The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 16, 2006 · Page 10
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 10

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, June 16, 2006
Page 10
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A10 THE HAYS DAILY NEWS 4£ t FRIDAY, JUNE 16,2006 Apply for special hunts in Kansas before July 15 PRATT — Each year, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks offers a number of special hunts on KDWP land. Hunters looking for a high-quality hunting experience are encouraged to apply for these special hunts. Dozens of specially-planned, limited-draw hunts for upland birds, doves, waterfowl, and deer are available by application only. There is no charge for the hunts. This year's application deadline is July 15, and applications may conveniently be submitted online. Just go to the KDWP website,, and click "Hunting," then "Special Hunts" in the left-hand column. Many of these hunts provide opportunities on public areas that are normally closed to hunting. By limiting the number of hunters on these areas, KDWP offers a special hunting experience not always found on a public wildlife area or private land. Most of the hunts are open to all hunters, but some are designed specifically to accommodate young or disabled hunters. Descriptions, locations, and hunt dates are outlined in the application booklet, available at KDWP offices, county clerks' offices, most license vendors, and on the application page of the KDWP website. More cabins being built in state parks PRATT— The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks continues to add new cabins to its state park system. The cabins feature all the comforts of home while providing access to the pleasure of parks and lakes across the state. These cabins feature amenities such as full bathroom with a shower; kitchen with microwave, refrigerator and a cook-top stove; beds for as many as nine people; screened-in porch; fire ring; and barbecue grill. Heating and air conditioning, table and chairs, basic pots and pans, and table service for four are also offered at many cabins. Some are handicapped accessible. State parks that currently offer cabin rental include Cedar Bluff, Cheney, Cross Timbers, El Dorado, Eisenhower, Lovewell, Milford, Perry, Prairie Dog, Tuttle Creek, Webster and Wilson. Reservations are required, and cabins are in high demand, so renters are encouraged to call well In advance of a planned trip to make sure a cabin is available. For a list of all state park cabins, go to the KDWP Web site, Today and Saturday — "Smokin 1 in Hell Creek" barbeque cookoff competition in the Hell Creek area at Wilson State Park. The entry fee is $125 per team. The event is sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society, the largest sanctioning body of its kind in the U.S. Cooking teams compete on a circuit and can accumulate points toward the overall championship honor, awarded at the end of the year by KCBS, by attending numerous events. This event will be hosted by the Wilson Lake Area Association and Wilson State Park. For more information, contact Mike Rader or Jeremy Zimmerman at (785) 658-2465 or email them at or Saturday and Sunday — Free Park Entrance Weekend at Wilson State Park. Sunday — High) Plains'Longrifles muzzle-loading shot?: gun shojoft'ib a.iri. r ,"|ij5S»SQred by John and Kay Risewick of Phillipsburg at the High Plains Longrifles range located 9 miles north of Interstate 70 on Yocemento Avenue. For more information, contact Melvin Sauer at (785) 628-8530, Dave Schumacher at (785) 434-2881 or Dave Weaver at (785) 639-2410. June 24 — Hays Bass Anglers Association sixth annual Big Bass Challenge at Cedar Bluff State Park, Cove 1. June 24 — Kansas Birds of Prey Demonstration at Cedar Bluff State Park, Dispatch Group Shelter, For more information contact the park office at (785) 726-3212. June 24-25 — Free Park Entrance Days at Cedar Bluff State Park. July 15 — Deadline for applications for special hunts conducted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks on state properties across Kansas. For more information go to for details or pick up a brochure at any area office. Sept. 7 — Introduction to fly fishing, 7 to 9 p.m. Sponsored by the Hays Recreation Commission. The class is being presented by Lynn Davignon, fisheries biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and Steven Hausler, outdoors editor for The Hays Daily News. A fishing license is required. For more information, contact HRC at (785) 623-2650. Garden tips Don't wear sneakers or flip-flops when using a hoe or rake in your garden. Tip provided by Steven Hausler, photo/outdoors editor Youth afield COURTESY PHOTO Dylan Schumacher Is pictured with his turkey that he shot in Russell County during the spring turkey season. Dylan Is the son of Brian and Jane Schumacher of Hays. Send your photo to Outdoors Editor, Hays Dally News, P.O. Box 857, Hays, KS 67601 STEVEN HAUSLER / Hays Dally News A Canada goose gosling tries out its wings as a flock of the young birds march onto the shore this week at Ellis City Lake. •wO r.1 T Highpoint climbers Enthusiasts seeking out some of the highest points in each state from Mount McKinley to Mount Sunflower i.i'-i! By STEPHEN REGENOLD ASSOCIATED PRESS .,.j. : ,\.;'. •., ( . High on MountMcKffiFey inT'the ""'" summer of 2003, stuck in a cramped mountaineering tent and waiting out a storm, John Mitchler took out a pencil to write a list. Wind tore into the nylon fabric above his head. The end was coming for Mitchler, he was sure. "I decided to write a list of all the people I'd climbed with over the years," he said. "McKinley was to be my final mountain." Mitchler didn't perish on that high Alaskan peak. Indeed, his party soon made the mountain's 20,320-foot summit. But for the 50-year-old geologist from Golden, Colo., Mount McKinley did signify the end of a personal quest: For more than 20 years, Mitchler had traveled the country climbing peaks and hiking hills to stand at the highest point of elevation in each of the 50 states. Highpointing, as this state-by-state summit-seeking pursuit is called, has garnered a following of more than 10,000 people, according to Roger Rowlett, chairman of the Highpointers Club (, which was founded in 1988. Every state has a highest point of elevation, be it a towering mountain peak or a nondescript knoll in a