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Pheasant fervor

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Season’s

Greetings Photo courtesy of Max Bur

North Dakota prime spot for pike fishing

Josh Rouse WASHBURN REVIEW

Max Bur WASHBURN REVIEW Thanksgiving in North Dakota was cold as it hung just above freezing so needless to say I was a little bit surprised when my uncle asked if I wanted to go hit the water for a little while. I personally thought it was far too cold and there would be a thin sheet of ice. He reassured me, arguing that it had been windy. So I got my gear, which I carry with me at all times, and we headed down to the local fishing hotspot known as The Canal. The Canal is simply an irrigation canal off of the James River that is roughly 30 feet wide, goes for about half a mile, and from what I could tell gets about 12 feet deep. The bottom is FISHING littered with TIPS tumbleweeds and by about late fall all other vegetation that might have been growing in it has almost completely died off. Now as to why the fishing in The Canal is so consistent I have no idea, but what I do know is that the next time I go back I’m putting better line on my rod. Not only is it consistent, but the fish are quality size. It’s not uncommon according to some of the locals that were there to pull an 10-15 pound pike out of there. Now if that doesn’t make you nervously look down at your bail that has been spooled with 10 pound test line, then I don’t know what does. I decided to start out casting with one of my favorite big fish lures, a half ounce Booyah double willow leaf spinner. Within the first 20 minutes I had hooked up to a solid fish, it started stripping drag like I had a freight train. After a short fight I had the fish netted courtesy of my uncle. At seven and a half pounds and 30 inches he was pretty impressive, especially considering the next biggest one I’d managed to land was about 20 inches and in Canada. So if you’re looking for some quality pike fishing and don’t feel like forking over an arm and a leg for Canada, or fighting the crowds in Wisconsin and Minnesota, North Dakota is definitely a viable option.

Max Bur is a freshman mass media major. Reach him at max.bur@ washburn.edu.

Photo courtesy of Garrett Love

Bod blasters: (Left to right) Washburn students Michael Glass and Garrett Love and graduates Tim Mathias, Charlie Ross and Reed Howard pose after a successful opening day of pheasant hunting afield in Montezuma. Washburn student Michael Glass and alumni Reed Howard, Tim Mathias and Charlie Ross, shot 120 pheasants in just a few hours. Mathias, a 2009 graduate of Washburn who is originally from Eric Smith Hutchinson, is familiar with hunting, WASHBURN REVIEW having gone out for geese, duck, deer and turkey. He said he enjoys hunting “just Walking through the tall, thick for the thrill and excitement and just brush on a chilly November morning being out there with a bunch of guys in Western Kansas, Garrett Love is doing man things.” pheasant hunting. Out of nowhere, Opening day is especially a pheasant jumps up right out from exciting he said. underneath him. “That’s when It flies into the “ everybody’s out, air, and Love lots of gunshots,” immediately said Mathias. “It’s Everyone wants shoots it down. an adrenaline rush to make it out for For him, when you first spending time start.” opening weekend. with his loved Both Mathias - Garrett Love ones out in the and Love said fields hunting they shot the Washburn student near his home max limit of four is truly a great ” pheasants, and pastime. Love said it kind Love, who’s been hunting since has been a goal to do that every time he “could hold a gun,” recently went he goes out. out on opening day for pheasant While limiting out is not a real hunting for the first time in four challenge for Love, a challenge did years, something he was able to do arise recently on another trip back since he’s not playing basketball for home over Thanksgiving break. the Ichabods. A bird was coming toward the “Everyone wants to make it out group from a good distance away for opening weekend,” said Love. and was high up in the sky. Love “We enjoy it, getting to spend that saw it coming and prepared to take time with those friends and family it. While most shots are straight aims because you don’t get to see them from closer range, this one required that often.” some leading because it was so far On that day near Montezuma, in away. what Love calls an area that has “the “You see those ones, then you best pheasant hunting in the world,” have to measure is it close enough he and a group of 36 others including yet and look at your range, is this

WU students travel to western Kansas for pheasant hunting trip

2009 HUNTING SEASONS Snipe—Sept. 1-Dec. 16 Squirrel—June 1-Feb. 28 Rabbits—All year Elk—Archery: Sept. 21-Dec. 31; Firearm: Dec. 2-13, Jan. 1-March 15 Deer— Archery: Sept. 21-Dec. 31; Firearm: Dec. 2-13 Fall Turkey—Dec. 14-31, Jan. 11-31

