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HUNTING GUIDE Nor’West Newspapers

Bird City Times The

Goodland Star-News



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Welcome Hunting guide

Welcome to the Northwest Kansas Hunting Guide, brought to you by the Nor’West Newspapers group, including the Bird City Times, Colby Free Press, The Goodland StarNews, The Norton Telegram, The Oberlin Herald and The Saint Francis Herald. The newspapers and the advertisers listed below want to welcome you to our area and provide you with the merchandise and services you need for an enjoyable stay. Please hunt safely and enjoy the great outdoors.

Fall 2012

We welcome you this year and hope you will return many more times in the years to come to enjoy our hospitality and our wildlife. The photo on the front cover was taken by Dana Paxton of The Norton Telegram and shows Jay Mulder, 11, of Logan, son of Rex Mulder. Logan and Amy Blackburn of Prairie View displayed his first ever pheasant. Jay is the grandson of Delvis Miller of Norton and killed the rooster with his 20 gauge Mossburg Youth Pump.

A cock pheasant walks on the edge of a field.

Index to Advertisers

Acme Touch ..................................................18H Advanced Autobody......................................36H Attitudes Steakhouse and Lounge...................3H B-Hive ...........................................................40H Bainter Elk Ranch .........................................15H Ben-Lee Processing .....................................16H Bier’s Hometown Appliance .........................20H Bill’s Shootin Shop .......................................31H Bottle Gallery ................................................32H Brooks Motel ..................................................3H Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts ......................20H Colby Ag Center............................................38H Colby Automotive .........................................26H Colby Convention and Visitors Bureau ........32H Colby Glass Co.. ...........................................35H Colby Promotions Committee.......................14H Colby Travel Center ......................................27H Comfort Inn-Colby........................................40H Coyote Country 105.3 FM ............................10H Craft Peddler .................................................36H Dale’s Fish ‘n’ Fun ........................................17H Decatur County Title and Abstract................15H Diamond R ....................................................22H Downtown Car Wash ......................................3H Ebke Liquor ....................................................3H Empire Motel ................................................22H End Zone .........................................................4H Engel’s Sales and Service Center....................4H Equipment Locator........................................16H F&M Insurance Store....................................39H Farm Credit of Western Kansas ....................37H Farm Implement and Supply.........................35H Farm and Ranch Realty.................................30H Farmers State Bank of Oakley ......................34H Fine Spirits Retail Liquor..............................16H Foley Equipment ...........................................28H

Fredrickson Insurance Agency ......................17H Gambinos Pizza, Colby.................................33H Good Samaritan, Goodland...........................26H Great Outdoors Gun Shop.............................36H Great Western Tire ........................................39H Hajoca Corp. .................................................32H Hayden Outdoors ..........................................26H Hidden Dragon ................................................5H Hillcrest Motel ................................................5H J & R Liquor ...................................................6H Jamboree Foods ..............................................6H K-Store ..........................................................20H Kansas Governor’s Ringneck Classic ...........31H Kansasland Tire, Norton ................................8H Knights Inn....................................................38H Kowpoke Supply.............................................9H La Canteras ...................................................12H LandMark Inn ...............................................16H Lobo Retail Liquor........................................34H Loker Retail Liquor.......................................23H Lee Hardy Construction. ................................6H Majestic Service ............................................23H McWilliams Construction ...............................7H Meadow Lake Golf Course and Restaurant .... 39H Mobe’s Archery and Taxidermy ....................21H New Age Industrial .........................................6H NexTech Colby .............................................38H NexTech Goodland .......................................25H Norton Auto Supply ........................................7H Norton Chiropractic Center.............................7H Norton Fuel Service ......................................19H Norton Animal Health Center .........................7H Norton County Hospital/Medical Clinic .........8H Norton Sports Center ......................................7H Norton Travel & Tourism ..............................11H Northwest Tech. ............................................26H

Oakley Veterinary Service, PA. .....................34H Oxford Locker .................................................5H Park Hill Restaurant and Lounge ..................21H Pizza Hut, Norton............................................6H Prairie Land Electric. ......................................8H Quality Inn/El Dos De Oros..........................40H Quality Urgent Care ......................................18H Republican Valley Vet ...................................22H Ringneck Country ........................................21H Roofmasters ..................................................35H Ruth’s Antiques .............................................37H Sainty Liquor ................................................20H Sleep Inn and Suites of Colby.......................39H Sleep Inn and Suites of Norton .......................9H Sleep Inn and Suites of Oakley .....................33H Sloan Plumbing .............................................12H S&S Gunworks .............................................37H Stanley Hardware ..........................................15H Stan’s Automotive .........................................34H SunOpta Grains & Food Group ....................26H Swartz Veterinary Hospital ..........................37H SW Supply ....................................................35H NexTech Goodland .......................................25H T&D Bait Shop .............................................12H The Norton Telegram ......................................4H The Ride 100.3 FM .......................................29H TNT RV Park ................................................23H TO Haas Tire .................................................37H Town and Country Kitchen ...........................31H Ultimate Fertilizer Co. .................................18H Walmart, Goodland .......................................13H Wane’s Carpet and Drapery ..........................13H Western Cartographers ..................................36H Whitefields Coffee House .............................11H Worden Law Office .......................................11H

Bird population drops a bunch after dry summer Kimberly Davis

The Oberlin Herald

The pheasant population in northwest Kansas has dropped a bunch after a hot, dry summer this year, state experts say, but still may be better than most surrounding states. Jim Pitman, small game coordinator with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, said this the second year that the number of birds has been down. The department has done a brood survey each year, counting the males, females and chicks from the year’s hatch. This year, the agency decided to “standardize” the survey. Mr. Pitman said because of this, it’s hard to compare this year’s results with last year’s. Next year, he said, the department will have a better comparison than it has in the past. During the six weeks in the summer, from the middle of July to the middle of August, all the Wildlife and Parks employees and rural mail carriers are asked to keep track of the number of pheasant and quail they see. Those numbers are handed into Mr. Pitman and he compiles them. In July, said Mr. Pitman, the mail carriers did their survey. It shows a 15 to 20 percent drop in birds for northwest Kansas. Last year, the brood survey showed a decrease of 25 percent in pheasant population in this area, he added. In the southwest part of the state, he said, the numbers are down 50 percent or more. West of U.S. 281, basically the western half of the state, said Mr. Pitman, the situation really bad. This has been the second year of no rain, drought and no chick production. “In that area of the state,” he said, “there aren’t really any adult birds to speak of.” According to the department’s 2012 Upland Bird Forecast, the breeding population shows a drop of nearly 50 percent or more. The drought last year, said Mr. Pitman, created poor habitat in the spring for nesting and the same thing happened again this year. “Drought has resulted in less cover and insects needed for good pheasant reproduction,” says the department’s forecast. “Additionally, winter wheat serves as major nesting habitat for pheasants in western Kansas, and a record early wheat harvest this summer likely destroyed some nests and young broods.” In 2010, said Mr. Pitman, the mail carrier survey results showed 5.3 birds per 100 square miles, in 2011 that number dropped to 3.355 and this year to 2.9 birds. Even with the drop in pheasant numbers in northwest Kansas, however, the population here is still better than any other part of the state.

Fall 2012

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Dinner Special: Tuesday through Saturday: 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Lunch Special: Tuesday through Friday: 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. PRIME RIB EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT

Welcome Hunters! Steakhouse and Lounge 402 S. State, Norton, KS Phone 785-874-4384

Welcome Hunters! Home Away from Home!

Hwy. 36 and 283, Norton, KS 67654 • Phone (785) 877-3381

Reservations 1-800-494-9244; Fax (785) 877-2188

A cock pheasant peeked through the grasses he was using to hide in. The brightly colored birds are what hunters are seeking. The pheasant population was at its highest in 2010, he said, after lows in 2001 and 2002. Since 2003, the pheasant numbers had been steadily increasing, said Mr. Pitman, until 2010. With the pheasant numbers already down last year, he added, there just weren’t very many adults to produce young this year. That combined with the weather just means fewer birds. Even though the number of birds here has dropped, he added, a lot of states haven’t had much habitat for the birds. “We still have birds,” said Mr. Pitman, “and are better off than others.” Hunters, said Mr. Pitman, need to know that a lot of the Conservation Reserve Program ground in the Walk-In Hunting Program was cut for hay or grazed this year because of the drought. The ground was opened to emergency haying and grazing because of the dry weather. That ground is still in the Walk-In Program, he said, adding that some type of disturbance to the ground is good because it helps the grass grow. Pheasant season starts Saturday, Nov. 10, in all of Kansas and runs until the last day of January. The bag limit is four a day throughout the state.

Have You Been Downtown? That’s Where We Are Two Blocks East of 283 on Main (301 E. Main, Norton)

“It’s Just More Fun to DrIve A CleAn CAr”

Ebke Liquor


Beer – Wine – Spirits – Lottery

Toast Your Hunting Success with Ebke’s Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-11 p.m. West Hwy. 36, Norton – 785-877-2152

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Hunting guide

Fall 2012

Your Archery Headquarters Matthews – Free Setup •Licenses •Guns •Ammunition •Clothes, Including Sports Items 102 S. Second, Norton 800-262-0283 785-877-2611

FAX: 785-877-3524

GOOD LUCK HUNTERS Sales and Service Center Inc.

209 W. Lincoln, Norton • 785-877-3391

Full Line of Parts – Service and Repair

Gary Walter helped sell chances to win one of the many giveaways at the Pheasants Forever banquet in Oberlin last year. – Photo by Kimberly Davis/The Oberlin Herald.

Pheasants group

By Dana Paxton

The Norton Telegram

Have a Safe and Successful Hunting Season!! THE NORTON


215 South Kansas Avenue • Norton, Kansas • 785-877-3361 E-mail:

Pheasants Forever celebrated its 30th anniversary on Aug. 5. It all started in 1982 when Dennis Anderson of Saint Paul, a columnist, hunter and conservationist, helped to form the group. Since then, the nationwide organization has had steady growth, even spreading into Canada. The group is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs. The members are a diverse group of hunters, farmers, ranchers, landowners, conservation enthusiasts and wildlife officials. All want to make a difference for wildlife by creating habitat, restoring wetlands and protecting our native prairies. By April 15, 1983, the group had 800 supporters at its first banquet. The program was and still is being operated under a grassroots system of fund raising and project development that allows members to see the direct results of their contributions. The organization says it allows chapters to determine how their locally raised conservation money is spent. By 1985, the organization had grown to 12 chapters with 1,000 members. At that time the federal Conservation Reserve Program was established and Pheasants Forever was instrumental in its creation. The program pays landowners to keep their

most environmentally sensitive lands out of production. These lands improve pheasant populations, but also help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and create critical habitat for all wildlife. In 1986, the group’s headquarters moved to White Bear Lake, Minn., and by 1987, membership had grown to over 25,000. By 1990, the national group had over 50,000 registered members. In 2003, the first-ever National Pheasant Fest drew 12,500 members and others to Bloomington, Minn., to celebrate 20 years of conservation work. Also during this time, the organization began to employ Farm Bill biologists, who educate farmers and landowners about the benefits of conservation programs and help them after the programs have been implemented. Another highlight of 2003 was when Pheasants Forever launched its Build a Wildlife Area program as another way to care for wildlife habitat and create land for public hunting and outdoor recreation opportunities. In 2005, a new organization was founded, Quail Forever, dedicated to the protection and enhancement of quail, pheasants and other upland wildlife through habitat, public awareness, education and advocacy for land management practices. It is based on the same grassroots system as Pheasants Forever. By 2008, the organization’s projects benefited more then 5 million acres of wildlife habitat across the United States. The group launched the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Program, which allows states to aim conservation

Hunting guide

Fall 2012

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Welcome Hunters Dine In – Take Out – Catering Lunch Buffet: Monday, Friday, Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Dinner Buffet: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 4:30-8:30 p.m.

