Kansas dove hunt

Thanks to long-time friend Scott Morgan I finally got into a good dove hunt. No limits but enough shooting to make our shoulders sore.

Scott, Roger Harper, photographer Jon Blumb and I hunted an eastern Kansas wheat field Friday afternoon. Hunkering in the shade of  hay bales we expended a humongous amount of ammo and managed to bring down a respectable number of birds. Flights of low-flying Canada geese provided entertainment while we field dressed the birds, then  headed to Baldwin City for drinks and dinner at The Wooden Spoke restaurant.

Roger, Scott and I went back for more the next day. I took my Lab Maggie with me this time for her first dove hunt. Some dogs are reluctant to pick up doves because the feathers come off in their mouths and Maggie was no exception. But when I dropped a bird she marked it down well, making it easier for me to find. Before the end of the day she was retrieving them. Well…sort of.

Maggie did OK for a rookie and  we put six succulent bacon-wrapped dove breasts on the grill, toasted the Spirit Of Migration, and froze another six for later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trout fishing on the Yellowstone River

The first thing you’ll notice about these fishing trip photos is that there are no photos of fish. There’s a reason for that. Few fish were caught. Just a few dinks and a couple of whitefish, which are, to the trout fisherman, what coots are to duck hunters.

While attending the recent OWAA conference in Billings, Montana Brent Frazee and I took July 18th off to float the Yellowstone River. While waiting for our guide to get the boat into the water we noticed a sign informing us that William Clark and party had camped on this very spot July 17th, 1806. Just missed it by 210 years and one day! Sort of gave me goose bumps.

The Yellowstone has not been channeled into a ditch for barge traffic and probably looks pretty much as it did when William Clark, Sacagawea, her husband Toussaint Charbonneau, their little boy Jean Baptiste and the rest of the crowd traversed it in 1806.

You don’t need a lot of fish to enjoy a day like this.

 

Timber Hills Lakes

Had a great two days at Timber Hills Lakes near Mapleton, KS with the Kansas Outdoor Writers. These folks really treated us nice and I’m looking forward to going back there as soon as possible.

 

Lots of lakes and ponds full of bass, crappie, bluegill and even trout. And they have little two-man (or woman) pontoon boats with electric motors you can use. Also you can turkey hunt…and I’m probably leaving something out…like deer hunting. And they have a well-stocked bar! And nice, comfortable cabins.

 

I stood in one place and caught this big bass, several smaller bass, two rainbow trout and several crappie, all on one fly (a gray & white Clouser).

 

It doesn’t get any better than this. Check it out at http://www.timberhillslake.com .

me w:bass

Crane Creek

Crane Creek.

I had heard about it long before I was fortunate enough to fish it. Finally in 1999 a Springfield, Missouri DARE cop named Joe Curry and I spent several hours on this beautiful little stream near Springfield. We were accompanied by a local resident of Crane, MO, a fly tier whose name escapes me.

 

Crane Creek is not stocked and is strictly catch-and-release fly fishing. The trout are stream-bred McCloud rainbows. The fly tier wore a side arm because he said we might run into some “subhuman bait-dunking redneck scum” not observing the catch and release regulations who might become unruly when chastised. Luckily we did not have to shoot our way out of Crane Creek and did manage to catch a few beautiful little McCloud rainbows.

 

My friend and fellow http://www.heartofamericaflyfishers.com member Terry Robbins recently fished Crane. He did not report any encounters with belligerent bait dunkers but did manage to catch a 22” rainbow, the largest trout I’ve ever heard of to come out of this tiny stream.

crane creek 2_edited-1

 

 

 

 

A duck hunt without ducks

Our second hunt at the Five Guys And A Swamp Duck Club was a little slow for Maggie and me. Or I could say I didn’t miss a shot all morning (because I didn’t take any). This is supposed to be a good year for the duck population so hopefully they’ll show up when we get some cold weather up north to push them south. They don’t migrate because they enjoy flying.

Anyway at least the scenery was pretty.

Kansas big bucks

If this doesn’t get you fired up for deer season nothing will. These big guys showed up on my friend Scott’s trail cam recently. He didn’t tell me where they are and I didn’t ask but they’re somewhere in eastern Kansas.   Scott says the one on the left in the second photo is a shooter but Scott is a trophy hunter. I’m a meat hunter so my trophy is a ninety pound doe. 2 bucks