or in my case her -- first pheasant or deer.
Now, the adult needs that excitement, too.
But I was shocked the other day when I stumbled upon KDWP&T's special hunts website.
Selecting them all, I came up with just an overabundance of these special hunts.
All of them allow "mentors" to join in the hunt and the harvest. Honestly, that opens up the possibility those won't be mentors, but rather opportunists.
What shocked me the most, however, is I'm eligible for many of these special hunts -- for waterfowl and deer alike.
You see, there's a little known provision in many of these hunts that allow anyone who hasn't hunted or purchased a duck stamp or deer permit in the past three years to be the novice.
And gee, all I have to do is find someone willing to take me on to prime ground to join in the hunt. I'm sure there's a waiting list already.
Heck, I almost even qualify for special upland game bird hunts.
How patently absurd. I'm no novice. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
This is simply a perk for people who want to get in on the great places to hunt and are just too lazy to go out and find a spot.
It's a disturbing practice and should be stopped immediately.
If the idea is to pass along the tradition of hunting, let's not make this some sort of exclusive hunting club.
We have enough of those already. They're just called controlled shooting areas.