HIDDEN DRAGON Cantonese, HuNan and SzeChuan Cuisine

108 S. State, Norton - 785-874-4848

Welcome Hunters Toll Free Reservation 1-800-444-8773

Jeremiah Stark of Norton showed off a plaque to be auctioned off at last year’s Longspur Chapter Pheasants Forever Banquet in Norton.

– Photo by Carlleen Bell/ The Norton Telegram

helps with habitat practices to species in greatest conservation need. That year, the 25th anniversary of Pheasants Forever was celebrated in Saint Paul with 30,000 people at the National Pheasant Fest. This marks the 30th anniversary of the organization, which just keeps growing and implementing conservation and habitat practices so desperately needed by our wildlife The organization is led by its second president, Howard K. Vincent, who took office in 2000, succeeding Jeff Finden. The vice president of government affairs is Dave Nomsen. There are now over 125,000 members in more than 600 chapters. The organization says it has three main areas it works on: habitat projects, conservation education and legislative action. The habitat projects include nesting cover, brood-rearing habitat, winter cover, food plots, wetland restoration, habitat maintenance and land acquisition. To meet the requirements for the education part of its mission, the group sponsors youth hunts, landowner conservation workshops, Farm Bill forums, Leopold Education Project workshops and youth conservation activity days. The third area is legislative action. The group works with elected officials and natural resource agency employees to affect conservation policies. Members meet with lawmakers, attend landowner conservations workshops, help to pay for Farm Bill biologists and participate on state wildlife planning committees. Each chapter is required to hold at least one event a year where membership dues are paid.

At this event, chapters have raffles, live and silent auctions and games. Wildlife art, shotguns, and hunting gear are some of the featured items to be won. Other events include wild-game feeds, golf tournaments, dog-training field days, mentor hunts and shooting events. The work of a chapter is about conservation. Since 1982, wildlife habitat projects have improved more than 5.3 million acres across the continent and the group has participated in over 1,000 land acquisitions totaling more than 135,000 acres. All of this acquired land is open to public hunting. Kansas has 40 chapters, Nebraska has 61 and Colorado has 16. Each state holds its own banquet each year so check online for the correct dates at Membership dues are $35, which includes a journal published five times a year, a window decal and membership card, the chance to meet other outdoor enthusiasts, chapter access and the peace of mind that you are making a difference on the ground for wildlife and to future generations, the group says. If you are looking for a chapter, a banquet or are interested in joining or for information go to There are several chapters in Northwest Kansas including High Plains Roosters serving Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace counties; Sunflower serving Rawlins and Decatur counties; Longspur serving Norton County; Smoky Valley serving Gove, Graham, Logan and Sheridan counties; and Kansas Pioneer serving Rawlins and Thomas counties.

•Wireless High-Speed Internet Available •25 Clean, Comfortable, Air Conditioned Rooms •Remote TV/HBO •Outdoor Pool •Electric Plug-Ins Available •Major Credit Cards Accepted UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP

Hillcrest Motel W. Hwy. 36 Norton, KS

PHONE: 785-877-3343



20+ Gun


brands and models IN STOCK!

20+ Gun

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DEER PROCESSING For All Seasons. IN STOCK! All Deer Being Donated or Given Away MUST HAVE A GAME CUSTODY TAG FilledFor Out By Permit Holder. DEER PROCESSING AllThe Seasons. All Deer Being Donated orRequired GivenOn Away $80 Deposit Carcass Deer.

Deer will not be accepted unless they are properly field dressed! MUST HAVE A GAME CUSTODY TAG Boned Out Deer Trim Taken Year Round. Rifle Season Hours 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Nov. 10 - Nov. 18 Filled Out By The Permit Holder.

Check our website for processing prices on DEER, BEEF or HOGS

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Deer willwill notnot bebe accepted unless theyare are properly field dressed! Deer accepted unless they properly field dressed! DON’T FORGET ~ WE STOCK Barrett, Benelli, Browning, Boned Out Deer Trim Taken Year Round. Boned Out Deer Trim Taken YearCrickett, Round. Chiappa, DPMS Panther Arms, FN Herstal, Glock,

Rifle Season Hours: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 November 10-November 18Sig Sauer, Henry, Heritage Mossberg, Savage, Rifle Season Hours 8 a.m. -p.m.; 6Arms, p.m., Nov.Rossi, 10Ruger, - Nov. 18

Check Our Website for Processing Deer, Beef orWinchester Hogs Smith & Wesson,Prices Springfieldon Armory, Stoeger, Taurus, Check our website for processing prices on DEER, BEEF or HOGS and more! Don’t Forget – We Stock: Follow us on Facebook!

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309 Odell St., Oxford, Nebraska • Phone 308-824-3662 – Follow us on Facebook! 308-824-3662

Hunting guide

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Fall 2012

Have a Safe and Successful Hunting Season Come in for the Coldest Beer in Town! LARGE SELECTION OF WINES SPECIAL ORDER – NEW ITEMS WEEKLY

Kansas Lottery and Powerball Sold Here Hours: 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

We Have Weekly Specials

J & R Liquor

112 N. First, Norton, Kansas - 785-877-2585

Welcome Hunters!

We Sell Park Permits and Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Open 7 Days A Week HOURS: Monday-Saturday: 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Sunday: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

117 N. Second, Norton, Kansas - Phone 785-877-2551

Turkeys doing better than most By Marian Ballard

Colby Free Press mballard @

Kansas bird populations in general are down this year, due to continued drought and heat, though wild turkeys in most areas of Kansas have fared better than some other game bird populations, says Dave Dahlgren, Wildlife Parks and Tourism small game specialist out of Hays. He said their relatively larger size helps them cope better with drought, providing more resilience. Another factor in their favor is the fact that turkeys breed earlier than other game birds. This spring, a combination of good weather and good cover helped survival rates of chicks. While numbers are down in southwest Kansas, due to extreme drought two years in a row, in the rest of the state they are stable or slightly higher. The main season for turkey hunting is spring. In the fall season, the family groups with adolescent birds are more difficult to approach, according to Dahlgren, even though fall turkey permits are valid for both male and female turkeys. In addition, dogs may be used during the fall

season. Twenty gauge or larger shotguns are legal, using shot sizes 2 to 9. For bow hunting, longbows, recurve bows or compound bows, and crossbows are legal. Bow hunters need to check specific regulations. Each hunter may obtain no more than one turkey permit, which is valid only in the unit (area) printed on the permit. The bag limit is one turkey of either sex per permit. Additional game tags are not available in northwest Kansas. Shooting hours are from a half hour before sunrise until sunset. It is illegal to shoot turkeys roosting in trees; they may be shot only while on the ground or in flight. Permits are not valid until the day after they are purchased. For the fall season, Oct. 1 to Tuesday, Nov. 27; Monday, Dec. 10, to Monday, Dec. 31; and Monday, Jan. 14, to Thursday, Jan. 31; turkey hunting is closed in Unit 4 in the southwest area of the state.

For All Your Construction Needs

Welcome Hunters!

Custom Homes – Remodeling – Roofing Siding – Decks and Concrete

Lee Hardy

Construction LLC

1120 N. State, Norton – 785-874-4315 or 785-871-0832

NORTON – 785-877-3359 ATWOOD – 785-626-3641 GOODLAND – 785-899-3661 HILL CITY – 785-421-3691 Serving Delicious Pizza of your choice . . . .

WAKEENEY – 785-743-2383 COLBY – 785-462-8206 ST. FRANCIS – 785-332-2601 OAKLEY – 785-672-3108

•Dine-in •Delivery •Carry-out

WELCOME TO NORTON! orks Working Together W

16788 East Highway 36, P.O. Box 520 Norton, Kansas - Phone (785) 877-5121

Fall 2012

Hunting guide

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Yamaha ~ Snapper ~ Kawasaki ~ Golf Carts

NORTON SPORTS CENTER 15010 W. US Hwy. 36, Norton, Kansas Curtis and Debra Eveleigh BUSINESS PHONE: (785) 877-5452 HOME PHONE: (785) 877-2662

Ranch King

Hunting Blinds Various Sizes and Models Available

Turkeys may be hunted in both the spring and fall with a bag limit of one bird per season. – Photo by Norma Martinez/Bird City Times

WelCome HUNterS!

For Your Hunting Dog’s Care and Emergency Treatment 24-Hour Emergency Service

McWilliams Construction, LLC 322 W. Main Street, Hill City, Kansas 785-421-8014 or 785-421-7911

Welcome Hunters!

NortoN ANimAl HeAltH CeNter, ltd.

Aaron R. White, DVM • Sarah Ketterl White, DVM 801 W. Holme, Norton, KS • Phone: 785-877-2411 Hours: Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m.-noon

We Welcome all Hunters to the Area! Have a Safe Hunt!!

The Norton Chiropractic Center would like to extend an invitation to all visitors to the area, and offer any hunter a special service . . . a FREE exam just for showing your hunting license.



~ Dr. Craig rogers ~


102 North Second, Norton, Kansas

Norton Chiropractic Center

214 E. Washington, Norton, KS - Phone: 785-877-2645

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Hunting guide

Fall 2012

State gains recognition for deer hunting have bigger ears. The two species generally have Goodland Star-News different habitat, say wildlife officials. White tails tend to live in brushy areas and around water while mule deer like open fields. Kansas continues to gain recognition as a The reason for the number of record racks good place to hunt for record-breaking deer. Last was that after deer were reintroduced in the year, the Boone and Crockett Club’s records early1970s, mainly in the western region of for North American Big Game Trophies listed the state, there was no hunting. As numbers Kansas No. 8 in its listing of record-breaking increased limited hunting was allowed. The racks. number of licenses increased as numbers The club’s scoring system takes into account increased but were available only to Kansas how many points there are on each side of the residents. When that was not enough to control antlers and the spread from tip to tip and the populations out of state hunters were allowed greatest spread between antlers. The length of to hunt. the points and the circumference of the horns. Kansas deer populations continue to thrive, The older a male deer gets the bigger his set although the drought throughout the state has of antlers will be. If there is a great deal of caused some shrinking in numbers due to an difference in the configuration between the outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, said two antlers, the horns would be classed under Mike Hopper, wildlife conservation officer with nontypical. the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Mule deer and white tails are in different Tourism in Goodland. classes. Deer antlers as well as well as the antlers “EHD is a deer killer,” said Lloyd Fox, state from other members of the deer family are made big game program coordinator, noting that it of bone. Their antlers are shed every year and are can kill white-tail and mule deer and pronghorn regrown in the spring. While they are growing antelope. they are covered with velvet. When the horns are “In drought years like this one, you can bet mature the deer scrape the velvet off. Antelope, wild critters will congregate around any availwhich are not members of the deer family, have able wet spots,” wrote Brandon Ray of Field horns made of hair. and Stream, “whether it is a pond, creek, cattle White tail deer have a white underside to their trough or even a windmill run off mud hole....” tails that they raise when running. Mule deer Deer are drawn to stagnant water infested by

By Pat Schiefen

Welcome Hunters!