cornfield. To highpoint- ers, each one of these summits is geographically significant. "You need advanced mountaineering skills for peaks like Mount Rainier (in Washington state) and McKinley," Rowlett said. "But completing the list also means traveling thousands of miles through obscure parts of the country." To tick off Florida, for example, highpointers drive to Britton Hill, a meager slope in the Pan- STEVEN HAUSLER / Hays The sun sets behind Mount Sunflower, the highest point handle with an elevation of just 345 feet above sea level. In Illinois, a state of cornfields and prairie, a 1,235-foot rise called Charles Mound is the destination. In Kansas, it's Mount Sunflower, a hilltop with a unique view of the western prairie, an iron sunflower and a register to log visitors who reach the peak. Rhode Island's Jeri- moth Hill tops out at 812 feet above the nearby Atlantic waters. More than a dozen states, including Kentucky and Ohio, have highpoints with road access, letting people essentially drive to the summit. Wyoming's Gannett Peak, in contrast, requires up to 50 miles of roundtrip backcountry hiking in the remote Wind River Mountain Range. To date, 155 people are on record as having completed all 50 highpoints, accord- '•' AL 4|n4 to. Rowlett. Roughly 10 new people '' >*8yeai climb -their 50th state s'umiWit Kl-Jiori "-Itnli are added to the Highpointers 1 " if » : *h v 't Club's list of completers. Plaques are' rilf ; awarded. '' tj ' Wilderness adventure is an.obvi- ous allure for highpointers. But the ' r '-' pursuit also attracts goal-motivated ''"' r;l individuals who savor keeping a '-"'checklist and marking off each high- T!iV point they reach. :i " J "There's something tangible and "'-"_•'• satisfying about having a list to check iH [ ' j off," said Roger Truesdale, a 62-year- oirih old retired physical-education teacher ' from Bloomington, Minn. He has 1>aJ climbed all 50 highpoints, 49 of them IJt ^ with his wife, Jane. ; 2 '" "Highpointing gives you well-de- •'' N fined goals and many people like that." The Truesdales, who started their highpointing quest in 1988, took road trips during the summer months to climb several state highpoints at once, On one trip through the Midwest, they hit 10 summits over a couple weeks. They did the same in New England, driving to the top in flatter states and hiking Appalachian trails in states like Vermont to climb eight peaks on one vacation. Frozen toes and altitude sickness are a real danger on a dozen states' summits. Going to the extreme is not a highpointing requirement, however. Indeed, most of the 50 highpoints are moderate hikes with elevations of less than 7,000 feet. And climbing all 50 peaks is not the goal of every highpointer. Some make a goal to see the country, and ascend 20 or 30 highpoints with no serious mountaineering involved. Families with young children may schedule a road- trip vacation around highpoint destinations. Dally News in Kansas. I r.f l.irri; lit?. •.PI, a nr.jt filKl Live trap catches sample of the wild, even a snapper Spring bakes into summer this year with interesting results. Already our portion of Big Creek has dried while buffalo grass resurrects with each tiny bit of rain and then curls and crumbles to dust. Usually rampant wildflowers emerge hesitant and stunted and then dry on the stalk. With the dry creek bed and pastures come additional changes. One, deer brave the yard to come into the water tank and buckets we set out for the horse and chickens. Two, already prolific pack rats repopulate even more determinedly and find refuge under the cars and near the porch, wreaking expensive havoc. I have declared all-out war on these vile creatures, intentionally ignoring any cleverness or cuteness I normally appreciate in furry, four-legged creatures. One curse of country living (you can't have only blessings — otherwise you wouldn't appreciate them as much) is that outdoor creatures want to share your home. Country residents continually battle to hold nature at bay, and over the years we have dealt with friendly wolf spi- Karen Madorln CUMnvRUUUNfiS ders, mice, curious skunks, a misplaced wren as well as the evil packrat empire. Sin.ce the creek dried out last summer, those darn packrats have had a heyday at every country home in the region. Due to the rodent influx and ensuing damage, we have strategically set live traps outside the house and outbuildings, finding no shortage of willing occupants. In past years, one trap sufficed to keep this population under control. This year, we have increased the obstacles to their designs for sharing our space fourfold. Not surprisingly, you can catch something other than the intended packrat. Once, a dandy bull snake slipped into the trap to snooze (Our daughter dealt with that in our absence. The cell phone message en- tertained us for weeks.). Curious hens occasionally wander into the rectangular cage, thinking, I suppose, it looks like a good place to lay an egg. Last year, one of our buff orphingtons thought the trap such a delightful nest that we had to release her and that day's egg several times. T»t)is year, we set several traps to manage the invasion 1 of rodent immigrants, and we discovered the drought has taken another toll on neighborhood creatures. When we checked the traps recently, -we found a very young and very offended snapping turtle rattling the cage. The day before, my husband had found another young snapper creeping up our hillside, looking for water we suppose. Perhaps this even smaller fellow smelled the peanut butter cracker loaded in the trap to attract any visiting rodents or maybe the shiny metal of the cage attracted it. Who knows, but he managed to set off the lever and confine himself until we found him and set him free, Extended drought changes much in our ecosystem, not only for the agriculturist. I watch with interest to see what additional changes occur. Perhaps with enough prayer and the right environmental conditions, rains will soak the fields and fill the creeks so wildlife can survive without venturing so closely into our refuge. — Karen Madorln Is an outdoor enthusiast and a teacher at Ellis High School. Karon's blog Is llatentolho hur [•Hill iiih r ,i! rv en I'jVI, I'HlJ vi'p i:i'S uO" "rU'G nil.' indw ''rtl'C •T,J<E /, •.I od _ Should'aUied SOUTHSIDE BAIT Hayttltt it'll UJI\ alto

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