The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on November 29, 1981 · Page 94
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 94

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 29, 1981
Page:
Page 94
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Page 12 The Salina Journal Sunflower Sunday, November 29,1981 When Leonard Reedy and his boys wake up around sunrise on late autumn days when they don't have to feed the cattle, you know CONCORDIA - It's 6:30 a.m. Outside, a light fog is rolling in across the fertile farm land of the Republican River Valley a few miles east of Concordia. At the end of the gravel road, a few extra lights shine from the windows of Leonard Reedy's farm home. The Reedy family, which doesn't have to spring out of bed early to feed any cattle right now, is up a little earlier than normal this Saturday. That's because it's pheasant season in Kansas. An hour later, after a breakfast of scrambled eggs and cinnamon rolls, Reedy and three of his sons join family friend Tony Blochlinger on their first pheasant hunt of the season. Dressed warmly against the chill of early morning, Reedy and the boys pile into two pickups for a quick drive to a cornfield which already has given up its golden harvest for the year. "Let's try along this fence line," Reedy suggests, pointing to a weed-clogged fence between the cornfield and an open wheatfield. Only days before, the field had been home to a good supply of pheasants, lush birds kicked up in front of a combine picking corn. ~ From a house just across the road, one of Reedy's neighbors jokingly warns the group not to make too much noise. Dennis Reedy, who helps his father on the farm while trying to start his own operation, takes to the wheatfield side of the fence while Tony, Reedy and another son, Steve, a freshman at Kansas State University, take to the cornfield side. The cover is thick, just the type where pheasants love to hide. Blochlinger's young Brittany spaniel, "Queeny," takes to the heavy weeds for her first big hunt. The dog works quickly, sometimes out of the range of hunters. It takes only a few minutes before the first point is observed deep in the dew-soaked weeds. But this time, at least, Queeny hasn't found any birds. With the rising sun quickly turning into an orange ball as it peeks over the horizon, the group works toward the east end of the fence row, a turning point for the fence before it snakes to the south. No birds. Reedy and Steve join his youngest son, Joe, in a pickup for a quick trip to the other end of the fence as blockers. Tony and Dennis continue on, working slowly around the fence and past a giant center pivot irrigation system. No pheasants flush as the group moves to the end of the fence. Then, just as everyone starts to relax, a cock pheasant explodes from the brush behind Steve. This bird gets away without losing a feather. The elder Reedy is perplexed. "Where do you suppose all the birds are?" Reedy asks. "I really thought we'd find a lot in that field." The cool breeze whistling through the back of the pickup feels good as the hunters move on toward their next destination, another cornfield a few miles away. The open field is too big for his group to hunt successfully, but a quick check of some weeds around the edge of the field kicks up two pheasants, both of which evade the hunters again. It's back on the road again — this time heading for Dennis' cornfield, which hasn't been completely harvested yet. There's about 20-25 rows of corn left in each of two strips on the west side of the field. That's where the first pheasant of the day goes into the game bag. Tony's the lucky hunter. Reedy, who is walking deep inside the uncut corn on one side, flushes out a good-sized pheasant. At least two hunters, including Dennis, miss their chances before Tony, walking on the east side of the corn, bags the bird. Dennis and Tony, long-time friends, joke about the shot. Dennis claims he shot the bird but it didn't fall until Tony fired. Despite some other chances, that's the only bird taken from this field, which in the afternoon was full of birds as Dennis cut corn. "Let's hunt out the brush piles. Some of them (pheasants) flew out that way," Dennis suggests. The piles of old trees lie along the lowland area of a nearby field. No birds here either. But just as the hunters are ready for yet another trip, one cock pheasant flushes from a nearby ditch and another is spotted running along the ground. The second bird also gets away before hunters can converge on the area. It's almost 10 a.m. now but the hunters still have killed only one pheasant. Another quick trip takes the group back to the north edge of a cornfield behind the Reedy home. This field, usually one of the best for pheasants, won't be hunted this time. It's been too wet to cut the corn here. Working a tree-filled area by the edge of the field brings out one more pheasant that escapes. Before the hunters are ready, five or six pheasants, including several roosters, fly out of a nearby weed patch. Tony downs one of those roosters at a nearby dike along the edge of the river. But, for this day, that's the final rooster taken. Leonard Reedy has done a lot of the driving this day with his sons and Tony doing a lot of the field walking. But that doesn't bother Keedy. "I just enjoy being with these old kids," said Reedy as the hunters gathered again for an early lunch. "These boys of mine have hunted up and down this river for years." This hunt wasn't too productive but everyone still seemed to enjoy the fun of the hunt. By afternoon, however, the mud-splattered hunting clothes were hanging on the wall and corn picking was the first order of the day. There will be more time to hunt another day. Story and Photos by Bob Kelly Sunday, November 29,1981 The Salina Journal Sunflower Page 18 Kansas Profiles Dennis Reedy is silhouetted by the early morning sun rising through a light fog Leonard Reedy (left) and son, Bob, check for pheasants in front of corn-picking combine Queeny, Tony Blochlinger's Brittany, with pheasant

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