Enjoy Your Stay in Norton

disease-spreading midges, a small flying insect often mistaken for a mosquito, said Brad Odle of the department’s regional office in Hays. If deer are bitten by a midge or ingest one, they could be infected. “Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist Todd Montandon tells me deer do not have to have free water every day,” said Fox. “Deer will certainly drink often when it is available, but they can get enough moisture from the vegetation they eat that they do not require it every day.” Hopper said the good news is that a good frost will kill the midges. With a growing deer population, the state has opened up hunting to more out-of-state hunters in the last decade. Although Kansas does not have as many deer as some states, its management policies have created older bucks with bigger racks. In fact, the population is growing more than some officials would like, prompting complaints from drivers who encounter deer and even elk on the state’s highways. The state has encouraged landowners to allow hunting on their property. “Certainly we have a growing deer population,: said Odle. “We have a problem with getting access to control the deer population, and we are seeing this across the state.” He said an overpopulation of deer can become a biological issue, and when people get involved, it turns into a political one.

Fox said the deer herds are generally healthy and growing, especially in some eastern locations, but chronic wasting disease, a brain condition similar to “mad cow disease,” is extending its reach to the east. The first cases were documented in 2005 in Cheyenne County in the far northwest corner of the state, but Fox said recently a case was found about 150 miles east of the state line. “While the disease has currently caused no measurable effects of the deer herd,” he said, “it will potentially be a significant and negative factor on deer population in future decades.” Odle agrees the infection is a big concern, but said testing was due to stop on July 31. Officials say that despite the disease issues, they think Kansas will continue to produce recording breaking deer. Kansas Deer Seasons Archery: Sept. 17 - Dec. 31 Early Firearm (Unit 19 only): Oct. 13 - Oct. 21 Regular Firearm: Nov. 28 - Dec. 9 Extended Firearms Whitetail Antlerless only: Jan. 1 - Jan. 13 Extended Archery Whitetail Antlerless only (Unit 19 only): Jan. 14 - Jan. 31 Special Extended Whitetail Antlerless only (Units 7, 8 and 15): Jan. 14 - Jan. 20 Shooting hours are half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.

“Our Mission: Caring, Commitment, Community is Lived Each and Every Day.” •Glenda Maurer, M.D. •Ruben Silan, M.D. •Martin Griffey, D.O. •Jeffery McKinley, D.O. •Jonna Inman, ARNP •Kristin Vogel, P.A. •Julie Siefers, P.A.

Norton County Hospital and Norton Medical Clinic

Norton County Hospital

We Hope You Visit Our Friendly Merchants

102 E. Holme, Norton Phone: 785-877-3351

Norton Medical Clinic 807 N. State, Norton Phone: 785-877-3305

NORTON We Carry Good Year and Kelly Tires

14935 W. Highway 36 • Norton, Kansas

PHONE: 785-877-3323 800-577-3323

Providing 24 Hours Service and Repairs TIRE AND AUTO SERVICE PROFESSIONALS Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

North Side Viaduct, E. Hwy. 36, Norton, KS Phone: 785-877-5181 or 800-794-4983

Bowhunting changes with information age By Kevin Bottrell

Goodland Star-News

On the face of it, bowhunting may seem to be a low-tech sport, but manufacturers continue to innovate, bringing this bronze-age sport into the information age. Justin Zarr of Hunting Network LLC said that this time of year, most bow manufacturers are gearing up to announce details of their new 2013 lines. While companies announce their new bows in November or December several have released details already. Mission Archery’s new product is called the “Mission Ballistic Bow.” “This is likely to be the hot new bow in the mid price range,” Zarr said. “It has a lot of high-end features but (a price) of $500.” Elite Archery has the “Elite Hunter” and “Elite Answer” coming out next year. Zarr said Elite is using a new coating called Cerakote, borrowed from the gun industry. The ceramic coating both protects the components and reduces friction. PSE Archery also has two new bows, the “Dream Season DNA” and “Omen Max.” Zarr said PSE focuses on speed, with the Dream Season DNA able to fire an arrow at 352 feet per second and the Omen Max clocked at 366. “You get a flatter arrow trajectory, which allows for more accuracy,” he said. “There’s also less chance for the deer to duck out of the way.” There are trade offs for that speed, Zarr said, as the faster bows can be more difficult to shoot and are louder. Some innovations may seem small, but can do much for quality of life while out on the hunt. One of the big innovations in 2012, Zarr said, was the Killzone broadhead, a rearwardopening expandable broadhead arrow tip. “A lot of people are using that,” he said. In an effort to reduce bow jumping and hand shock with compound bows, Bowtech Archery, based in Eugene, Ore., came up with “vertical force technology, which compresses the limbs of the bow in a inward motion instead of backwards. When released, the upper limbs move upwards and the lower limbs move downwards.

Fall 2012

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Each motion cancels the other, the firm says, and the bow no longer jumps. Vertical force was introduced in 2003. The company’s latest technology is called Center Pivot Extreme, which uses low-friction components and deflexed risers, both of which it says combine to make the bow less susceptible to grip torque. Crossbow hunting is growing. Kansas has been operating a crossbow pilot program for youths and elderly hunters. But what if you’re hunting at dusk? Crossbow bolts tend to be smaller than arrows and fly at higher speeds, so if you’re having trouble tracking the bolt in flight or seeing where it ended up, companies like Nockturnal have developed lighted nocks for crossbows (as well as regular arrows) that use LED lights powered by lithium batteries. The Nockturnal version fits straight onto the end of the bolt and has a piston activated switch so it turns on when you fire. The company claims the nocks have 20 or more hours of battery life. Sights are one area that sees continual innovation. A company called Tactical Archery Systems recently introduced a sight based on U.S. military gun sights. The SABO sights uses four vertical dots to align to different distances, which can be adjusted. Youngsters learned archery techniques and safety at the Youth Skills Day in June Aside from the bows and arrows, hunters use plenty of other technology. Zarr said many in Sherman County. These boys were shooting at deer decoys. – Photo by Kevin Bottrell/Goodland Star-News hunters out West use global positioning system devices, especially when they are hunting in large and open areas. With the increased use of smartphones, Zarr said, many hunting-related apps have been released for both Android and Apple devices, including apps for weather, hunting logs, treestand locations and more. Companies have also begun marketing gloves that can be “felt” by touch screens, and camouflaged phone cases. Companies that manufacture trail cameras have even gotten in on the act. Cameras such as the “Drone” by Stealthcam can now text or eTM mail photographs of deer or other game directly to a hunter’s phone. BY CHOICE BY CHOICE HOTELS “More and more are cell-phone compatible,” HOTELS Zarr said. “You don’t have to go out and take the card out of the camera anymore. Some only cost $10 a month and save you the gas money.”


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Page 10H


Fall 2012

Every Saturday just before 7:00 a.m. to hear THE OUTDOOR REPORT from

Greg Wagner of Game and Parks!

Fall 2012

Hunting guide

Page 11H

License fees vary by residence, age As fall hunting seasons approach, hunters should make sure they have the proper licenses and permits to comply with Kansas laws. According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, all Kansas residents from 16 to 64 must have a resident hunting license. Nonresident hunters, regardless of age, must have a nonresident hunting license. For more on license requirements go to kdwpt. Under a new law this year, seniors 65 to 75 can buy an in-state license for about half price, or for a one-time fee, buy a lifetime hunting, fishing or hunt-fish combination license. In-state hunters over 75 do not need a license. Available license and their costs include: • Lifetime senior resident hunt/fish combination: $42.50. • Senior resident hunt: $11.50. • Senior resident hunt/fish combination: $20.50. • Resident hunt: $20.50. • Resident hunt/fish combination: $38.50. • Resident apprentice: $20.50. • Multi-year resident youth (age 16 to 20) $42.50. • Nonresident hunt: $72.50. • Nonresident under 16: $37.50. • Nonresident apprentice: $72.50. • Nonresident hunt/fish combination: $112.50. Hunting licenses can be obtained through

a variety of vendors around northwest Kansas (The area code is (785) unless otherwise noted.): Cheyenne County: Kugler K-Store, Dennison and U.S. 36, 332-3222; Majestic Service, 510 W. U.S. 36, 332-2905; Cheyenne County Clerk, 212 W. Washington, 332-8800, all in St. Francis. Decatur County: Dale’s Fish ‘N’ Fun, 502 E. Frontier Parkway, 475-2201; Eagle Travel Stop, 409 W. Frontier Parkway, 475-2609, both in Oberlin. Gove County: Cook Feed Seed, 105 W. Second, Gove, 938-4484; Q-Value, 414 Main, Quinter, 754-3952. Logan County: Oakley Shurfine Foods, 127 Converse Ave., 671-3205; Smoky River Rendezvous, 115 Bellview, Winona, 846-7785; Logan County Clerk, 710 W. Second, Oakley, 671-4244. Norton County: Shopko (Pamida), 505 W. Holme, 877-3363; Jamboree Foods, 117 N. Second, 877-2551; Endzone Sports and Office Supplies, 102 S. Second, 877-2611, all in Norton; Prairie Dog State Park office, 4 miles west, 1 mile south of Norton, 877-2953. Rawlins County: Great Outdoors Gun Shop, 102 Grant St., 626-9100; Beaver Creek Ranch, Route 1, Box 37A, 626-3688; Rawlins County Clerk, 607 Main, 626-3351, all in or near Atwood. Sheridan County: Bainter Oil Service, 929

Welcome to Norton


Pointing to a Good Season!

Worden LaW office Charles Worden, Attorney at Law

213 S. Kansas, Norton, Kansas — Phone 785-877-3086

Licenses are required for most hunters for birds as well as large and small game in Kansas. – Photo by Kevin Bottrell/Goodland Star-News Main St., 675-3903; Reds, 1641 Oak Ave., 675-3327; Sheridan County Clerk, 925 Ninth, 675-3361, all in Hoxie. Sherman County: Bill’s Shootin’ Shop, 1907 Cherry, 890-6456; Wal-Mart, 2160 Commerce Road, 899-2111, both in Goodland. Thomas County: Wal-Mart, 115 W. Willow, 462-8634; Dillon’s, 1605 S. Range, 462-1310; Thomas County Clerk, 300 N. Court, 460-4500, all in Colby.

Wallace County: The 27/40 Store, 102 East U.S. 40, Sharon Springs, 852-4333; Wallace County Clerk, 313 N. Main, 852-4282, both in Sharon Springs. If you don’t want to stop to buy a license, you can go to, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website. Click the icon for buying permits and licenses at the far right. Hunters also may call (800) 9182877 and follow the prompts.

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Hunting guide

Fall 2012

Pick smart dog for

By Stephanie DeCamp

The Oberlin Herald

While most people like to get a puppy to start off with, like this English setter, there are many advantages to picking out an older dog, too – mainly, you can tell more about its intelligence and personality.

