Kansas Hunt a Blast for JAKES Essay Contest Winner
NWTF hunt winner Ian Shofner (right), and guide Joel Pile (left), pose with their turkey taken at the Kansas Governor's One Shot Turkey Hunt.
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EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Each year, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) gives members of its youth programs, Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship (JAKES) and Xtreme JAKES, the opportunity to enter an essay contest to win a coveted spot on the annual Kansas Governor's One Shot Turkey Hunt. This year's winner, Ian Shofner, recently joined Kan. Gov. Sam Brownback and more than 70 other hunters for the invitation-only event.
"I didn't realize how big the event really was. I got to meet Miss Kansas and Will Primos," said Shofner, 13. "I felt really privileged to be there because [if it weren't for the NWTF and JAKES] I would not have gone otherwise."
The governor's hunt began in 1987 as a way to raise awareness for the variety of wildlife and resources found in Kansas, and provide youth education and hunting opportunities for those who may not otherwise get the chance.
"The future of our hunting heritage begins with the recruitment of new hunters through partnerships like the one between the Kansas Governor's One Shot Turkey Hunt and JAKES," said Mandy Harling, NWTF Hunting Heritage Programs manager. "We invite everyone, regardless of age or gender, to explore the programs and membership options within the NWTF."
The essay contest is open to JAKES members ages 12-17. Each submission must detail why the person hunts. In his winning essay, Shofner wrote that he enjoys hunting because it allows him to spend time with his family, something he considers important. For more information on JAKES membership, programs or contests, visit www.nwtf.org/jakes.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
Find out more about the Kansas Governor's One Shot Turkey Hunt essay contest or Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.