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Quivira will be open for hunting this weekend

Wildlife officials have announced the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge will be open when duck season opens this weekend. The area is holding about 97,000 ducks, many of which are pintails. Wildlife officials have announced that the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge will be open to hunting Saturday and Sunday, the opening weekend of Kansas’ low plains late zone duck season.

Ol' Red cracks 300,000 joyful miles

It happened as I’d hoped, on the way home from a fun hunt. OK, so it may have been better if Ol’ Red had been carrying a few limits of mallards or a nice mule deer buck, but we’d been into some nice bucks chasing does on Sunday morning.

Oil exploration crews = paradise lost

Stakes with flittering bright ribbon shows oil exploration crew are working an area, often hard enough to push wildlife to other places. Literally hundreds of times I’ve told people it is my favorite quarter-section in Kansas. Thanks to the landowner’s preference for wildlife over cash crops, the 160 acres usually held more wildlife than a good parcel of 1,000 acres or more.

Kansas produces its first official 300-inch whitetail

Most hunters think a whitetail scoring 150 inches is pretty special. Well, now Kansas has produced a giant non-typical that was recently scored at  312 1/8 by an official Boone & Crockett scorer. The buck was found dead last year, a probable victim of EHD in northeastern Kansas.

Timeless pic of boy and his dog, now means more than ever

In this great photo of boy and dog, a nine-year-old Zach Tuttle gets a drink while his two-year-old Lab, Buddy, slurps up the leftovers at a Wichita park. Zach is now a grown man and, unfortunately, Buddy has recently passed. PHOTO BY JEFF TUTTLE When Jeff Tuttle, a friend and former Wichita Eagle photographer, showed me this photo many  years ago I labeled it a “day-maker,” and one of my favorites of all times.

More on upcoming Wildlife and Parks Commission meeting

Space limitations on Sunday’s printed Outdoors page required a few paragraphs be removed from the end of the article on Thursday’s Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting in Hutchinson.

October season for antlerless whitetails this weekend

In response to legislative mandate, Wildlife and Parks has authorized a special, statewide firearms season for antlerless whitetails this weekend, Oct. 12 and 13. This weekend, Oct. 12-13, firearms deer hunters can shoot antlerless whitetails. Bowhunters can shoot bucks or does, with the proper permit, since archery season remains open. The legislature hopes the special season will encourage deer hunters to take more does to reduce the state’s deer population, though such special seasons have seen limited success in the past.

Training to fetch utilizing instincts and pack desire

Over about the last year, several people have tried to teach Lindsey’s dog, Lady Bird, to retrieve. As well as fun, our daughter hoped it would be a way to burn some energy off her beloved Australian shepherd. Two days before this photo Lady Bird cared nothing about retrieving. A little training utilizing her instincts now has her fetching very well. Since I have “a way” with dogs, a couple of times Lindsey had mentioned it was my job to get Lady Bird trained. Well, a  week ago the probably three-year-old dog that came from a shelter would chase anything thrown, then just stare at it before trotting off.

Good luck and bad luck on a Kansas pronghorn hunt

My long-awaited pronghorn hunt has come and gone, and it was a trip that contained  a lot of luck…and most of it was good.

Golden eagle predation on big game not

Many news services have recently run photography of a golden eagle taking a small deer in Russia. Most claim it’s the first time such a thing has been documented. YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RECENT PHOTOS.

Dogs' expressions better than a polygraph

If only dogs played poker maybe I could win a hand or two. You can tell everything they’re thinking just by looking at their face, especially if it’s not looking at you.

Bad winter to come —so says the persimmons

American persimmons grow on high, rocky ground over much of eastern Kansas. Forget the National Weather Service, Accuweather and all those other fancy forecasting conglomerations….Steve Harvey says his personal weather forecasters are saying it’s going to be a danged hard winter.

Helping to heal a Wounded Warrior

Former Marine Irona Cliver got a 10-point buck Sunday afternoon and, hopefully, much more. Irona Cliver is 33, in good condition but Sunday afternoon she about suffered a physical malady she hadn’t experienced since she was a very little girl.

Raptor stand-off between night and day

We call it the Duck Line, though its actually wire staked along the ground to which we’ve also attached the carcasses of geese, pheasants, and wild turkeys after we’ve removed the parts we eat. Off and on since late December, Jake Holem, his mother, Kimberly, and I have put such leftovers in some wide-open cropfields not far from El Dorado Reservoir. A great-horned owl, left, and a red-tailed hawk square off at a pile of waterfowl carcasses. Photos of hawks out so late are pretty rare. To the lines of fast food for assorted carnivores, we’ve had a myriad of red-tailed hawks, raccoons, immature bald eagles and coyotes. The hawks are the most common daytime predator and, eventually, the coyotes the most common at night, though it took them a few weeks to realize those carcasses with human scent offered them easy eating but no threat.

Casts and Blasts from Gumbo-thon, 2014

Some smells are just meant for certain seasons….the smell of freshly-cut grass the first time in the spring. Those of us old enough, remember the smell of burning leaves in the fall. Yesterday the smell of simmering gumbo filled our house, a sure sign that we’re in probably the coldest week of the winter. I call it gumbo-thon. Here are a few bits about it - About four gallons of gumbo that includes turkey, pheasant, venison and, unfortunately, store-bought sausage.or the coldest week of the year, and make it early enough that it can sit and season for a few days and take us through the weekend. A few facts - – I learned how to make gumbo from Margaret Simien, mother of Wayne Simien, Jr., past KU All-American. She’s been like a big sister to me since we worked together in Leavenworth when I was in college. She learned it from her mother-in-law, a Louisiana native.

Sometimes, pheasant planning works

Pheasant hunters are some of the greatest planners in the outdoors.

Last day of duck season...four out of five ain't bad

Four mallard drakes from Sunday’s final hunt of the 2013-14 waterfowl seasons. All I was allowed to shoot was a single mallard when I headed to a blind Sunday afternoon. Andy Fanter and I had hunted the same blind in the morning, when he’d taken a limit of five drake mallards and I’d shot four.

Another wolf killed in Missouri

Biologists say what a landowner shot thinking it was a coyote has turned out to be another wild wolf shot in Missouri. It is at least the third such wolf shot in the Show-Me State in the past few years. YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT IT.

Old shotgun, old dog, great spot = like old times

I have access to a great spot for pheasants, even this year, and it’s only about 15 minutes from my house. It’s the kind of place you don’t take lightly because access only comes from a very deep friendship with three generations of the same family. That they probably like my old Lab, Hank, as well as me certainly helps.

State park utility rate hike approved

WINFIELD – Kansas state park user rates for electricity, water and gas were increased at Thursday's Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting in Winfield. Linda Lanterman, state parks director, said the increase is needed to off-set the higher rates the parks are paying for the same utilities.

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