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A good hunting dog is like a good hunting knife: dependable, sharp and absolutely necessary. But picking out and training a pup can be a difficult process. “There’s a lot that goes into training dogs, actually, that’s not in books or watching somebody do it,” said Tim Thornton of Oberlin, who trains and shows dogs in this area. “You have to be born with it or develop it over time. “It’s a repetition over time thing – the intricacies of training are all about touch, timing and feel. It’s an instinct about the next step, where the dog is and how it’s processing what you’re wanting them to do.” Mr. Thornton said he was introduced to dogs by his father and grandparents, who used to recount tales of old dogs they’d had. His grandparents kept hounds, to help them catch squirrels and other animals for dinner. That’s just how they got along back then, he said. Soon young Tim was being taken out on some of the hunting trips, and before long, he wanted his own dog. “When I was about 15,” he recounted, “I wanted a hunting dog, and my parents weren’t too sure about it. Then one day an English setter showed up on our doorstop. We lived close to the highway, and I convinced my mom to put her in the back yard so she wouldn’t get hit.” He said he’s been training dogs ever since. And boy, has he learned a lot. “The thing is,” he said, “we may perceive

what we’re doing much differently than what the dog sees. The word you hear a lot is how much “pressure” do you use. It goes hand in hand with force, and how much you’re going to use it. And the fact is, every dog perceives force differently, and you have to be perceptive about it. You have to be careful, because you can ruin the dog or hold it back from its full potential. “As far as training dogs, I feel the most important thing you can teach a dog is to stand still. And that doesn’t matter what kind of dog it is. If they don’t know how to stand still, then you won’t be able to get a lot done with them and they won’t be very enjoyable to be around.” The first thing, Mr. Thornton said, is to consider what you’re going to use the dog for. Will he be a companion to occasionally take out on a hunt? Or will he be the kind of dog you take on three-day hunting adventures in the desert? “There are exceptional individuals in every blood line and breed of dog,” he said. “Their characteristics are all different and work differently with different people. There are so many different things you can get from a dog and that they can do for you, there’s no blanket statement you can make about a particular breed “For pointing dogs, I prefer English pointers or German shorthairs. For more of the flushing breeds, I like labs and Chesapeake Bay retrievers. But as far as picking a puppy out, and this goes across all breeds – the very top thing that I look for is intelligence. You can overlook a lot when you have a smart dog.” Mr. Thornton said to be careful if you are considering buying a puppy, however.

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Hunting guide

Fall 2012


“I prefer not to buy 7-week-old puppies,” he said. “The prevailing wisdom is that you buy them that young to bond with them. But you can get a 10-year-old dog at the pound and its going to bond with you. I mean, you’re going to have 10 years worth of baggage to work through. “Personally, I like to buy a dog between 3 and 8 months old, because you can tell a lot more about the dog itself.” After you’ve decided what you want the dog for and what age and breed you’ll get, Mr. Thornton advises that you consider two more things before making the purchase. “The No. 1 thing I look for at any age is intelligence,” he said. “Then right behind that is their conformation. Conformation is really important – it’s the bone and body structure of the dog. For instance, I look to see if all of their feet are pointing forward, because when they run, everything has to be going in the right direction, their feet and hips and everything. Any one of a number of things can be wrong, and it’s going to affect their performance in the field, and it can affect their longevity, both in the field and for their life. You definitely have to know what you want. “Look at how long their back is, from the base of their neck to their hips, because that will determine their gate. The length of their legs matters. Something that’s less important to their hunting ability – but it’s still important – check if they have a good bite, not an overbite or underbite. Especially if you’re thinking about breeding it. “One of the first things people will look for

Different breeds of dogs have different characteristics, and Tim Thornton prefers English setters with a 12 o’clock tail. is their tail set, and this will have nothing to do with how good they’ll be and everything to do with their esthetics.” Got all that? Use, age, intelligence, breed and conformation are the keys, and lastly, esthetics. And even after you’re done figuring all that out, you have to be ready for the most difficult but rewarding part of dog ownership: training. “It takes a lot of time and commitment, and sometimes money, to do this,” Mr. Thornton

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This tail, while not aesthetically pleasing to some, is useful when hunting in tall grasses like the ones pictured.

said. “It goes back to what you choose to do. If you choose to strive for having the very best hunting or field-trial dog, you have to put the time in to research and achieve that. It’s a commitment. “And it really becomes a life choice and lifestyle you lead in order to do that. Though it doesn’t have to be; it’s whatever you choose. “The important thing about it is, whatever path you do choose, and whatever level you want

to jump in at, the important thing is that it’s for fun and enjoyment. My dogs win field trials, the sun comes up the next day and I go to work as usual. Nothing changes. When my dogs have a good day out in the field, we enjoy it. “It’s not the same relationship you have with a person, but it’s really incredible the way you end up bonding with them. And it all starts with picking the right one for you.”

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Hunting guide

Fall 2012

Shooting sports and owning guns By Christina Beringer

Colby Free Press

Kristina Hills of Gem showed off the trophy elk she shot last fall after her first elk-hunting trip to Colorado with her husband. – Photo by Tyler Hills


Shooting sports and gun ownership among women continues to grow in popularity, according to the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers, but this trend is no surprise to many Kansas women, who have been trekking the quiet countryside with a gun in their hands since before they could even drive. Kristina Hills of Gem can attest to that, having been introduced to hunting and shooting when she was young and shooting a gun since she was 12. Although Hills was able to learn a little about the sport from her father, she said she has learned a lot from her husband, Tyler, over the course of their eight-year marriage. “Tyler and I have been hunting together for as long as we’ve been married,” she said in an interview last year. “It’s a pastime for my husband and I, and we are looking forward to teaching our two young girls when they get older, too.” Since then, the couple has welcomed a third daughter to their growing family, 5-month-old Lizzy, who has already experienced her first hunting trip. “I went elk hunting (for the first time) last November out by Westcliffe, Colo., with Tyler, and I was four months pregnant with Lizzy,”

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said Hills. “We were on some property that a friend of our’s owns. …Tyler guided me and helped me. He has gotten a big bull elk there in the past.” Hills said many people aren’t lucky enough to get an elk on their first trip, and it took Tyler many years before getting his first. “I had to apply for a tag (license) two years before I got one,” she added. She said their trip began in the cold, early morning, in a blind they’d been in long before sunrise, and it got exciting when they spotted three big bull elk coming their way over the top of a hill. “It was freezing,” she said. “We left our blind … because we had seen the elk in the distance and were guessing which way they were headed. We were right; they came right at us. “I had to whisper loudly to Tyler to get down because I had seen what looked like their antlers peaking over the crest of the hill. Since my gun was pretty heavy, I had to use Tyler’s back … to steady my shot. He had his head down and ears plugged. “My Remington 7mm UltraMag was sighted in for about 350 yards, and these elk were only about 100 yards away. So, when I shot, I almost missed because I didn’t adjust my shot. I hit the bull right in the spine and it dropped immediately. It was very exciting and fun. “We gutted it and called our friend to bring

Sunday, Dec. 2nd 5:45 p.m.

Fall 2012

Hunting guide

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increasing in popularity for women his trailer so we could haul it back to his place to clean it. We took all the meat home and had it processed. Elk meat is very good.” Hills said she prefers big-game hunting to bird hunting, and generally turns to her rifle. However, she said she is interested in learning to shoot with a bow. In addition to her first elk, she’s also showed skill when deer hunting. “I got a mule deer on some of our land up in Rawlins County that scored 195 points, which Tyler thinks is pretty impressive,” she said. “He likes to show it off.” To Hills, the sport is about getting outside, hiking and just being in nature as much as anything. “It’s really calming and neat to be able to sit quietly and only be 10 yards from a deer and they don’t know you are there,” she said. “You feel close to God and nature.” Hills joins many other women across the state and nation who are either skilled hunters or who are picking up a gun for the first time. According to the sporting goods association, female participation in target shooting and hunting have increased in the last decade, target shooting by 46.5 percent and hunting by 36.6 percent. “Also, 61 percent of firearm retailers responding to a (National Shooting Sports Foundation) survey said they saw an increase in female customers in their stores,” said the foundation’s

director of communications, Bill Brassard Jr., in a January statement. “Based on what I’m seeing with Becoming an Outdoors Woman here in Kansas. I can tell you that the interest by women in the outdoors is growing,” said coordinator Jami McCabe. “The program continues to grow, and we keep seeing more and more first-timers attend the program at Rock Springs 4H Center in Junction City.” The weeken-d-long workshop, a nonprofit program offered through the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, often fills up fast. The fall event, scheduled for Sept. 21-23, was full by late July and almost half were first-time participants, said McCabe. Designed specifically for women over the age of 18, the program offers women a handson opportunity to learn outdoor skills, she said. Equipment and instruction are provided, and no experience is necessary. Sessions include learning to shoot a shotgun, handgun or bow; hunting waterfowl or rabbit and squirrel; tracking and trapping; fishing, bait or fly fishing; cooking wild game; canoeing; and other outdoor basics. McCabe said the 2013 Becoming an Outdoors Women events have been scheduled. The spring program will be May 17 to 19 and the fall event Sept. 20 to 22. For information, go to, e-mail or call (785) 845-5052.


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Gary Bruggeman watched the clay pigeon as Demi Murray took a shot during a youth shoot put on by the Sunflower Chapter of Pheasants Forever in Oberlin. ― Photo by Sarah Fredrickson/The Oberlin Herald

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Hunting guide

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Fall 2012

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After the hunt, so get out your and fix supper

Hunters need to know that proper field dressing of game is essential to having a good-tasting meal later. Seasonings and not over cooking can also go a long way to making game more palatable. If you want to be adventurous, canning your venison for use later in homemade dishes might be worth a try. What to do with those bones? Why not make a stock that can be used for stews, soups and other dishes? These recipes found on the Internet are for venison, but should work for any member of the deer family, including elk, moose or caribou, or Boil two minutes or until just limp. Mix one even buffalo and beef. pint sloppy joe mix and 2 cups cooked rice. Place mixture on each cabbage leaf; roll leaves Venison sloppy joe mix and hold with a toothpick. Place them close 4 pounds lean venison together in a buttered dish. Dot each roll with 2 cups tomato catsup margarine. Bake cabbage rolls, covered, at 350 2 1/2 cups water degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until cabbage 3 cup chopped onion leaves are tender. 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste 1 tablespoon salt Venison stock 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper 4 to 5 pounds of meaty venison bones (with 1 tablespoon sugar lots of marrow), including some knuckle bones 3/4 teaspoon pepper or bones from large joints, cut to expose the Cook venison and onions until all pink is center marrow. Include a couple of veal bones gone from meat. Pour off excess fat. Add all for their gelatin, if possible, if the deer is an other ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer old one. five minutes. Pack into clean, hot pint canning 1 pound of venison stew meat and or meat jars, leaving a one inch head space. Adjust lids. scraps, cut into 2-inch chunks Process at 15 pounds pressure for 75 minutes Olive oil or 10 pounds pressure for 110 minutes. Makes 1 to 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered 8 pints. 1 to 2 large carrots, cut into 1- to 2 -inch segServing suggestions ments Sloppy joes on a bun: for six sandwiches, Handful of celery tops or 1 large celery rib, heat 1 pint sloppy joe mix and simmer 10 min- cut into 1-inch segments utes. Spoon mixture onto hamburger buns and 2 to 3 clovers of garlic, unpeeled serve. Handful of parsley, stems and leaves Chili con carne: in a pan, mix one can or 2 1 to 2 bay leaves cups cooked kidney beans, 1 pint sloppy joe 10 peppercorns mix and chili powder to taste. Heat and simmer Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub a little olive 20 minutes. Serve with crackers or cornbread. oil over the stew meat pieces, carrots and onions. Makes four to six servings. Place stock bones, stew meat or beef scraps, Hamburger-rice casserole: place equal carrots and onions in a large, shallow roasting amounts of cooked rice and sloppy joe mix in a pan. Roast for about 45 minutes, turning the greased baking dish in layers, starting and end- bones and meat halfway through the cooking, ing with rice. Top with sliced or grated cheese. until nicely browned. If bones begin to char at Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or all, lower the heat. They should brown but not until bubbly. burn. Venison delight: cook 1 cup macaroni acWhen the bones and meat are nicely browned, cording to package directions. Drain and com- remove them and the vegetables and place then bine with 1 pint sloppy joe mix, 1 cup canned in a large (12- 16-quart) stock pot. Place the whole kernel corn and 1/4 cup grated cheese. roasting pan on the stove top on low heat (will Pour into a greased casserole. Bake at 350 de- cover two burners), pour 1/2 to 1 cup of hot water grees for one hour or until bubbly. over the pan and use a metal spatula to scrape up Ground venison in cabbage leaves: place all of the browned bits stuck to the bottom. Pour eight large cabbage leaves in boiling water. the browned bits and water into the stock pot.

