Monthly Archives: October 2010

The lonely pear

I tried to do my part for the overall health of our nation. Really. But I failed.

blogOct290005_mpJust before Thursday’s annual newsroom trick-or-treat party for the kids of co-workers I placed a very nice pear amid my bucket of Reece’s sticks. It was something like one piece of healthy, home-grown fruit and about 50 sticks of chocolate and peanut butter.

When the party was over I had one piece of fruit and five pieces of candy. At least most of the kids recognized it as some kind of fruit and many knew it was a pear.

I ate it on my way home. The kids didn’t know what they were missing.

By that late in the day I was tired of candy, anyway.

Quivira closed for duck opener

Officials at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge said the area will not be open for Saturday’s opening of duck season because of whooping cranes using the area. Quivira is closed to all kinds of hunting when whoopers are present.

Hunters are urged to check Quivira’s website daily for status reports.

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Checking the memory cards on trail cameras is kind of like running a trotline. Will you have anything at all? Is that tug on the line a big flathead, a couple of big carp or a huge snapping turtle?

Last weekend I found this strange photo along with those of several deer on a camera placed in rural Harvey County.


The bird is obviously a crow. Not totally sure about the other object. You’ll notice you can see grass on both ends so it’s not just a bird’s wing.

The shutter speed was fast enough to do a good job of freezing the movement of the landing crow.

Any ideas?

Man-eaters of Sumatra

Today’s news of a mountain lion photographed in Republic County shouldn’t cause any Kansans to fear for their safety. Attacks on humans by those kinds of cats are extremely rare.

But as this news video shows such isn’t the case on the island of Sumatra, where tigers have been killing increasing numbers of humans.

Click here to view the clip.

Biologists say the attacks are largely because decreased jungle habitat brings tigers closer and closer to humans and makes it harder and harder for them to find wild animals for food.

Actually man-eating tigers are nothing new. Some accounts from India have individual tigers eating dozens of humans in the past. Such cats are rare, though.

In Sumatra they’re trying a unique rehabilitation program for some of their man-eaters. Watch the video, it’s very intereseting.

Commission debates large rifle clips

On Oct. 14 the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission was asked for a ban on large magazines for rifles used while deer hunting.

According to Chris Tymeson, Wildlife and Parks attorney, sportsman Paul Babcock complained of deer hunters firing dozens of shots at running deer, putting his life in jeopardy.

Several commissioners, including  Kelly Johnston and Frank Meyer, showed concern and interest in looking further into the issue.

Commissioner Robert Wilson, however,  pointed out most semi-automatic rifles with large magazines are .223 caliber which aren’t legal for deer hunting. Commissioner Gerald Lauber agreed with Wilson’s contention that a regulation limiting ammo would impact a very small number of deer hunters and wasn’t needed.

Tymeson said the department will look into the issue for commission.

Personally, I agree with Wilson and Lauber. There are very few rifles with large magazines afield during deer seasons. I’ve yet to encounter another deer hunter with more than the standard four or five rounds in a rifle that’s fully loaded.

Most hunters are very aware that one well-placed shot is better than five fast ones. I don’t think I’ve ever shot more than twice at one deer with a rifle. The vast majority have been one-shot kills.

Most hunters I know don’t take the shot if they’re not pretty certain of a clean kill.

That’s a matter of ethics and solid hunting skills.

Life’s a Dog Beach

There’s a lot I don’t understand about Chicago. How can so many people walk down the streets without acknowledging others with a look or a light smile?

And what’s up with the new “prairie” projects near Lake Michigan when they’ve planted trees every 20 yards? Hey, out here on the real prairie we’re removing trees to keep the prairie pure and authentic!

But the city has things figured out perfectly when in comes to their dog beaches.

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Governor’s Pheasant Hunt

The Lawrence Journal-World ran an article stating that Sam Brownback would like to have a governor’s pheasant hunt if elected.

Click here to read it.

It looks like he’s wanting to give South Dakota  a run for their money when it comes to promoting pheasant hunting.

Some insight -

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Wolf wars continue

The great wolf debate continues in the Northern Rockies. Sounds like the state folks of Idaho have had enough of dealing with the federal government.

Click here to read a recent story from Seattle detailing how the Idaho governor has basically told game wardens not to prosecute wolf poachers.

A little background info for you, as best I understand it.

- the feds released wolves so they could again be part of the Yellowstone eco-system.

- the program’s worked well enough that wolves have moved into all surrounding states and have built populations estimated as high as 800-900 in several states. Several states in the region all along said they did not want wolves on their lands.

-opponents say wolves have severely reduced elk, moose and deer populations in many areas, some as much as 90-percent. That’s made it tough for local hunters to get their yearly meat supply and is having an impact on the region’s multi-million dollar hunting industry.

-proponents say the return of wolves puts the area back into a natural balance.

- opponents say the natural balance will never be back. Buffalo, once a major food for wolves, are now in very limited numbers and other game herds aren’t as numerous because of conflicts with humans, like lack of habitat. They also say the wolves re-introduced weren’t the species native to the Northern Rockies. They say these are a larger sub-species, which require more food and are more efficent killers because of their size.

I have several good friends who are vocal in the fight to give states the right to control wolf numbers within their borders. All claim to have witnessed some serious declines in elk numbers in their area. Interestingly enough none are in favor of doing anything to greatly reduce grizzly bear, black bear or mountain lion numbers in their region.

For your weekend viewing pleasure

Here’s a good read and a good watch.

One’s a good article forwarded by Cheryl Miller on what’s happened to the Texas quail hunter  shot by Dick Cheney a few years ago. (Guess who never said he was sorry?) Click here to read it.

This video clip is a look at a true world-class whitetail videoed this summer in a Minnesota city. Click here to see an amazing set of antlers.

Oklahoma’s bear season lasts one day

Wow, looks like hunters in Oklahoma learn pretty quickly.

Last year their bear season lasted 28 days and 19 black bears were shot. That’s one short of the quota of 20 the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation had set for a maximum kill.

This year’s season lasted just one day because 32 bears were shot in the southeastern counties open for the state’s second bear season in modern times. The season was again set to be closed the day after the 20th bear was taken.

Click here for more details.

As you can read, biologists credit a limited food supply making bears more concentrated. Crossbows were also recently legalized for the archery-only season, too.

Interesting stuff, no doubt.

It’s also interesting that bears have done well enough after being re-introduced in Arkansas to spread into Oklahoma and also Missouri. Show-Me State biologists estimate they have a few hundred bears, mostly in the southern Ozarks.

One was road-killed not far from Joplin not too long ago. That’s pretty close to the Kansas border.

So, will we eventually have a population of black bears in Kansas? Don’t forget, New Mexico and Colorado also have solid populations with bears sometimes wandering on to their eastern plains.

Time will tell, but I have my doubts. Kansas lacks the broad woodlands where the bears appear to be thriving in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

But it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if we had the occasional bear wander over our borders.