The governor’s annual turkey hunt
The Governor’s Annual One-Shot Turkey Hunt, an El Dorado, Kansas-based non-profit organization, disbanded its organization and operations on December 31, 2022. Founded in 1986 by El Dorado Chamber President Marv McCown, then Kansas Governor Mike Hayden and community businessman Ramon Criss, the Hunt hosted hunters from all over the United States.
The Hunt began as a for-profit organization, but became a non-profit organization in 2010. The mission of education and outdoor opportunities helped the event raise money for college scholarships and University of Kansas and has provided hunting opportunities to participants in Youth Hunter and Hunting Heroes programs.
Upon disbandment and in accordance with policies and regulations, the Governor’s Hunt awarded several gifts to organizations whose mission closely aligned with theirs. The recipients are the Kansas 4H Foundation for Butler County 4H Shooting Sports and Cowley County 4H Shooting Sports, Friends of the Shooting Range at El Dorado Lake, and the Kansas 4H Foundation for the new Shooting Range at Rock Springs Ranch. Additionally, a voluntary Memorial Scholarship was established with the Butler Foundation at Butler Community College. The remainder of the funds went to the Wayne Willis Scholarship Fund, the original fund established by the Governor’s Annual One-Shot Turkey Hunt. That fund is managed by the Central Kansas Community Foundation.
The office at 200 S. Main, El Dorado is closed. In line with Governor’s Hunt policy, personal information collected from the event will not be shared without permission. Historical and award data has been archived.
Paul Wilkins, outgoing chairman of the Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt Annual Board, said, “We express our sincere thanks to El Dorado, Butler County and the state of Kansas, along with every single guide, landowner, volunteer, sponsor and friend who supported the hunt. In 37 years many friendships have been formed and many lives have been enriched by the event”.