Hunting guide

Fall 2012

it’s time to cook; pots and pans for your buddies Add the celery tops, garlic, parsley, bay leaves and peppercorns to the stock pot. Fill pot with cold water to 1 to 2 inches over the top of the bones. Put the heat on high and bring the pot to a low simmer, then reduce heat to low. If you have a candy or meat thermometer, the temperature of the water should be between 180 and 200 degrees (boiling is 212 degrees). The stock should be at a bare simmer, just a bubble or two coming up here and there. You may need to put the pot on your smallest burner on the lowest temp, or if you are using an ovensafe pot, place it in the oven at 190 degrees. Cover loosely and let simmer low and slow for three to six hours. Do not stir the stock while cooking. Stirring will mix the fats in with the stock, clouding it up. As the stock cooks, fat will be released from the bone marrow and stew meat and rise to the top. From time to time, check in on the stock and use a large metal spoon to scoop away the fat and any scum that rises to the surface. (Do not put this fat down your kitchen drain, as it will

solidify and block your pipes. Put it in a bowl or jar to save for cooking or to discard.) At the end of cooking time (a minimum of three hours or up to eight), use tongs or a slotted spoon to gently remove the bones and vegetables from the pot and discard them. Line another large pot (8 quart) with a fine mesh sieve, covered with a couple of layers of cheesecloth if you have it. Pour the stock through the sieve to strain it. Let cool to room temperature then chill in the refrigerator. Once the stock has chilled, any fat remaining will have risen to the top and solidified. If you plan to freeze the stock, remove and discard the fat. Pour the stock into a jar or plastic container. (You can also remove the fat, and boil the stock down, concentrating it so that it doesn’t take as much storage space. Leave an inch head room from the top of the stock to the top of the jar, so that as it freezes and expands, it will not break the container. Yield about 4 quarts.



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Hunting guide

Fall 2012

Woman recreates critters with taxidermy By Stephanie DeCamp The Oberlin Herlad Taxidermy may seem like an unusual hobby to fall into, but for one Oberlin native, it was as natural as the animals she now recreates. Lorie Kaczmarek lives in Lamar, Colo., now, but grew up in Oberlin and still comes back to see family, and occasionally, help a friend mount a trophy or two. “The way that I got involved with it,” she said, “is years ago I wanted to start hunting, and I didn’t know how to go about it. I took an interest in it because I had a bow given to me, so I practiced with it. I was trying to practice hard enough to go deer hunting, and I saw mounts on the wall of various businesses that fascinated me. So I thought that if I ever got a deer, I would learn how to do it. And I just learned all about it in one big season.” Mrs. Kaczmarek said she saw an ad in the back of a bow-hunting magazine that showed a fully completed and mounted deer along side the mannequin it was mounted on. She called the toll-free number below it and ordered the catalogue. From there, she said, she figured it all out herself – how to mount the skin, what kind of mounts worked for what animals and how to tan the leather. “I had this huge interest in it and sought it out,” Mrs. Kaczmarek said. “I practiced and asked people to save their hides for me. I raised chickens and practiced on them. And pretty

soon, people were bringing stuff over, and I had customers pretty quick. I’m going on 22 years this season now.” Mrs. Kaczmarek said the questions she gets most often are in regards to how she does her work without the animal going bad. “They ask me, ‘How do you get the eye to stay there and not waste away?’” she said. “They think it’s actually real underneath the stuff. You’re looking at it, and it looks like it has insides, but it doesn’t. And that’s the biggest confusion with people; they think, how do you do that without having it rot. So I’ll show them the forms and stuff that I use, and I’ll ask them which animal they think it is. They usually get it, and then they understand that it’s just a hide put onto a mannequin or form that was built to look like that animal.” So what’s her advice for others drawn to the realism of taxidermy?

“I think the reference photos are most important,” she said. “You really have to have in front of you what you want. If you’re working on a pheasant, well, no one knows what it looks like off the top of their head. It’s very worth the time to research and lay them out before you start working. It’ll do wonders for your work. You can tell when someone doesn’t do it; they go too fast.” Mrs. Kaczmarek said that the process of preparing and mounting an animal takes days, but all in all, it’s about 9 to 10 hours of hands-on work time. And you hunters out there? Don’t think she doesn’t have some pointers for you, too. “Say you’re going to go get a deer,” she said. “If you get a nice deer, and if you don’t know how to skin it or what you’re doing, just take it to a taxidermist to help you with it. Sometimes when I get them, their so cut up that they’re re-

ally hard to work with. I have to sew up all these slashes, or whole pieces are missing. If you’re unsure of what you’re doing, then just take it straight there. “If you’re going to skin it yourself, it’s so much better if you really take the time to skin it well. There are some people who will call me when they’re still out hunting, especially with bear season, they’ll call and say, ‘I want a rug, how do I cut it,’ or ‘I want a full-body mount.’ “Don’t cut into them if you don’t know what you’re doing. And with the small stuff like birds and squirrels and fish, just freeze them until you bring them in. That’s the best way to do it.” And of course, after you complete a hunt, be sure to keep the kill as cool and dry as possible as you bring it in. Timing, she said, is everything when it comes to decomposition. “One thing I always tell people is if they’re going to get something mounted, keep it as dry as possible,” she said. “A lot of people think that because there’s a lot of blood, they think they need to wash it. I always tell people when you’re adding moisture to the hide, it produces bacteria. The more moisture, the more bacteria. “You have to keep the hide as dry as possible. I have a lot of detergents I use that will take the blood and everything out. Just keep it dry and we can work with the rest. Keep it out of the sun, and never put it in the back of the truck in a a black bag. I’ve had people do that before, and it’s just awful.

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Fall 2012

Hunting guide

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Program offers 1.1 million acres By Karen Krien

The Saint Francis Herald

The Kansas walk-in hunting access program provides over 1.1 million acres for sportsmen to pursue their favorite game at no additional charge. It opens up land for hunting without having to knock on landowners’ doors to ask permission, and relieves landowners of the necessity of handling requests. Plus, the farmer or other landowner gets an annual lease fee from the state. Kansas has a strong hunting heritage, but much land was being lost to public hunting. When the walk-in hunting access program kicked off in 1995, it opened up hunting on private property enrolled in the program. Participating landowners receive lease payments in exchange for allowing general public hunting access. (There is a companion program for fishing, too.) There is no charge to users of Walk-In Hunting tracts, which are leased for hunting access only and are open only during specified dates in the fall or spring. The program is paid for entirely by hunters, through their purchase of state hunting licenses. Of the more than one million acres enrolled in the program, says the Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, 53 percent is Conservation Reserve Program grassland, 23 percent rangeland and woodland and 24 percent cropland. A survey of participating landowners and users through the years has found great acceptance among both groups. The program promises hunters who buy a Kansas license the opportunity to enjoy the state’s wildlife resources. Much of the comment on a Walk-In Hunting blog found on the department website is about the details of the program. “Walk-In Hunting is a great program,� wrote an anonymous hunter several years ago. “I am not sure my friends and I could pheasant hunt without it, as we do not have private land contacts in western Kansas, and the areas around the lakes just gets pounded. “I would suggest the lease payments paid be set up on a sliding scale providing the highest payments to landowners who put in fields that are good, solid, well established native grass bounded by milo, corn or other late-season feed. “The quality of the fields is more important than the number of acres. I would gladly pay double for a hunting license if every walk-in field I went to looked like it held birds.� That sentiment was repeated frequently, but there was no response from the department. “I welcome nonresidents with open arms because of the economic benefits and the fact our (hunting) tradition is strengthened with numbers,� another hunter wrote. “Kansas has some great opportunities, and plenty of folks discover their passion for the outdoors right here. More hunters means hunting as a tradition will last longer. “Some of the land is pretty worthless. I don’t know what we can do about that, but I think hunters should be able to score tracts on a report card. From there, decisions could be made as to

Both hunter and dog were excited for the start of the 2011 pheasant season. The pair were participating in guided hunts southwest of Goodland in November. – Pat Schiefen/The Goodland Star-News which tracts are kept and which are cut. “I support the walk-in program. I have taken many birds off of it and had many opportunities at deer.â€? In recent years, the department has included the global positioning system (GPS) coordinates for the areas, and programs for downloading the coordinates can be found on the department web site at The department publishes an annual atlas with maps of Walk-In Hunting lands, and maps for the areas in northwest Kansas are included in the center section of this guide. The department has issued guidelines to help hunters use these tracts, including: • Obey all Kansas hunting regulations. Walkin hunting areas are for hunting only. Other activities, including trapping, are prohibited. Hunting access is allowed by foot only. Vehicles are not allowed. Do not trespass on neighboring property. Signs will mark property lines. • Hunt and walk only on the side of a fence or boundary which is enrolled in the walk-in hunting program, especially if the area is bordered by a creek or hedgerow. These tracts are open to hunting Sept. 1 to Jan. 31, or Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. (A few areas in the east may be open through March 31.) Entering a walk-in hunting area tract prior to or after the contract period without landowner permission for any reason is trespassing. Any game species with an open season during the contract period may be hunted on walk-in hunting land, using the legal means and methods, with the exception of some tracts designated as “No Firearm Deer Hunting.â€? • Hunters must be ethical, respectful and sportsmanlike.

• Obey the safety zone concept. Maintain a buffer around buildings, homes, and livestock. Respect the rights of the landowner and others using the area. • Do not litter. Take all trash with you. Do not enter abandoned or maintained buildings on the area. Do not leave game remains in parking areas or along roads. Treat the land as if it were your own and act responsibly. • Do not destroy or damage any equipment, machinery, or other items left on the area. Take precautions to avoid starting a fire, especially during dry periods. • Do not block access drives to crop fields or pastures on walk-in hunting area tracts or neighboring properties. Park only in designated parking areas or along the road. Leave gates as you found them and avoid stretching or damaging fences when crossing them.

