TOPEKA (KSNT) – It’s a day hunters around the state have been looking forward to: the start of the rifle deer hunting season in Kansas.

27 News met up with an Evergy Green team member about a program that’s helping younger hunters hit the bullseye. Just seven miles north of St. Marys, the Jeffrey Energy Center is hosting it’s annual deer hunt for the next 10 days. The purpose of the event is to teach first time hunters safe hunting techniques.

Sixteen teenagers from across the state will hunt around the property, alongside adult mentors who ensure their safety. Creating learning opportunities for those who wouldn’t otherwise have access means a lot to workers.

“You can teach a kid how to hunt correctly, and teach them how to do it safely,” Environmental Compliance at Jeffrey Energy Center JD Schlegel said. “It’s something they can continue to do and provide for their family for the rest of their lives. A young child that we teach to hunt now can hunt for the rest of their life, and it’s unique skills and opportunities that can provide for their family throughout the future.”

To make sure your hunt is as safe as possible, the US Forest Service recommends alerting someone to when and where you will be hunting, and your expected return time.

Additionally, checking the weather ahead of time and knowing the area before beginning your hunt will make your trip that much safer.