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Thanksgiving thanks

The legendary meal is long gone and the dishes are done.

Thanks for the really important things in life – like family, friends, health and prosperity – were made at the table.

Though not of such magnitude I have plenty of other things for which to give thanks.Blessed is the hunter in the company of good dogs and living in a place where both can reach their potential.I’m thankful most of my life has been spent with good dogs with which I’ve enjoyed thousands of days of training and hunting.

And it’s good to be in a place where I’m only minutes away from the upland and waterfowl hunts it takes to make an exceptional dog. Few places in the nation can someone shoot a limit of ducks in the morning and four rooster pheasants that afternoon.

It doesn’t always happen here, but I’m thankful it’s always a possibility.

That I live in a state where non-residents pay $5,000 or more to hunt deer is also appreciated…almost as much as the few close friends who freely give me access to their deer-rich lands.

And there is probably no other state where one can find mule deer and whitetails to match the quality of Kansas.

The older I get the more I appreciate Kansas’ truly wild places for what they are as much as the game they produce.

I like that I can drive less than an hour and be in the Flint Hills or, better yet, the Smoky Hills. They’re two of the world’s largest tracts of tall prairie.

While it took me about 40 years to really appreciate them I’m thankful to have two world-class wetlands within two hours of home. They’ve become favored photography grounds.

Rare are places where I can go and shoot more than 1,300 frames in a day as I did at Cheyenne Bottoms last spring. I can get more great shots of waterfowl, deer and other wildlife in three hours at Quivira this time of year than some photographers can get in three weeks in other states.

Life is most certainly good for me in Kansas.