• All regulations for Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks public lands apply to walk-in hunting areas. Many activities are NOT permitted through the walk-in hunting program: Target practice, trapping, commercial or noncommercial dog training, camping, horseback riding, stocking or releasing of wildlife, operation of vehicles, discharge of fireworks, fires, littering, drinking and destructive acts, including digging, destruction or removal of signs or vegetation. • Respect unharvested crops and wheat stubble fields. Department biologists negotiate agreements with farmers well in advance of harvest. In some cases, in order to obtain the property, access is limited until crops are harvested. Such fields will be posted with “No hunting in unharvested crop.â€? If land is included in the same area that does not have unharvested crops, that property may be hunted. If the property does not have signs, it may be hunted. However, be careful not to cause crop damage. • The majority of land leased for walk-in hunting is Conservation Reserve grass. Occasionally, the government releases this land for emergency haying and grazing. The department has no control whether walk-in hunting area property is hayed or grazed. However, if the walk-in hunting area is hayed or grazed, the owner may receive a reduced payment. Less than 25 percent of land enrolled in the walk-in hunting program is cropland. This may include wheat or milo stubble and winter wheat. In some cases, tracts are in crop rotation; one year a tract may be winter wheat and the next it may be milo stubble. In other cases, cropland is accepted to round out other acres and make signing and access easier. Some winter wheat is specifically enrolled for goose or crane hunting. Walk-in hunting area contracts are signed months in advance of the season, and at the time the contract was signed, the area has suitable habitat and hunting opportunity. As part of the agreement, livestock may be present on some tracts. These areas may still be hunted, but hunters must use common sense to avoid harassing or injuring livestock. On occasion, sites enrolled in the program are removed at the landowner’s request or due to poor habitat. Make sure the land you are entering is posted with Walk-In Hunting Area signs.

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Hunting guide

Fall 2012

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more of an opportunity for youth to participate when there’s not a lot of hunting pressure,” McGinnis said. “It just gets them in the field a As fall hunting season rolls around in Kansas, little earlier.” kids have lots of opportunities to learn to hunt, Some invitational hunts are organized just for fish and shoot. kids, with adults coming along as mentors. Near Colby, the 12th annual Youth Outdoor “The kids can sign up ahead of time,” said Skills Day drew 39 participants to the Pat Jones Matt Bain, a biologist in Colby with the Kansas property six miles north and two miles east Department of Parks, Wildlife and Tourism, of town. Starting at 8 “and they’ll basia.m. Aug. 18, they got cally get a guided a chance to learn map hunt.” reading, trapping and Bain, also an orarchery and shooting ganizer for the youth shotguns and muzzle skills, said he thinks loaders. it’s good for kids to “We try to get it in belearn outdoor recfore school and before reation skills which football,” said Mike can serve them a McGinnis, one of the lifetime. event organizers. “If we can keep For 19 of them, the them out there rectraining day fulfilled the reating on the land,” field requirement for an he said, “they are online Hunter Education going to have a lot course. Kids who had more respect for the taken the course had also land.” met from 6 to 10 p.m. For kids who did Friday night at Colby not get to hunt on a Community College for family farm, he said, a test. The course was “these events sort of geared toward beginning bridge that gap.” hunters, ages 12 and 13, The O’Brien kids and timed to coincide from Colby were with the start of the dove among those atseason on Sept. 1. tending this year. Charlie Haag with the Sunflower ChapThe card provided Although they are on completion of the ter of Pheasants Forever grilled hot dogs in scouting, they course is required to get for a group of teen-agers after a clay pi- were not outside a hunting license when geon shoot at the Oberlin Gun Club this that morning to get you turn 16, and kids year. ― Photo by Sarah Fredrickson/ a merit badge. between 12 and 16 years It was just to brush The Oberlin Herald can hunt without adult up on their outdoor supervision once they skills, their mother have the card. Lois said, plus, “it gives them a chance to shoot Youths have several advantages when hunt- that they don’t normally have.” ing in Kansas, including special youth hunting “It was fun,” Cosette O’Brien, 11, said while seasons and special hunting events. Youth sea- in line for lunch, just after firing muzzle-loaders. sons consist of brief periods before the regular “I liked it more than I thought I would.” season which are open either to kids 16 and Her brother, John, 15, said he liked the trapyounger or 15 and younger, depending on the ping the most, while Brock, 13, said he liked type of game. archery. John, Brock and their brother Luke, These include seasons for deer, duck, quail 10, are Boy Scouts, Lois said, while Cosette and pheasant. The low-plains duck season youth and her sister Kara, 8, are in American Heritage hunt, for instance, was set for the weekend of Girls, a similar group. Kids who came to the Oct. 20 and 21, while the regular season starts youth day belong to several groups, including Saturday, Oct. 27. The youth season for quail and scouts and 4-H. pheasant is Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4, “I think they’re building an appreciation, yes while the regular season for both of those birds for hunting, but for outdoor stewardship,” said starts Saturday, Nov. 10. The bag limit for youth their father, Dan O’Brien. seasons is usually different as well. “The youth season is just to kind of create By Sam Dieter Colby Free Press

Hunting guide

Fall 2012

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Hunting guide

Page 22H

Fall 2012

Hunting brings real money into

By Kevin Bottrell

Goodland Star-News

Hunting is a big draw for northwest Kansas, and it brings some real money into the region. Jim Millensifer, who operates a hotel and truck stop in Oakley, said hunting tourism fills a gap that starts when the weather gets cooler. Memorial Day to Labor day is the traditional tourism season, he said, as well as the season for heavier truck traffic on Interstate 70. When the weather begins to turn, that traffic shifts south to roads like Interstate 40, which goes through Oklahoma and north Texas. But from Sept. 1 to Jan. 1 each year, hunters make up for that shift, he said, at least at his place. “We don’t pump the gas or rent the rooms we do in the summer,” Millensifer said. “What we do see is the hunting tourism. It’s very important to businesses in northwest Kansas.” Recent numbers are difficult to come by, but according to a 2006 Economic Impact Report put out by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, annual spending by Kansas sportsmen equals about $607 million. This includes $336 million spent on fishing and $271 on hunting. The report estimates the number of resident sportsmen at 425,000 – 183,000 of whom are hunters. It puts the number of out-of-state

A group of hunters enjoyed a guided hunt on Tom Livengood’s season last year. property southwest of Goodland on the first day of pheasant — Photo by Pat Schiefen/The Goodland Star-News hunters at 88,000 per year, fifth highest in the nation. The report was put together in conjunction with the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Recreation, which is conducted every five years. The 2011 survey results have not been released, but a preliminary summary indicates that about 38 percent of the U.S. popu-

lation engages in some form of fishing, hunting or wildlife-related activity. This produces $145 billion a year, about 1 percent of the gross domestic product. The number of hunters nationwide has increased from 12 million to 13.7 million in the past five years. In 2011, about 21 percent of Kansans fished or hunted, with about $698,000

spent by both in-state and out-of-state hunters and fishermen. About 283,000 people hunted in Kansas that year, including more than 112,000 nonresidents. The full report was to be available in November. Resident hunters and those coming to Kansas to hunt aren’t the only source of revenue area

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northwest Kansas businesses see from sportsmen. “We also love Colorado big game season,” Millensifer said. “A lot of people pass through northwest Kansas on their way.” The state has also been trying to highlight pheasant hunting opportunities in northwest Kansas with the Governor’s Ringneck Classic pheasant hunt. Last year was the inaugural year. Millensifer, who is on the organizing board for the hunt, said the idea was to market the Kansas hunting opportunities nationwide, as had been done with the One-Shot Turkey Hunt, started by Gov. Mike Hayden in 1987. “The objective wasn’t just economic impact for those three days,” Millensifer said. “Everybody does well the first and second weekends and the last weekend of pheasant season. It’s that 10 weeks in between that we want to get people here for.” The economic impact of the hunt itself was significant, however. In its inaugural year, there were 68 hunters – most from outside the Oakley area – and 30 nonhunting attendees. They produced 190 hotel nights. Millensifer said 40 merchants split $45,000 for services for the event. This included renting the Logan County 4-H building, catering, advertisements and more. There was also what Millensifer called “incremental revenue,” the items or services bought by the people who were in town for the hunt such as gas and food. The hunt generated about $50,000 – much of

it from outside northwest Kansas – that was then donated to the Western Vistas Historic Byway, the Logan County Health Foundation, Pheasants Forever and the Northwest Kansas Classic Conservation Foundation. The hunt was filmed for Tom’s Wildlife on the Great American Country Channel and for Bass Pro Shop’s Next Generation on the Outdoor Channel. Millensifer said it will take four to five years to determine whether the Ringneck Classic has accomplished its goal of bringing more attention to northwest Kansas. Still, even though this is a difficult couple of years for the bird population, he said, he saw more activity at his hotel and truck stop during January of this year than in previous years. The success of the first hunt has encouraged the expansion of the event for this year to an extra day. Instead of Friday through Sunday, the event will now run from Thursday, Nov. 15, to Sunday, Nov. 18. That will result in another night of hotel stays, Millensifer said, and the number of hunters will be expanded to 80. Also, there will likely be more nonhunting guests. This year, Pheasants Forever will be sending a crew out to make a video of the hunt. The hunt will be moving after this year. In 2013, it will be shared between Norton and Hill City, and in 2014, it will be in Scott City.

Hunting guide

Fall 2012

Andy Enfield of Norton, a volunteer with Pheasants Forever rested with his dogs during a Youth Pheasant Hunt at the Prairie Dog State Park earlier this year.. The hunt gives young hunters the opportunity to shoot pheasants and learn hunting safety skills. It also allows the dogs to get out and show the youth how they work. – Telegram photo by Dana Paxton/The Norton Telegram

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Hunting guide

Fall 2012

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (with microphone) auctioned off a print of the shot, year at the Logan County 4-H Building in Oakley. Both Watson and baseball great that won Tom Watson his first U.S. Open, at the Ringneck Classic banquet last George Brett donated items to the auction. – Kevin Bottrell/Colby Free Press

Governor’s hunt classic planned By Kayla Cornett

Colby Free Press

The second annual Kansas Governor’s Ringneck Classic will be in Oakley again this year, running from Thursday to Sunday, Nov. 15 to 18, with more people and more activities expected. According to the events website www., about 90 volunteers from 10 Kansas counties rolled out the “blaze orange” carpet last year to welcome Gov. Sam Brownback and 68 invited hunters. “It was a beautiful, cold Kansas day, and I hope I can speak for all the hunters when I say that I had a fabulous time,” Brownback is quoted as saying. The 2011 Classic included a community dinner, a country music concert, an awards dinner and silent and live auctions. Over $50,000 was raised during the weekend’s activities, benefiting area charities as well as Pheasants Forever

wildlife and habitat conservation. The Colby Free Press reported several celebrities were part of the hunt last year and each brought an item to auction. Also present were journalists and televisions crews from as far away as Kansas City. Organizer Raelene Keller said this year’s event will be similar, except with an extra day, more activities and more hunters. Keller said they will have 80 hunters this year, and Pheasants Forever is going to film the hunt, which will air on the Outdoors Channel. On Nov. 15, the Classic will begin with trap/ sporting clay open from 1 to 5 p.m. and a land owner and hunter reception at 6 p.m.. The next day, the Governor’s Sporting Clay Tournament will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the same time, open trap shooting will be available. Keller said two selected youth hunters will be welcome to join either of these events along with the main hunt. There will also be an archery sharp-shooting

demonstration by Heath Getty, a noted Kansas bow hunter. However, the time has not been set yet. “He ought to be fun to watch,” Keller said. Team photos will be taken from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and then the main event of the weekend will start. The Governor’s Reception will run from 6 to 10 p.m., and includes a barbecue dinner, live and silent auctions and a concert. The concert will be put on by Joey+Rory, a country-singing duo. Keller said they will sell tickets, at $40 each, until they sell out. For information or tickets, she said, call the Buffalo Bill Cabin at (785) 671-1000. On Nov. 17, the main hunt will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with snacks, lunch and beverages provided. Kids 12 to 16 can apply to join the hunt. The organizing committee will choose two youth hunters to participate. After the hunt, from 6 to 10 p.m., the awards dinner will feature a musical performance by Rivers Rutherford, a top country music song

writer. On the last day, a bonus hunt will be offered for those who are interested, with participants leaving for the field at 8:30 a.m. All the activities surrounding the Classic will be held at the new Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, an 8,000-square-foot cultural and visitor center that includes a 3,200-square-foot multi-purpose event space that can hold meetings and events for of up to 300 people. Keller said construction of the center should be complete by Nov. 1, and the event will be the first after it opens. “We will have a grand opening on Dec. 1,” she added, “but the public is welcome to see it after the event.” For information about the Ringneck Classic, call Keller at (785) 672-3031 or Jim Millensifer at (785) 672-3062, ext. 22, or e-mail contact@

