David Blanton, producer and host of Realtree Outdoors televison programs and videos, will be one of about 75 hunters at the Kansas Governor’s Turkey Hunt. Janet Post, hunt president, said, "We're super excited. We don't get that caliber of outdoor celebrity every year."
Blanton, widely respected as one of the most accomplished people in the outdoors industry. will be in the El Dorado area April 16-19 for the event. He'll be guided by Todd Gilmore, of Augusta. In a phone call on Thursday, Blanton said he's excited to be coming to El Dorado and plans to do some golfing with Gilmore.
Fishing is coming along a little slower than some would like, but it's coming . I've gotten occasional reports of crappie being caught shallow in some smaller bodies of water, like Harvey County East Lake.
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White bass and wipers have been caught off some rocky areas at reservoirs, but there are few places where there's enough current for a legitimate spawning run up rivers and streams.
I did get photos of some nice largemouth bass up to 6 1/2 pounds from some water shed lakes in the Flint Hills.
I just read about a wild turkey hunting world championship in eastern Kansas with a $25,000 purse to the winners.
Speaking of turkey hunting, the reviews are mixed for the on-going season, though most people are finding no shortage of birds. Flocks have really broken up within the past week so places that didn't have birds last weekend, very well could have them now.
I've gotten no good reports of anyone finding morels in Kansas, though rains earlier this weeks in a few locations in eastern Kansas could bring some mushrooms to the surface. Most agree it's too dry around here to have much hope.
This week's Outdoors page is still a bit unsettled, but that's because we have so many possibilities. That's always good.
There may be a feature on a Kansas artist who has never had a work of art in a famous Paris museum or New York art gallery. Instead, Joe Tomelleri's drawings are found in bait shops, rustic fishing lodges, on T-shirts and even on beer cans.
Tomelleri, of Leawood, maybe the best fish artist in America, if not the world. Chances are you'll recognize some of his works.
Another option is a preview of next week's Governor's Turkey Hunt in El Dorado, though that may run in The Eagle next week.
I also have a couple of columns in the works. One is on the growing problem of plastic bags in the outdoors. (I counted more than 100 one half-day while driving around.)
I'll also probably be tagging along with someone on the Governor's Turkey Hunt for an Outdoors page story on April 19.
Also, on Saturday I'll be looking into how one young hunter honors the memory of another who died several years ago, by doing his best to help more kids get into the sport they so enjoyed sharing together.
On Saturday Jake, my 12-year-old outdoors buddy, and I had a fun turkey hunt near Leon. He was able to fill both of his permits using his bow. They were his first bowkills. The first was a tom big enough to hang from a tree branch by its spurs. The other a yearling jake. I'm not sure which had Jake more excited.
It was one of "those days" when about everything seemed to go right, from the weather to how the birds reacted to calls and decoys.
I bow hunted our family farm north of Lawrence while I was up getting the story on Tomelleri. I had quite a few jakes come in, but the only longbeard came by too late one evening for me to take a shot. The next morning he was gobbling hard, and coming in when a bullish jake ran him off.
Looking back, I wish I'd have shot that jake.
Things will really be spinning over the next month. There are several additional assignments I need to get done for a special summer activities guide The Eagle will be publishing.
We’re down to about four weeks from Jerrod and Carilyn’s wedding up in Kansas City. We’re all so looking forward to that. I guess I’m supposed to address the guests at the reception. The father of the bride goes first. That’s only appropriate because he’s spending a lot more on this celebration than I am. I’m pretty sure what I’m going to say, but I need to get it written down so I don’t forget anything.
We had our first big batch of asparagus from our garden last weekend. Wow. I’m going to try watering the patch more, and using more fertilizer this spring to see if I can increase the yields.
I’d like to remind all of you, also, that we’re in the early stages of tick season in central Kansas. Kathy and I have found several. We think they’re coming in on Lady Bird, Lindsey’s dog we’ve been watching for a few months. I’m very dedicated to wearing clothing treated with permethrin when I’m out in the wilds, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the stuff keeps ticks off of me. A few years ago I was very diligent in wearing it and found only one tick on me all year.
The more I speak with people who’ve dealt with things like Lyme disease, the more I want to keep the ticks out of my skin. I’ve had hundreds imbedded through time, but I guess I’ve just been lucky so far.
I’m not going to let fear of such sickness keep me from enjoying the outdoors, but I will be more careful than in the past.