My Best Weekend
By: Megan Hilbish
Just recently I had the best weekend of my life. On Saturday December 10th, 2011, I eagerly woke up early to go goose hunting with my Dad for the first time. After arriving at the bean field we set up the decoys in a “V formation.” Then we laid down in the middle of the field and covered ourselves with burlap fabric. It didn’t take long for geese to start flying over our heads. Finally a flock decided to land in front of us and “Bang! Bang!” went our shotguns. I had shot my first goose! I couldn’t believe it actually went down. I thought the weekend couldn’t get any sweeter!
The next morning was the last day of rifle season for deer and I hadn’t shot a buck yet. When I woke up, I had a feeling that if I was going to get a buck it was going to be that morning. At first, the hunt wasn’t looking too promising. But when my Dad and I were just about to leave, a huge buck came running across the field. It finally slowed down to a walk when it was over 200 yards away. I took aim and “Boom!” I was confident that I had made a good shot. We waited a while and then walked over to where I had shot the deer. We could see an outline of what looked like a deer lying on the ground by the timber. Sure enough, it was my buck. It’s the biggest deer I have ever shot, a 10 pointer. I have never felt so thrilled.
Some of the best time I get to spend with my dad is when we are hunting together. I can’t wait to shoot some more geese!
Story by Peggy Mast
When I remember special times outside in my youth, I
always remember times my Dad and I went fishing together. One particular occasion we were bank fishing
around Red Cloud,
did not look promising the rest of the evening. That is when my first
Northern Pike decided to grab the line and try to take off with my fishing pole! It was the biggest fight I had ever had in my life and it
seemed unlikely I was going to win it. I finally wore him out enough
and got him to the bank. My first look at him actually scared me. I was used to looking at bass, crappie, bullheads, sunfish, or catfish and here was a creature that looked like an alligator with no legs. He had my dad's line wrapped around his body from the fight and once I got him on land he decided to spit the hook from his mouth and head back for the water. He was big, mean looking and flat ugly and I had not idea how to stop him. I thought about sitting on him, but that thought only lasted for a fleeting moment. He managed to wiggle himself back into the lake and it was not five minutes later my dad showed up to hear my fishing tale of a lifetime. At the time, I was not sure there were other creatures like that anywhere but we later caught several. There were few opportunities with my Dad that could compare to sitting by his side and listening to him tell his fishing stories or just enjoying those moments of fellowship. I am thankful to have those memories and hope I have instilled similiar feelings in my own children and grandchildren.
Photo and story by Dorothy Blaufuss
Dorothy Blaufuss sighted her first deer in 1962 or 1963 about this
time of year. Al Rathke (now deceased) was driving her high school pep bus
to a ball game in
Story by Mary Ann Blaufuss
Photo and story by Issac Cushenberry
This story is about my first turkey hunt. It was a spring morning. We had to wake up at 4:00. When we first got there we heard gobbles everywhere, it sounded like thunder. So my dad got a box call and we did some yelps and purrs. They came closer and closer but were still 200 yards away so me and dad fell asleep 2 minutes and we heard "woof woof". It was the beating of the turkey's wings. When he was on the ground he started to attack our decoy. When I saw the turkey, I took the gun and loaded a shell and it went "click". We forgot to take it off of safety, so we put it on "fire" and the gun went boom but I missed. My dad said, "It's OK, there's a next time". (And there was.) The End.