Event to last extra day

Fall 2012

SIGHTS On Great Nationwide Coverage At The


Friday, Nov. 16 Breakfast for the hunters will be served from 6 to 8 a.m. Friday at the hotels. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the Governor’s Sporting Clay Tournament from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and open trap shooting at the same time. There will be a hunter and guide meeting at 3:30 p.m., followed by team photos from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. That evening from 6 to 10 p.m. is the main community event of the hunt, the Governor’s Reception. The reception includes a barbecue dinner, live and silent auctions and a concert by Joey+Rory, a country music duo. Tickets are on sale now for $40. Call (785) 671-1000.

Sunday, Nov. 18 After breakfast Sunday, there will be a bonus hunt. Hunters and guides will again gather and depart by 8:30 a.m.

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Set Your

This year’s Kansas Governor’s Ringneck Classic in Oakley promises to top last year’s, with an extra day added and more hunters expected. Gov. Sam Brownback will be back for the hunt this year, along with about 80 hunters. Already signed up are State Rep. Don Hineman; Gerald Lauber, chairman of the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission; professional artist Jerry Thomas; and Country music artist Rory Feek. Last year’s hunt raised more than $50,000 for charities and other groups. This year the money will go the Northwest Kansas Classic Foundation, which supports habitat improvement and conservation; the Logan County Health Care Foundation; the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center in Oakley; and Pheasants Forever. Event Schedule: Thursday, Nov. 15 The event will begin with arrival and registration at 1 p.m. Thursday and a trap and sporting clay open from 1 to 5 p.m. That evening at 6 p.m. will be a reception for guides, landowners and hunters.

Saturday, Nov. 17 Saturday will start with breakfast from 6 to 8 a.m. Hunters and guides will convene and depart for their hunting areas by 8:30 a.m. The hunt itself will go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Snacks, field lunch and beverages will be provided. From 6 to 10 p.m. that evening will be an awards dinner with music by country songwriter Rivers Rutherford.


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Fall 2012

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Birds flying south

By Sam Dieter

“That’s why our wetlands are so important,”

Colby Free Press Bidrowski said. “What you will have an portunity to harvest kind of depends on where

With flocks of birds flying south for the winter, Kansas hunters will have ample opportunity to bag a few. “There’s a great opportunity to do a diversity of hunting in the state,” said Tom Bidrowski, migratory game bird program manager for the state Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Bidrowski said he considers himself to be mainly a duck hunter and ended up with his job because he became interested in the biology of the birds. He said that roughly 50 species of migratory birds are hunted in Kansas. These birds are defined as being under the Migratory Bird Act, meaning they are managed under federal law and international treaties, “among the states’ fish and wildlife services and among the Canadian fish and wildlife service and among the Canadian provinces,” and in several countries. “These are birds where part of their life cycle is spent not only in other states, but other countries,” Bidrowski said. “They kind of stop over here to rest, put on a bit of fat before they migrate.” Many of these are water birds that fly along rivers and use Kansas waterways as a stopover. One of their central migration routes passes through Kansas, forming a sort of bottleneck here and in Nebraska.

you’re hunting and how you’re hunting.” For instance, he said, a shallow area of standing water, called a “playa lake,” is a preferred habitat for mallard ducks and geese. A playa might be only a few inches deep and will freeze up quickly, as opposed to a deeper lake or reservoir. The most popular migratory birds, on the other hand, are not waterfowl. Doves, namely the mourning dove, but also the white-winged and collared doves, are favorites for hunters. “We have roughly about 50,000 dove hunters in the state,” Bidrowski said. “We’re usually in the top 10 for harvest.” Hunters can take up to half a million doves in some years, he added. These birds need a water source, he said, but fields containing milo, sunflowers and wheat stubble and other seeds attract them. Doves are found earlier in the fall and don’t migrate as far. “Things like doves, a lot of them are home grown,” the biologist said. Waterfowl come both later in the season and next in popularity. Kansas draws about 25,000 duck hunters, Bidrowski said, with slightly fewer shooting geese, although it’s hard to keep track of those numbers. “Many of our duck hunters are also dove hunt-

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Fall 2012

Hunting guide

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will give hunters good opportunities ers and many of our dove hunters are also goose hunters,” he said. Kansas allows hunting for 27 species of ducks. Species are in season at different times, in different regions. Our high plains region sits west of U.S. 283, running through Norton and WaKeeney. “Usually, the duck hunters are pretty ardent hunters,” Bidrowski said. “There’s a lot of nuances.” Another complicated game bird to hunt is the Sandhill crane. Shooting this animal’s close cousin, the whopping crane, is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 fine or a year in prison. “They’re one of the rarest birds in the U.S., if not in the world,” Bidrowski said of the whooping crane. Whoopers are white with black and red accents on their heads, while the more common sandhill cranes are grey. To get a permit to hunt sandhill cranes, a hunter must take an online test to tell the difference between the birds, he added, and fewer than 900 permits are given out each year. “We have two different kinds of crane hunters,” Bidrowski said. “Probably a larger portion of our hunters do it opportunistically when goose hunting of if they know where they can be found.” Other migratory birds open for hunting include teal, rail, snipe and woodcock, he said, which are found mostly in eastern Kansas.

These Canada geese are one of several species of waterfowl south in the winter. Many species of duck also provide good that migrate through Kansas going north in the summer and hunting in the Sunflower state.

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Fall 2012

Chance Hoeting, 17, lined up for a shot at the Kinsley Kid Classic meet Sept. 15 in Kinsley as part of the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Hoeting qualiďŹ ed for the


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state match in Valley Center, which was held in early October.

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Fall 2012

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Squirrels, rabbits favorite small game By Cynthia Haynes

The Oberlin Herald

Not everyone wants to go out and hunt large animals or things that fly. Some people just want to go squirrel hunting. In Kansas, there are seasons for two popular types of small game available for the hunter – squirrel and rabbit. Squirrels include gray and fox, and rabbits are divided between cottontails and jackrabbits. All of these species can be hunted with shotguns no larger than 10 gauge with shot only, centerfire and rimfire rifles and semiautomatic handguns, muzzleloading shotguns, crossbows, rifles and pistols, cap-and-ball pistols, pellet guns, BB guns, bows and arrows, sling shots and falcons. Squirrel season runs from June 1 to Thursday, Feb. 28, with a daily bag limit of five and a possession limit of 20. Rabbit season is open all year, with a daily bag limit of 10 and a possession limit of 30. Box traps are legal for rabbits during legal shooting hours of one-half hour before sunrise until sunset. It is legal to hunt or take other small game in Kansas, although most species do not commonly make their way to the dinner table. The legal list includes: Amphibians (including frogs), armadillo, commensal and other rodents, feral pigeons, gophers, ground squirrels, invertebrates, kangaroo rats, moles, porcupine, prairie dogs, reptiles, ex-

cept common snapping turtles and soft-shelled turtles, woodchucks and wood rats. It is legal to take this interesting list of creatures with bow and arrow; crossbow; deadfall; dogs or falconry; semiautomatic firearms; glue board; hand; net or seine; pellet and BB gun; poison, poisonous gas or smoke; projectiles hand-thrown or propelled by a slingshot; snare or noose; and trap. It is legal to use scopes or sights that project no visible light toward the target and do not electronically amplify visible or infrared light,. The season for these critters is year around and there are no bag or possession limits except that no more than five of any one species of amphibian, reptile or mussel may be possessed and no more than five live specimens of mussels may be possessed. Two opposing shells shall constitute one mussel. A hunting license is required for all these except for the invertebrates. Other lesser known bird and small game species legal in Kansas include: • Mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves. • Rail, snipe, woodcock, September teal, prairie chicken, sandhill cranes and crows. • Bullfrogs. Each of these has its own season(s) and some, such as the prairie chicken, can only be hunted in certain areas of the state. Check the state website for information about hunting unusual species in Kansas or call the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism operations office at (620) 672-5911.

Friday, November 16, 20 Fall 2012

Hunting guide

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The Ringneck Class


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Fall 2012

Fur still sought but trapping is

By Cynthia Haynes

The Oberlin Herald

Coyotes are a special class of furbearer.

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While fur is less popular than it once was, women and men still wear fur coats and hats and use pelts to trim out everything from gloves to bedspreads. While much of nations fur is obtained from farm-raised animals, it is legal to hunt and trap furbearing species in Kansas and many other states. While mink is always popular, the fur of water animals like otter and beaver is still preferred for coats and hats by many people, said Larry Stone, a wildlife conservation officer, or game warden, for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. “It’s nice and soft and thick and warm,” he said, and it makes excellent outerwear. But hunters and trappers will probably get the best prices for bobcat pelts, he noted. A bobcat, depending on its size and the condition of the pelt, can be worth anything from $30 to $40 up to a couple of hundred when they are sent up north for auction. Those who take the time to carefully skin, deflesh and prepare hides for tanning will get the best prices, he said. However, beware. If you don’t know what you are doing, you can do more harm to the hide than

good, and that will lower the price. Mr. Stone estimated that raccoon pelts are bringing $8 to $12 apiece here. Quite a few people are willing to hunt furbearers, he said, but trapping is a dying art. “People just don’t do that too much anymore,” he said. However, he noted that some animals, like beaver, are pretty easy to trap because they always return to their den and a conibear trap placed underwater can be put on their front doorstep. This kind of trap kills the animal almost instantly, he said, which is why it can only be used underwater and not where domestic animals like dogs could get in one. Those hunting or trapping in Kansas must have a special license and prices vary with age and residency. A resident adult fur harvester license in $20.50. A resident junior license, for kids under 15, is $12.50 and a nonresident license is $252.50. Fur dealers must pay $102.50 if they are a Kansas resident and $402.50 if they aren’t. These can be purchased at regular license outlets or online at The season on furbearers is from noon Wednesday, Nov. 14, to midnight Friday, Feb. 15. Species that are legal to hunt or trap include badger, bobcat, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, swift fox, gray fox, striped skunk and

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for coats, hats; practiced less weasel. Those that can be run with dogs are bobcat, opossum, raccoon, red fox and gray fox. Beaver and otters may be trapped in Kansas from Nov. 14 through Sunday, March 31. There is no limit on beaver but there is a two otter limit and their season will close when a statewide Raccoon quota of 100 animals is met. (Otters taken within three days after the quota is met are not a problem.) While there is normally no limit on furbearers, nonresidents may only take one bobcat with a gun, bow or crossbow. Trapping is not allowed. A nonresident bobcat permit is $102.50 and a furbearer license is not needed if that is all that is being taken. Coyotes are a special class. It’s open season on coyotes all year long, all over the state. However, a hunting license is required to hunt and a fur harvester license is required to trap and sell coyotes hides. Coyotes are the only furbearer that can be hunted using motor vehicles and

radios in vehicles. It is legal to use guns (except for fully automatic firearms), bow and arrow or crossbow for any furbearer, including coyotes. It is also legal to use smooth-jawed, foothold, body-gripping, box, cage, snare and colony traps and deadfalls. However, all traps, including snares and deadfalls must be tagged with the user’s name and address or a Wildlife Departmentissued number. Calls, lures, bait and decoys are legal. License exemptions include: • Owners or tenants of farm land and immediate family members on their own land. • Residents 13 or younger while with a licensed fur harvesting adult. • Nonresidents using state field trial permits. Field trials may use wild or pen-raised coyotes, gray foxes, opossums, raccoons and red foxes, but must have a state permit.

