Mushroom hunting, fishing, enjoying a little peace and quiet in the good ol’ outdoors — man, Mother Nature must hate me.
The double whammy of dark, dreary weather outside and a throbbing headache, itchy throat and congested chest inside led me to spend much of my time off laying in bed dreaming about fishing (those allergy medications can knock you out, man) instead of actually doing it.
However, some other hunters and anglers were able to get out and enjoy nature’s bounty, and there’s a lot of good stuff coming up that’s worth talking about, as well.
Twelve-year-old Jenna Irwin, from Emporia, bagged a nice tom recently during a spring turkey hunt. The season continues until May 31, for those still hoping to bag a nice gobbler.
In Council Grove, despite water levels getting high enough to start causing real concern, anglers were still able to hit on some good fish this week, according to reports from the Council Grove Marina. Scott McCall got a nice haul of channel cats and even hooked on an excellent wiper with a dead sunfish as bait, and another angler caught a 25-inch, trophy saugeye at the reservoir, according to Phil Taunton. However, he also said they’d have to start evacuating the campgrounds if water levels went up much more.
Taunton, who hosts the “What’s In Outdoors” radio show on KVOE (1440 AM) in Emporia, also has a pretty cool little contest coming up for youths in northeast Kansas this summer.
The Kansas Kids 2019 Youth Outdoor Experience Contest gives outdoors enthusiasts ages 17 and under an opportunity to earn one of many great prizes by writing a short story (200 words or less) about their outdoors adventures, whether they be fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, camping or chasing butterflies, fireflies or even “being chased by snakes!” Youths must reside in one of the following counties to be eligible to win: Chase, Dickinson, Geary, Lyon, Marion, Morris, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee or Wabaunsee.
“The goal of this contest is to keep youth involved in outdoor-related activities,” Taunton said. “Hopefully, the whole family will have shared in the experience and can help write the story.”
Among the prizes being given away are a lifetime Kansas hunting and fishing license, a guided crappie fishing trip with pro angler Joe Bragg, Zebco fishing combos, T-shirts and an assortment of lures and other fishing gear.
Parents and mentors are encouraged to help with writing the story, but only youths are eligible for the prizes.
Taunton began taking entries this weekend for the contest, which is being held in memory of Council Grove’s Virgil Swisher, and he said he will announce two winners each week on his radio show, which airs Friday mornings at 8:15, starting May 31 and ending Aug. 30. The winners of the lifetime hunting and fishing license and the guided fish trip will be announced separately during Bluestem Farm and Ranch Supply’s 17th Annual Wildlife Appreciation and Conservation Days, which runs from Sept. 6-7 at the store’s Emporia location, 2611 W. US-50 highway.
Youths should send their stories, along with a photo, T-shirt size and contact information, to Phil by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries can also be dropped off at Bluestem Farm and Ranch Supply in Emporia or the Council Grove Marina at Council Grove Reservoir.
Phil was also happy to report the marina saw 71 youths (150 people total including parents and mentors) during its Youth Aquatic Education Day, last week. Hoping they got a big crowd Saturday at the Fishing’s Future Family Fish Camp in El Dorado, as well!
Friends of NRA Banquet announced
The Capital City Friends of NRA Banquet was recently announced. The event is scheduled for Aug. 3 at Agriculture Hall at the Kansas Expocentre.
It will begin with a 5 p.m. social hour featuring games, a cash bar and a silent auction, then dinner at 6:30 p.m. and a live auction to follow.
There will be limited-edition firearms, art and outdoor merchandise available, and tickets can be purchased by phone by calling Frank Miles at 785-250-7017 or online at http://www.friendsofnra.org/.
Big Blue meeting on tap
A public meeting at 9:30 a.m. May 15 will allow those with questions or concerns regarding water-related activities within the Big Blue and Little Blue River Basins in Kansas and Nebraska will have a chance to find answers.
The 46th annual meeting of the Kansas-Nebraska Big Blue River Compact Administration will take place in Room 124 at the Kansas Department of Agriculture, 1320 Research Park Drive in Manhattan.
Questions about the meeting can be addressed to Chris Beightel, program manager for water management services at KDA–DWR, at 785-564-6670 or Chris.Beightel@kda.ks.gov. Additional information about the Big Blue River Compact and the annual meeting can be found on the KDA website at http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/big-blue-compact.