Ducks—Oct. 31-Jan. 3 Canada and Light Geese—Nov. 11Feb. 14 White-fronted Geese—Nov. 11-Jan. 3 Trapping — Nov. 18-Feb. 15 Pheasant & Quail — Nov. 14-Jan. 31, 2010

going to be a good shot? Am I just wasting shells?” he said. “You want to have a Hail Mary, a full-court shot, and every once in a while it goes.” Love’s long-shot went in. “It was the best shot of my life,” he said. However his adventure was not over. As he was running to get the first, another comes into his eye, not nearly as high in the sky but just as far. He took it down, and was very happy to have shot a two-bird combo in several seconds when pheasants can be hard to come by. “There’s days where you may go a full day where you may only get three shots,” he said. “It’s not often that two of them fly up at the same time.” Love said his skill as a hunter has increased in recent years because of a big switch he made with his hunting technique. “I’m right-handed but my left eye is dominant and it’s a lot stronger than my right. So I made a transition of hunting with my right hand to my left,” said Love. “Obviously, it’s like anything going from your right to your left, but once I’ve developed it, it’s been better for me because my left eye is that much better. So it stepped up my game a little bit once I got that down.” Overall, Love said while his family isn’t the most hardcore pheasant hunters, it does allow for great fun, good eating and just great bonding time. “Western Kansas doesn’t get better than that,” said Love. Eric Smith is a senior mass media major. Reach him at eric.smith1@ washburn.edu.

Amidst the preparations for finals and Christmas, today marks the beginning of a season that many hunters have spent months preparing for. Today is the opening day of rifle season for deer and elk across the state of Kansas. While archery season has been open for just more than two months, and all of the other major hunting seasons (fall turkey, waterfowl and pheasant) are still in progress, the rifle season for deer is by far and large the most anticipated. Perhaps the anxiety surrounding this particular season has something to do with the length of the season—at only 12 days, it is one of the shortest seasons on the hunting calendar—or perhaps it stems from frustrated bow hunters who haven’t been able to get a buck in close enough and desperately need a change in artillery. Whatever the reason, buck fever is at ADVICE its peak during COLUMN the dozen days of rifle season. While many of my columns have traditionally been geared more toward beginning hunters, this one has a slightly different target audience: professors, girlfriends and bosses. To the professors: I realize finals and yearlong projects are important. I also realize the rifle season will be gone in the blink of an eye. Please do all the hunters on campus a favor and stop making things do a week before finals. We get the point, school is important... so is hunting. Why do you think so many students support Success Week? To the girlfriends: Hey baby. I know you said you wanted to see “New Moon” sometime, and I promise we will... but baby, it’ll still be at the theater 13 days from now. I promise. And I don’t understand what the hurry is to see it. It’s not like you haven’t already read the book. You know, back in the old days, people didn’t even have movies to go along with books... they had to use their imagination... baby? To the bosses: Dear sir or ma’am, don’t be surprised when your employer suddenly catches a bad case of the pig flu or has a dead aunt in California they have to go bury. Just do the right thing and give him or her the time off. It’s only 12 days, and I’m sure the new guy in accounting would be willing to cover for them... unless he’s a hunter, too. Just be sure to ask for some deer jerky when they get back. Josh Rouse is a junior mass media major. Reach him at joshua.rouse@ washburn.edu.

Heated dock open for winter Josh Rouse WASHBURN REVIEW

$20.50 for the year. A resident can also buy a combo license (hunting and fishing) for $38.50 and a trout license for $12.50. Non-residents can purchase an For those anglers in need of a winter annual license for $42.50. Five day and fix, Lake Shawnee has the answer. 24 hour licenses may also be purchased The lake’s heated dock, located for $22.50 and $5.50, respectively. at the marina at 3320 S.E. Dock Dr. Mild or severe weather in Topeka, recently opened conditions, however, may for business. The dock’s HEATED result in early or delayed operating schedule is from 8 opening or closing of the DOCK a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a facility. week. The dock opened Dec. If in doubt about the 1 and will run through March 31. heated dock’s operating schedule, call Regular fishing licenses are still the Lake Shawnee Marina at 785-267required for winter fishing. A Kansas 2211. resident may purchase a fishing license from local stores such as Wal-Mart Josh Rouse is a junior mass media or K-Mart or through the Kansas major. Reach him at joshua.rouse@ Department of Wildlife and Parks for washburn.edu.

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Washburn Review - Outdoors Page - Dec. 2, 2009  

Review Outdoors page from 2009.

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