Fall 2012


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Bobcats bring some of the best prices on the fur market.

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Hunting guide

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Fall 2012

Family raises pheasants By Karen Krien

The Saint Francis Herlad

Todd and Tracy Neitzel and their two sons, Cutter and Colton, have been raising pheasants at their farm south of St. Francis since 2005. Martin and Charlotte Hilt with Spring Creek Game Birds, north of St. Francis, also raise pheasants and got the Neitzels started. Before they could take the first baby chicks, the Neitzels said, they needed to do some remodeling. They transformed their barn into a brooder house. It was insulated, tinned inside and new wiring was installed along with fans, heaters and a watering system. Since it was a barn, Tracy Neitzel said, the floor is cement and too cold for the baby chicks, so they lined the floor with wood chips, which keeps the chicks off the cold floor. The chips are also an insulation, which keeps the brooder house warmer. The chicks are a day old when the Neitzels get them, she said. The first few weeks, they are kept in the barn, which is heated to 95 degrees. As the chicks get older, the heat is turned down. The last few years, Tracy said, she has bought the chicks from Blue Hill Game Birds and Hatchery in Tipton. They get around 1,500 chicks per batch and they raise two batches each year.

The first batch, she said, comes to the farm in May and the second in July. When they are around four weeks-old, the chicks are introduced to the outside. For several weeks, they are able to go back and forth. When they are six weeks old, they are pushed completely outside into a small pen. At that time, each chick has blinders put on it to help to keep them from pecking each other. “They can be mean little animals to each other,” Tracy said. At eight weeks, they are moved into the bigger flight pens. The Neitzels’ flight pens are 50 by 300 feet with chicken wire on the sides and tin on the bottoms. They use aviary netting for the top. “We like the pheasants to have plenty of room to fly,” she said. The flight pens have waterers and self feeders. They let the weeds grow for natural cover for the birds. Paths are mowed for the Neitzels to get the tractor in to fill the feeders and herd the birds when it is time to load them for customers. Pheasants are considered adults when they are around 4 months old. Around that time or shortly thereafter, Tracy said, the distinctive white ring around the male’s neck is clear. Most people, Tracy said, want their birds when they are adults. She moves many of the pheasants out in October. As of the first part of

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October, she had already moved 500 birds from the first batch. Pheasants are sensitive and death can occur in different circumstances. Most of the death loss, Tracy said, occurs when changes happen. There always seems to be a few die during the first week after they arrive. “During any transaction, the birds are stressed,” she said. “They are especially if the weather changes.” If they get cold, the birds will begin to pile up and hundreds could be lost at one time. Moves from the barn, to the holding pen, to the flight pen are big changes for them, she said, and food and water sources need to be readily available right away. The heat this summer was hard on the birds, Tracy said. To help them combat the temperature, she supplied the birds with plenty of fresh water. During the hot times of the day, she would turn on a sprinkler in the flight pen to keep them cooled off. Colton and Cutter help their parents care for the flock, Tracy said. It may be filling buckets with grain for her to carry to the barn, cleaning the waterers, helping put blinders on or helping herd and catch the birds. “They know every aspect of the game birds,” their mom said. Sometimes the birds are a lot of work, she added, especially getting them to the flight pen.

But once the birds are there, they are a little less labor intensive. They still need to be checked on every day, fed and watered, just like any other livestock. The pheasants are fed a special ration of corn and other things made just for birds, she said. It has the right balance of vitamins and minerals to help them along. The Neitzels said they buy their feed from Mizer Milling in Atwood. Most of the birds are sold to hunting clubs and dog trainers; some buyers are local and others are along the Front Range in Colorado. Some years, the supply and demand is better than others. It depends, Tracy said, on the population of wild birds. Some people just like to supplement their hunts and release birds on their property. Sometimes, the Neitzels deliver the birds and other times, the buyer picks them up. The Neitzels have transportation crates to haul the birds in but the birds must be caught one by one with a net. At that time, she said, they take the blinders off. For more information on buying pheasants or what it takes to raise pheasants, call Tracy at (785) 332-5600.

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Fall 2012

Hunting guide

Page 35H

Putting blinders on their birds, Cutter Neitzel (left) and Colton Neitzel help their from pecking each other These are taken off when they are sold. parents around the pheasant farm. The pheasants receive blinders to keep them – Photo by Tracy Neitzel


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Fall 2012

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Dry conditions stress pheasants, deer, small game Marian Ballard

Colby Free Press

The effects of drought on game populations have been greater this year because of the extreme drought in much of the area last year, experts say. Dave Dahlgren, small-game specialist with the Hays office of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, says drought hurts most species, but to have extreme drought two years in a row means populations don’t get back up to normal. Reproduction goes into a downward spiral. The effect of drought on specific populations depends on the species, he added. Deer, for example, have high adult survival rates, meaning that most adults make it to the next year. Their life expectancy when they are past the juvenile stage is four to eight years. Pheasants, though, have a life expectancy under a year. They nest only once a year, but if they lose a nest to predators, they’ll try again – that is, they are “persistent nesters.” Other game birds that are persistent nesters are quail and to some extent prairie chickens, Dahlgren said. While different species of birds have different nesting habits, there are environmental factors that affect them all. A spring drought affects the number of eggs laid by the hens, according to Dahlgren, because there are fewer resources available. This in turn leads to smaller broods. Not only will there be fewer eggs, but the nests will be more vulnerable in a drought, due to less cover – fewer plants will come up and those that do will have smaller and less lush growth. This has a triple impact on bird populations. There is less food, there is less protection from predators and there is less shade to offer shelter from higher temperatures. All of these factors increase the risk of a nest being lost and

the mother hen having to start over. Second nests are not ideal, however. They depend on having resources available to hens, and they generally produce smaller broods, with six or eight eggs in a nest rather than the dozen or more that would be usual in a first nest. Spring drought has a direct effect on both the number of eggs and the cover available for a game hen to hide her nest, he said. And heat can drive a hen off a late second nest as well, especially when there is no rain. Temperatures above 100 degrees can kill the hen or the chicks in the nest. Lack of rain means no cooling to the air, Dahlgren said, and no shade in the microhabitat – that is, the area immediately surrounding the nest. With deer and antelope, he said, the heat affects fawn survival, he said, largely due to lack of cover. While a brood of chicks may die due to the heat, however, a fawn is less likely to. Multi-year effects come into play, he said, especially with birds, because fewer of last year’s chicks survived to breed this year. So, starting with fewer adults, heat and drought further reduced the size and number of broods, directly reducing the number of juveniles in the population now. So, when we speak of record heat and drought, what are we really talking about? According to information collected at Kansas State University’s Northwest Research-Extension Center in Colby, rainfall this year is about 60 percent of normal. Maximum temperatures were higher than normal in eight of the first nine months of 2012. In 2011, total precipitation was slightly below normal, but that average included nine months when in was below normal – January through July, September and November. High temperatures were above normal for seven months in 2011 – March and April, June through August and October-November.

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Fall 2012

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Old-fashioned black powder is still popular By Carlleen Bell

The Norton Telegram

Though more modern weaponry has become popular, traditional muzzle loader, blackpowder shooting is alive and well in northwest Kansas, especially for shooters who enjoy the nostalgia of the traditional firearms. For people who are interested in learning more about muzzle loading weapons, several gun shops in the region offer guns and supply sales and service. Tyler Flock, a gunsmith at the Great Outdoors Gun Shop in Atwood, reports that muzzle loaders are available in handguns, rifles and shotguns. Muzzle loaders differ from more modern firearms because they require shooters to load powder and bullets into the barrel. Usually, only one round can be loaded at a time, requiring a reload before each shot. Traditional muzzle loaders, Flock said, are fired with a flint-rock system, where a piece of flint strikes a piece of steel, creating a spark to ignite the gunpowder. More modern muzzle loaders, however, use a self-contained percussion system to ignite the powder. “The in-line guns are easier to work with because the ignition system is all self-contained,” Flock said. “You don’t have to worry about the powder and ignitor getting wet or being exposed to the elements.” For hunting large game like deer, he said, the best type of muzzle loader is a black-powder rifle. These are most often used for competition shooting and for hunting big game. With an expanding hollow-point bullet, the shot will take down big game faster because the shot expands and is less likely to only cripple or injure an animal. For hunting small game like birds, Flock

recommended a muzzle loader shotgun. The shotguns are also used a lot in “Old West” reenactments. Black powder hand guns, Flock said, aren’t usually used for hunting, but offer nostalgia for shooters. The handguns are used in re-enactments and competition shooting, like cowboy action shooting. Muzzle loader firearms can be purchased new as replicas and refurbished originals are available through gun shops and online retailers. For anyone interested in buying a kit to get started in black powder shooting, Flock recommends searching for a muzzle loading kit. “The kit will come with everything you need to get started,” he said. “It comes with a gun and cleaning rod, everything except the powder and bullets.” Any supplier that sells or repairs muzzle loaders will likely sell powder and ammunition. Powder is available in loose form, which has to be measured. It is also available in pre-measured pellets, which are easier to carry and load. An alternative is smokeless powder, which burns cleaner than the traditional black powder. People who use muzzle loading weapons often participate in black powder shooting competitions. Many gun ranges in the region hold competitions and recreational events to keep alive the tradition of black powder and muzzle loading. One of the founders of the Prairie Powder Packers gun club in Norton, Charles Posson, reported that what is now called the Norton Gun Club started in the late 1970s almost exclusively as a muzzle-loader shooting club. Over the years, the club has held many events to celebrate and carry on the traditions of black powder. In more recent years, the club has begun to hold events for all kinds of firearms, but black powder shoots are still held at the gun range.

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Sherman County youth got the chance to learn how to load and fire a black powder rifle at the Youth Skills Day in June at Bellamy Farms. – Photo by Kevin Bottrell/The Goodland Star-News

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Hunting guide

Fall 2012

Jim Touslee of Baldwin was out looking for birds last year. An avid hunter, Touslee generally spends several weeks in northwest Kansas hunting pheasant and deer. – Photo by Karen Krien/Saint Francis Herald

Haynes Publishing Hunting 2012  

Haynes Publishing Hunting 2012

Haynes Publishing Hunting 2012  

Haynes Publishing Hunting 2012