Jack Parks, an 8th-grader at Peabody-Burns Middle School, has been selected as one of two youth hunters to participate in the Kansas Governor’s Ringneck Classic in Goodland this week.
Jack, 13, is an avid hunter, his mother, Stacey Parks, said.
“He has always loved being outdoors,” she said. “He dropped a fishing line in the water for the first time when he was about 18 months old. He has been hunting since he was 8 or so.”
Jack has been involved with shooting sports in 4-H. In September, he attended a 4-H competition in Topeka for skeet and trap shooting for the first time. He also tried his hand at sporting clays for the first time. While skeet and trap shooting use repetitive target action, sporting clays create target action more like actual quarry — with varying speeds, angles, distance, and size.
“He qualified for state in skeet and trap shooting,” Stacey said. “But he really liked the sporting clays. He is always looking for the next shooting challenge.”
Jack found his next challenge when he and his father went to Chisholm Trail Gun Shop in Hillsboro for ammunition. The owner, Craig Dodd, told him about special youth hunts at the Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt in El Dorado and the Governor’s Ringneck Classic in northwest Kansas.
He and his parents looked up the hunts on the Internet and he decided to try for the Ringneck Classic, open to ages 12 to 16 with a hunter safety certificate. Jack also submitted an essay about why he hunts.
“I’ve never gotten to hunt pheasant before and would like to experience it,” he wrote. “I think my experience with skeet and sporting clays will help me with being able to successfully hunt pheasant. I hope to get the opportunity.”
Stacey Parks said her son is very laid back and does not get excited on a hunt.
“He is very low key,” she said. “Very patient and he just loves doing it.”
Jack’s father, Glendon Parks, will accompany him to the Ringneck Classic, which will take place from Thursday through Saturday.