The “other” turkey season is creating the same low-grade fever that it always does in Missouri and Kansas.
Turkey hunting’s main event, the spring season, draws tens of thousands of hunters because of its exciting plot. The turkeys are mating and the calls hunters make to imitate lonesome hens work the toms into a frenzy. They often come to calls strutting, gobbling and putting on a show.
The “other” season, the fall event? Not so much.
Hunters are primarily chasing flocks of young-of-the-year that are still with mother. Yes, they can be vocal, but not the same way as mature gobblers are in the spring.
Hunter numbers are significantly lower in the fall than they are in the spring. Still, there are some diehards who can’t do without the fall season. It’s a time to be out in the woods when the leaves are at their best, they’ll tell you, and the hunting can be challenging.
For those hunters, the wait is almost over. In Missouri, the fall firearms season opens Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 31. The archery season opened Sept. 15 and will continue through Nov. 14, then Nov. 26-Jan. 15.
In Kansas, both the firearms and archery season will open Oct. 1 and run through Dec. 2 and then Dec. 15-Jan. 31.
The outlook in both states is good. Several good hatches have combined to build turkey populations.
A successful kids fishing program
Phil Taunton of Emporia, Kan., has read more entertaining fish stories this summer than some fishermen will in a lifetime.
As the go-to guy for the Catch, Photo and Release youth fishing and writing contest, he received dozens of tales about the joys of discovering fishing.
Taunton enlisted help from Fishing’s Future, an organization of which he is a member, and KVOE Radio in Emporia, where he has a weekly program on the outdoors. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism also helped by providing publicity.
Max Bauer, 6, of Louisburg, Kan., was chosen the overall winner by a panel of judges. He caught a panfish at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Olathe, and helped his mom, Angie, write a story about the experience.
“Mom took a stick and moved the worms around, trying to find a calm one,” Max wrote. “She eventually put it on the hook. Dad normally does that.”
And once Bauer caught a fish? “Mom paused because she had never in her life taken a fish off the hook. She tried and then a couple other moms came to watch her. Finally on her third try, she got it off the hook and it swam away.”
Youth and women’s hunt planned
Youth ages 12 to 15 and women will be the featured guests Oct. 4 when the Johnson County Chapter of Pheasants Forever has its Outdoor Family Fun Day and Rick Funk Memorial Hunt.
The event, which will run from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be at Eckman’s Hunting Preserve, 988 E. 1900 Rd., Baldwin, Kan.
Youth and women must preregister for the hunt. Contact Jim Milazzo at 913-636-3369 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The day will begin with a talk on hunters safety and some clay target shooting, followed by the hunts.
The event will also include an outdoors festival for families, and will give participants a chance to shoot shotguns, bows and pellet guns, participate in GPS geocaching and take part in a casting contest.
The event is free, and lunch will be provided.
More kids stuff
Youths ages 6 to 17 will have an opportunity to learn about the outdoors Saturday when the Missouri Department of Conservation and partners hold their fourth annual Outdoor Youth Event in Nevada, Mo.
The event, which will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be at the Centennial Park Fairgrounds. The event will be co-sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation, Duck Unlimited and 4-H Shooting Sports.
Participants will be able to target shoot with shotguns, bows and BB guns, and will get instruction on handling hunting dogs, duck and turkey calling, and deer-stand safety.
All youths who attend will receive free youth memberships in the National Wild Turkey Federation and Ducks Unlimited. For more information, call conservation agent Justin Fogle at 417-667-1089.
To reach outdoors editor Brent Frazee, call 816-234-4319 or send email to email@example.com.