Michael Pearce

The Eagle's outdoor reporter highlights the latest hunting, fishing and wildlife news.

Michael Pearce: Some hunting, fishing to-dos

12/01/2012 5:21 PM

12/02/2012 7:50 AM

Larry Galvan shooting all five Kansas big-game animals is impressive, but not the only grand slam-style accomplishment to which hunters and anglers can aspire.

Upland bird grand slam — Pheasant, bobwhite quail and greater prairie chickens are the easiest of the upland feathered five.

Access can be a problem for lesser prairie chickens in western Kansas, as could the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service possibly placing the birds on the threatened species list.

Scaled quail are the real toughies because their range is so limited, and their habitat often immense.

Still, those who walk enough miles on the Cimarron National Grasslands can succeed eventually.

An upland bird grand slam in one season is solid accomplishment. Doing it in one week would draw a lot of envy.

Wild turkeys — The National Wild Turkey Federation offers grand-slam accolades for those who shoot all four sub-species of American turkeys. If you count hybrids, it would take four to get a Kansas turkey slam, too.

Killing a Rio Grande from about Pratt westward isn’t too tough, nor is shooting a Rio Grande/eastern hybrid. They roughly live from about Pratt to the eastern two tiers of counties. Pure easterns along the Missouri border aren’t too hard if you have access to good land.

The real challenge is the Rio Grande/Merriam’s hybrid of extreme southwestern Kansas. As with scaled quail, there’s always the Cimarron National Grasslands.

Furbearers — Including coyotes, Kansas is home to about 14 species of common furbearers.

Things like raccoons, opossums, muskrats, skunks and beavers are about gimmes, with some added skill needed for bobcats, badgers, mink, weasels, red and gray fox.

The two biggies would be the tiny swift fox of far western Kansas and the river otter of eastern Kansas.

Waterfowl — Forget the rare migrants, like long-tailed and mottled ducks.

A realistic list would include Canada, white-fronted, Ross and snow geese. Puddle ducks would be mallard, pintail, wigeon, gadwall, shoveler, wood duck and blue and green-winged teal.

Diving ducks would be redhead, canvasback, bufflehead, ruddy duck, scaup and ringneck.

You could add the three species of mergansers, but only if you’re willing to eat them.

Fishing — Kansas has a fair representation of great game fish. Catching all in a lifetime would be good; doing all in one year would be reason to brag.

Let’s go with largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, black and white crappie, white bass, wipers and striped bass, walleye, saugeye and sauger, flathead, blue, bullhead and channel catfish, rainbow trout, northern pike, bluegill, redear and green sunfish.

Catching at least one of each species on the same lure, even in a lifetime, would be impressive, too.

Black bass — Catching largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass on the same day is a worthwhile goal that could be accomplished at El Dorado Reservoir and a few other lakes.

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