Photo and story by Tami Cushenbery
It was the last day of the spring turkey season, in our first year
of hunting turkeys. My husband and son were the hunters and I was just an
observer, at that time. They had already harvested 1 turkey each and each had 1
more tag to fill. The weather was very warm and very windy. We even wondered if
the blind would stay put. We got into the blind and got things ready, then we sat back and waited...and waited. We ate snacks,
"quietly" laughed at Doug, who was trying to use a mouth call and
sounded like he was saying, "Go turkey, go turkey", read magazines,
and waited. As time went on, it got warmer and warmer in the blind and we all
started getting sleepy. I had dozed while listening to a CD and Doug &
Isaac were kicked back in a chair asleep. The next thing I know, Doug is
shaking Isaac and I, mouthing "
Photo and story by Denise Fetrow
I am an
“older” lady who has moved back to
Pictures and story by Jill Brunner
Fishing is a family tradition. My family has always enjoyed fishing. As a small girl I remember catching my first fish ever-it was a pretty good sized catfish.....at least I thought so. And from that moment on I looked forward to the family fishing days. And to no surprise my son, Tuck has a great love for fishing. He begs papa to take him fishing all summer long. Anytime they are going to check cattle and there might be a creek for him to explore in, he takes his net. I can remember the first fishing pole that we bought him for his birthday. It was a red CARS kid size fishing pole. He would go out in the yard and practice casting with a washer on the end of his line all day long till someone would take him fishing. I can't count the numerous times that he's gotten too close to the water while trying to catch a minnow or tadpole and fell in. Tuck's been waiting on a truck bed on a hot summer day while his clothes dry in the sun many many times. Every time we go fishing, I'm always amazed at how a child with so much energy, who can sit still for a minute, can just become one with nature and squat on a bucket for hours. Some of the best memories that I've made with my son to date (and he is only 10 yrs old) are while fishing or exploring creek beds. I know that he will pass down his love for fishing and exploring the outdoors to his children as my father passed that same love to me.
Students playing with Nathan's winnings,
standing left to right, Austin Jennings, Nathan Eklund,
Melinda Heathman and Hanna Berry. Seated,
left to right, Lindsee Colglazier
and Natasha VanGundy. Fishing, and reeling in
the enormous flip flop, is Savanna Chestnut. The students are juniors at
Story by Nathan Eklund:
Some of my best memories are of fishing. They're mostly of accidents. Like one year at Melvern lake when my dad, sister, and i went camping for 4 days. When we first got there, we had to clean up the trash and all of the dead fish that had been left behind from previous campers. We did what most average campers would do - we fished, cooked our catches, and just sat around and enjoyed being lazy. On the last day that we were at Melvern, i just had to cast my pole just one last time hoping to catch a massive catfish. I started to reel it in then something took it i felt like a big one. I was so excited. It didn't pull much in either direction, bit i still though i had a fish. I finally got it in and it was one of the catfish skeletons that i had thrown in the first day that we were there. I was still pretty proud of the fish i had caught because it was the biggest one i had ever caught.
Story by Phil Taunton:
DRIFTING FOR WALLEYES ….My father, Herman
and several of his cronies were drift fishing for walleye using jig and nightcrawler combinations at
Until you get the hang of drift fishing, every time your bait bumps the bottom you might think you're getting a strike. It takes a while to learn when and how to actually set the hook on a fish. Bud, one of my father's fishing partners was a novice fisherman, and yes, you can still call someone over 70 a beginner. He was forever setting the hook with tremendous force at the slightest tap, often upsetting tackle boxes and putting a whipping with his fishing rod on the guy sitting next to him in the boat. When drift fishing, I like to feel the fish first and with a subtle flip of the wrist, set the hook.
Wind can also play tricks on you when drift fishing and often makes maneuvering the boat quite a chore. After about the umpteenth thousandth jerk, Bud finally hooked into something big. Sometimes Bud's fish would put up an immense fight and then seemingly become just dead weight at the end of his pole. Then the struggle would start again. Bud was wore slick from fighting the fish and when he finally got the fish to the boat you could feel the excitement radiate from him. Heat the grease! We're going to have a fish fry!
Bud just knew he had a monster. When Dad netted the fish, he had to turn his face to keep from laughing. Bud had a real nice fish all right, head and skeleton, anyway! Someone else had got the meat. What Bud had hooked was the discarded carcass of a 12 to 15-pound channel cat another angler had caught and fileted. I bet the crawfish were having a heyday! Bud would have had to release the fish anyway. He had foul-hooked the skeleton in the dorsal fin and not in the mouth.
