Each year, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) program conducts a writing contest for a chance to win a coveted spot on the annual Kansas Governor's One Shot Turkey Hunt.
This year's winner, Adam Newton, joined Kan. Gov. Sam Brownback, Brownback's son, and more than 70 other hunters for the invitation-only event, April 16 through 18.
"I was very surprised to win the contest. Nobody ever thinks they will win these types of things but you have to at least enter them if you want a chance to win," said Newton, 16. "It was very cool to shoot a turkey during the hunt especially since Billy Yargus, the 2015 NWTF Grand National Calling Champion, was the one who called the bird in for me."
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 hunters through partnerships like the one between the Kansas Governor's One Shot Turkey Hunt and JAKES," said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. "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 to 17. Each submission must detail why the person hunts. In his winning essay, Newton wrote that he has learned many valuable life lessons through hunting, such as patience, responsibility and respect.
Other notable hunt participants include Realtree's David Blanton and legendary caller and callmaker Preston Pittman.