TV personalities will serve as Governor’s Turkey Hunt celebs

04/07/2013 7:41 AM

04/07/2013 7:42 AM

Colorado’s Fred and Michele Eichler will be will be celebrity hunters at the Governor’s Turkey Hunt in El Dorado.

Fred Eichler is host of the television shows Easton Bowhunting and Predator Nation. Michele Eichler is also an avid and accomplished bowhunter and has been the CEO of Muzzy Products.

The Eichlers own and operate Fulldraw Outfitters in Colorado.

Alex Rutledge, another outdoors television personality, will also be at the event that runs Thursday-Saturday.

Janet Post, hunt director, said the event is expected to host about 80 hunters this year.

Feral hog fight — Cooperative efforts of several Kansas state agencies, some livestock groups and the U.S.Department of Agriculture continue to work on reducing the number of feral hogs in Kansas.

Bill Brown, Kansas Animal Health Commissioner, said about 260 feral hogs were killed by trapping and aerial gunning from helicopters in 2012.

About 340 have been killed by Kansas crews so far in 2013, though Brown said many of those were killed just across the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

The hope is to thin the population before the hogs can spread northward into Cowley County

Brown said Kansas has been working on eradicating the invasive species since 2006. Wild hogs, basically domestic swine gone wild, are notorious for damage to agriculture, native wildlife and can carry diseases that can be spread to livestock or humans.

Several isolated populations have been eradicated in Kansas, including more than 700 in the Red Hills area west of Medicine Lodge.

Brown said there’s currently a population in Bourbon County, and several areas where hogs are following river systems up from Oklahoma.

“I think our biggest challenge in the future will be in our southern tier of counties from Cowley County eastward,” Brown said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever eradicate them, but at least we hope to keep the populations pushed down enough to keep them in control.”

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