Monthly Archives: October 2009

Rusty – the 1989 “Dog” truck

KAUAI, HAWAII – From the looks of the highways most tourists rent newish Sebring convertibles or Jeep Wranglers to tour these islands.

Not the Pearces, we’ve been driving amid some of the world’s most spectacular scenery in a 1989 Dog.

Well, actually Rusty is a 1989 Dodge pick-up but the last time it needed a touch-up the owner used a roller and some house paint, inadvertently covering  a D and the E on the tail-gate.

It’s one of the truck’s many quirks.

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Aloha!

The view from Lindsey's deck on the island of Kauai. Not a bad place to have to visit a daughter away "at school."

The view from Lindsey's deck on the island of Kauai. Not a bad place to have to visit a daughter away "at school."

Seven hours on a jam-packed 737, surrounded by more screaming little kids than a day-care center.

But we made it to Kauai to see Lindsey. Her educational road brought her to a hospital here for one of the three physical therapy clinicals she needs to finish her doctorate.

One of the nurses is renting an over-the-garage apartment to her. The first attached photo shows the view from the deck. No kidding, this is what I saw when I got out of bed.

Somethings I’ve already learned.

This place is over-run with feral chickens. No need for an alarm clock, never a shortage of a good dinner, either.

Food from a Taco Bell with a clerk dressed in a flowery shirt, speaking with a Hawaiian accent and surrounded by palm trees tastes better than what I get at the Taco Bell in El Dorado.

People are friendly, as they are in most smallish towns in America.

Upcoming plans include saltwater fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and an island tour from a Hawaiian who’s hunted this island all of his life.

Oh, he’s cooking an island specialty for us to – venison!

I’m anxious to see how it’s fixed. This is one old dog who’s not afraid to learn a few new tricks.

View from the end of the street, about 100 yards from where Lindsey lives and where we're staying.

View from the end of the street, about 100 yards from where Lindsey lives and where we're staying.

Good-bye to a great dog

In the wind, rain and cold I watched a good friend bury a great dog today.

Kate, Ed Markel’s 17-year-old Gordon setter, died in her sleep last night. Ed buried Kate beside his favored duck blind on his favored duck pond. It was a place Kate knew very, very well.

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On Misty Monday

Early October is prime time for Greg Pickett to pick paw-paws along a creek bottom in Elk County. You can read about on Sunday's outdoors page.

Early October is prime time for Greg Pickett to pick paw-paws along a creek bottom in Elk County. You can read about on Sunday's outdoors page.

Word from the major public marshes in the low plains early zone is that most hunters met with success.

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS – Wildlife area manager Karl Grover said Saturday’s opener saw quite a few hunters. The day’s average was about 3.9 ducks per hunter. Sunday the average was about 2.9 ducks per hunter.

Grover said pintails are possibly the most common duck at Cheyenne Bottoms, with good numbers of teal and shovelers about, too.

He described water conditions as “good” and habitat conditions as “excellent.”

MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS – Manager Brent Theede said Saturday’s opener was probably the most-crowded since the wetlands opened. Success was mixed.

“We talked with guys that had limits and guys who only had one or two,” Theede said. “I don’t think we talked with anybody who didn’t get a bird, though.”

Blue and green-winged teal made up the majority of the birds taken over the weekend.

Oh, problems posting photos online for the Maine moose hunting story have been fixed. They’re at www.kansas.com/outdoors if you’d like to see them.

I’ve been enjoying some of the paw-paws we picked yesterday in Elk County. That story runs Sunday.

Bald Eagles arriving

An immature bald eagle, one of two feeding on a deer carcass, flushes Sunday morning in Elk County. New eagles into an area are a sure-sign fall migrations are happening.

An immature bald eagle, one of two feeding on a deer carcass, flushes Sunday morning in Elk County. New eagles into an area are a sure-sign fall migrations are happening.

No doubt about it. Wildlife is on the move in the skies over Kansas.

That includes our national symbol.

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Octember!

So long garden, hello serious hunting seasons.

No hunting for me today. Family’s in town and we have a lot to do before heading to Hawaii. I also get to work tomorrow.

But reports I’ve gotten from those who braved the cold today are pretty good.

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Grousing

Ruffed grouse are known as the king of gamebirds by many wingshooters. These were found around the apple trees of long-abandoned Maine farmsteads.

Ruffed grouse are known as the king of gamebirds by many wingshooters. These were found around the apple trees of long-abandoned Maine farmsteads.

Imagine trying to hit quail that flush with the speed of prairie chickens and fly with the maneuverability of  green-winged teal.

While you’re at it, imagine hunting such birds in briars and saplings so thick you sometimes can’t see a bird flying 20 yards away.

And imagine you’re enjoying one of America’s most classic wing-shooting adventures.

So it goes with ruffed grouse.

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Zebra mussels confirmed at Wilson Lake

Wildlife officials have confirmed the presence of zebra mussels at Wilson Lake.

Jason Goeckler, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Park aquatic nuisance species coordinator, said zebra mussels were found on several boats at the lake’s marina and in the surrounding shallow water this morning.

A tip from a local man who found mussels while working on a boat came Wednesday afternoon.

Zebra mussels have now been confirmed in seven Kansas lakes. Locally El Dorado was the state’s first in 2003. They were found in Cheney Lake in 2007, and in Marion Lake and Lake Afton last year.

Zebra mussels were introduced in the U.S about 20 years ago by European freighters in the Great Lakes. More than a dozen states now have the highly prolific creatures that can produce tens of thousands of young per year.

They can easily be transported from one body of water to another on the hulls of boats, in bait buckets or any place in a boat that holds water. Kansas is one of many states to have implemented educational programs urging boaters and anglers on how to prevent the spread of mussels.

“This could have been stopped,” Goeckler said. “It’s getting frustrating.”

Zebra mussels have been documented clogging intake pipes at water and utility plants, sometimes causing up to a million dollars damage per year. Goeckler said mussels coming down the Kansas River from Perry Lake are beginning to cause problems for a water-intake plant in Lawrence.

They also can out-compete native fish and mollusks for food and habitat.

Wilson’s central Kansas location puts several other lakes at risk.

“We have a new hub in the wheel now,” Goeckler said. “Now they’re close to lakes like Glen Elder, Kanopolis and Webster that are all around there.”

For more information go to www.kdwp.state.ks.us.

Moose Down – but not out

At 800 pounds, an adult bull moose isn't moved easily. Here four hunting guides work to position a bull for photos and cleaning.

At 800 pounds, an adult bull moose isn't moved easily. Here four hunting guides work to position a bull for photos and cleaning.

A buddy from Arkansas says one of the best things of his life was shooting a moose in Ontario.

Same guy says one of the worst things of his life was shooting a moose in Ontario.

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Moose down – finally

About 50 hours of hard hunted ended up with about 15 seconds of chaos when this bull moose charged in to calls. Chris Tymeson, left, shot the bull at 18 and about 10 yards.

About 50 hours of hard hunting ended up with about 15 seconds of chaos when this bull moose charged in to calls. Chris Tymeson, left, shot the bull at 18 and about 10 yards.

In the end about 50 hours of hard walking up and down hills and slogging through swampy muck came down to about 15 seconds of pandemonium.

That’s about how much time elapsed from when this bull moose heard the guide’s cow calls until it charged on to the scene.

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