Outdoors

Kansas hunter hung a tree stand on a power pole. Some were amused; wardens weren’t

With one shot, Kansas game warden frees two deer

A body camera shows Kansas game warden Lynn Koch freeing two bucks, whose antlers became locked up, in Coffey County. All it took was one shot. The footage is date-stamped Dec. 20, 2016. (Courtesy of Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism)
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A body camera shows Kansas game warden Lynn Koch freeing two bucks, whose antlers became locked up, in Coffey County. All it took was one shot. The footage is date-stamped Dec. 20, 2016. (Courtesy of Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism)

Western Kansas isn’t known for its trees, but that didn’t stop one hunter from getting creative when it came time to hang a deer stand.

Rifle season for deer hunting opened in Kansas on Wednesday, and tree stands give hunters a higher vantage point to spot deer in the distance. As the name implies, a tree stand needs a tree — or something similar — to stay in place.

Instead of using the trunk of a tree, someone in western Kansas hung a metal ladder stand from a power pole, just feet below electric lines, according to a photograph captured by a game warden before the stand was taken down.

The photo was shared on a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Transportation Facebook page Thursday morning.

Facebook users, almost immediately, gave their opinions in the comment section.

Some made jokes.

“Rumor has it, a tree stand on an electrical pole attracts the nose of Rudolph,” wrote Drew Kuchera. “But I’m not suggesting hunting a reindeer, especially before Christmas.”

“Looks like a typical rifle hunter to me,” Michelle Hunt wrote.

Others — like the game department and the power company — were not amused.

“Needless to say, the power company was less than impressed,” a post by KWPT-Game Wardens says.

“Please never put a stand on a power pole. No big game is worth your life,” the post says.

Others used the opportunity to throw shade at utility rates.

“Well I’m less than impressed with the rates of the power company, can you have them taken down too? Asking for a friend,” Jeff Kennedy wrote.

All jokes aside, Kansas Hunting Regulations explicitly prohibit hanging tree stands on power poles. Game wardens encourage all hunters to read and understand the rules and regulations, available for free online and at locations where hunting licenses are sold, before hunting in the state.

“Stupidity isn’t illegal,” wrote Randy Eilerts. “But a tree stand on a power line is.”

Chance Swaim won the Betty Gage Holland Award in 2018 for distinguished service to honor and protect the integrity of public dialogue on America’s college campuses. He has been a news reporter for The Wichita Eagle since 2018. You can contact him at 316-269-6752 and cswaim@wichitaeagle.com.


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