Story by Jennifer Leeper:
Thanks so much for holding this trivia
contest. Even though I'm living in
Story and by Weston Orender:
Hi my name is Weston Orender and this is my first turkey hunt ever. It was the first day of turkey hunting season in spring. I was so excited to go to Osage at 4:00a.m.We got my Great Uncle Lowell and got in the field at 6:00 a.m.
We heard the turkeys until 8:00a.m.Then we saw one about 100 yards out. While me and my dad were looking at that one, my Uncle was looking at one five yards out. My Uncle scared me to death by saying “get the gun, get the gun ready”! I took aim ……. Then he started walking away. “Shoot Shoot” said my Uncle. Then the turkey started walking straight at the blind. Again I took aim … boom. “I think I got him”! But I didn’t get him. I probably hit him.
In the afternoon we were hearing gobbles. We finally got in the blind and all of the sudden we see them in the trees walking to us. Where we were sitting was in this big opening and we were surrounded by trees. One Jake came out and I could have shot but I forgot to cock the gun and I had to cock the gun when the Jake was out in the opening. It was probably scared of the Tom decoy. So he went to go get 4 buddies and they went out before the Jake did. So I took aim …… BOOM! I had another chance to shoot so I took that opportunity and ……..BOOM! I hit him but not enough to make him go down. I guess today wasn’t my day to kill a bird. But I am pretty glad to have this experience because other people don’t get that experience
Story by Lane Ikerd.
Memory of Hunting
I remember when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my grandpa Dave had asked if I would like to go goose hunting for my first time. And what do you think I said? I said YES!! So with that came waking up at but knowing that I was going to go hunting I was wide eyed and bushy tailed to get going. My grandpa told me about how you would want to set up your goose spread “decoys”. So we got all of our decoys out and now came the hard part of it waiting. It was getting closer and closer to time when I knew we would just leave; we hadn’t seen a goose the whole time. Then we had to get up and go to the bathroom, well you know what that meant. Here comes this lonely goose coming towards us. I yelled grandpa is that what we are supposed to shoot at? And he said get to the blind. So we ran back to the blind and before he could say a word I had shouldered my gun and bang my first goose had fallen! This goose weighed 12 lbs. It was my only goose I had got to shoot with my grandpa, but it will be a memory I will never forget! Now I continue to hunt waterfowl and everything else he had taught me. He now watches me from heaven and helps me harvest my game.
Let’s call the story, Double Down Deer……..Tonya Carson
…..Last night, Jimmy Combes and Bob Griffin went deer hunting in two different areas north and south of Lebo. Around 5:30 PM an excited Jimmy called Tonya Carson and asked her to come to his location and help him load up the deer he had just harvested. Excitement was in the air. Tonya called their friend’s son, Eddie Griffin to see if he could also help, but Eddie had just gotten a call for his father and was in fact on his way to help Bob with a deer his father had just harvested. The greatest thing about this story was that back in September, Bob Griffth, a member of the Kansas Bow Hunters Association and pending hunter education bow hunting instructor, had come to Jimmy’s house and loaned him a bow to learn the art of archery. Jimmy had harvested deer with a rifle before and was soon addicted to shooting the bow. It wasn’t long before he bought his own bow and various equipment. A couple of weeks before the season, Bob, son Eddie and Jimmy had held practice sessions north of Jimmy’s country home. It was just fitting that Jimmy and his mentor both harvested a nice buck within minutes of each other. How special for the families to enjoy this moment together during the coming Thanksgiving Holiday Season!
A Family Tradition…..Ralph & Robin Hanna’s grandkids and the Great Cowley County Frog Races,
Grandkids visiting grandparents always make great memories. Fishing is always a big part of these visits and when the fish don’t bite, the kids go after frogs. These frogs were caught at a local golf course creek and the kids get these contestants ready for the race of the day. After lots of hooting and hollering, one of the grandkids comes in first, but all the frogs are winners as they are returned to their stream and habitat. They will be hiding even better the next time the kids return. The grandkids are all over 6 foot tall now, and they still talk about going out on the course to see if they can find some frogs and have another great race. And so it continues.....