Kansas Turkey Adventures

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
Turkey season in Kansas opens on October 1st. I went out this morning to see about an archery deer, and also to see if any birds might be roosting along the creek bottom.

That last sentence seems pretty usual for me to write, but as Paul Harvey might have said, here is the "rest of the story".

The genetic potential for bad hip joints runs strong in my father's family tree. If he had been a dog set out to stud, no self respecting vet would have certified his hips for breeding.
12 years ago I had my right hip replaced. The surgeon told my wife that for my relatively young age, it was the worst osteoarthritis he had ever seen. About two years ago I noticed that my left hip was losing flexibility. Putting socks on and tying shoe laces was hard, and getting progressively harder. I'm happy to report that this time around the pain levels were not as significant as the first hip. For the better part of a year, if I was standing, nearly all my weight was born on the artificial hip side, and the bad hip used for balance. When I walked, it was easy to see that I was limping along as the range of motion on the left side was so limited.

Three and a half weeks ago, I scooted over onto the operating table and my orthopedic doctor set the robot in motion to cut out the bad bone/cartilage, and then placed titanium, porcelain and plastic components for a bionic hip. I was encouraged to place as much weight as I wanted from the get-go. Using a walker to get around, I noticed that this go round was very different than the first surgery. Getting in and out of bed was not immensely painful as it was in 2007. I could place as much weight as I would have before surgery with the same amount of discomfort before surgery. I never needed an narcotics as Mobic/Tylenol was keeping me quite comfortable.

I had scheduled myself out of my dental office for three full weeks, but found that my recovery was so much faster that I returned to the office to see a few patients the second week after surgery, those first couple of days still using the walker to get around safely. I quickly transitioned to a cane, and then ditched the cane as well once it became apparent that I was on the fast track to complete recovery.

This morning marks day 25 from surgery, so as a concession to my wife and wisdom, I walked into the dark woods with my crossbow on a sling and a cane in my hand as I ninja'd my way down the slope to the creek's edge. No turkeys were heard, no deer were seen, nor did I hear any muzzleloader shots going off in the wildlife area. All in all it was a fantastic day to be in the woods and marvel at nature.

Driving home this morning, my leg felt amazing, and after getting up out of the car, I walked into the house with almost no visible limp. Great thanks to Mrs. kansasdad who has been a fantastic nurse, to the medical folks who worked on me, and got my into healing mode quickly, and to the Great Physician who altogether have worked a miracle in my body.
 

TheBenHoyle

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Dec 5, 2016
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392
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Illinois
I'm glad you got that bionic hip and that you are out and about. Both my grandpa and my uncle had their hips replaced. I worry that some day I will need the same, although I won't spend 40 years farming like they did so maybe my hips will hold out.
 

kansasdad

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Wichita
A friend of my wife asked if I might be interested in helping out this past weekend assisting a youngster get some experience with shooting a 22, and attempt to take advantage of the special antlerless whitetail weekend. These guys ( https://www.outdoormentors.org/) started off as a partner of BigBrothers/BigSisters and have continued with a greater emphasis on outdoors activities.

We met at a local WalMart parking lot, and headed into a most picturesque area of the Flint Hills. We carpooled to a temporary shooting range, and were assigned our hunter and his sponsor. Ages ranged from 9-16, with various levels of shooting/hunting experiences of the boys and the dads. My 13 year old hunter is on his high school trap squad, but he had never shot a scoped rifle. He proved to be a crack shot with a scoped Ruger 10/22, and after shooting that, we got out my venerable Winchester 243 for some familiarization with the safety, trigger and slightly funky East German 1-4x scope. Each hunter was given a blaze orange hat/vest, and a Primos deer call before we split up to our various hunting blinds.

We were driven out to the "schoolhouse blind", which overlooks a hayfield, sloping down to a Flint Hills pond. There was a feeder 40 yards in front, and another one 150 yards across the pond in a clearing in the woods. I pointed out to Zane where there were a couple of trail cameras that we should need to not shoot if any deer showed up.

Only a spike buck showed up while we were in the blind, but he gave us a really fun show of peek a boo, moving in and out of the cedars, eating, staring down the blind, eating, turning broadside which gave Zane great aiming practice. After legal shooting time was over, we returned back to the "cabin" for a meal, and a time of sharing. Two does were hanging, with a third one coming in a bit later (3/6 success rate).

As we drove into the cabin parking area, I showed Zane where the Game Warden had parked his truck, and I told Zane that I always liked getting checked by the warden and showing him/her proper respect. Deer tag and written permission to be on the private land were produced for the warden, and the boys got a bit of a lesson from the warden, as he had one successful kid finish filling out his harvest tag which was a little deficient.

Burgers and dogs consumed, each boy was asked to give a small synopsis of the afternoon/evening event. Permission/transport slips were filled out for the mentor taking the deer to the processor and thank- yous said to the landowners for granting permission to hunt for the day.

Zane's dad said that he was very excited about today, and is already scheming how he can get his own deer rifle.
 

F250

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Dec 9, 2011
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462
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Vermont
Time well spent. Each year I participate as a shotgun instructor for a Youth Waterfowl Hunter Training Day at out local club. Always fun to spend time with eager-to-learn youths !
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
Come on Kansas!! Lets play nice a let me see either a turkey or a whitetail on public land, would you please??

I played the wind, and thought I was playing the opening day upland hunters so that as they worked the ag fields, some deer or even a turkey would feel pressured to move, and run right into me where I was covering a couple of escape roots from a thick bedding area. No dice

I did get my licenses checked by the Game&Fish officer for the area, the same one who issued the salvage tag for the antlers of a submerged buck last January. He told me that he put in a food plot in the middle of my "backdoor" CRP area, and even better, he hasn't seen much hunter activity in that area of the wildlife area. Plan for Sunday afternoon food plot hunt formulating in my head!!
 

kansasdad

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Wichita
Still no turkeys, but the food plot sneak had me looking at a button buck at 18 yards this afternoon. As soon as I saw the fawn enter the far end of the field, the Diana Ross song "Walk on by" was playing in my head. He walked down the middle of the field, getting closer and challenging my resolve with every step.

I had the crossbow on some shooting sticks, and he walked right into the perfect crosshair picture, and I maintained my discipline. He was looking well fed, with some weird extra protuberances from his left rear hock, but had no visible lameness.

Driving home well after legal shooting time, I had a huge bodied deer cross the gravel road in front of me. I told me wife that had I been driving my beater spare car I might have gunned it! Thanks for coming through for me Kansas.
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Changes on the horizon for turkey hunters in Kansas this spring. Northeast, Southeast, and South central zones will have a one bird limit. Northwest and North central zones will allow a second spring bearded bird. As per usual, residents can put in for the limited draw in the Southwest zone.

In the fall season of 2020, the season will be significantly shortened, and although an attempt was made to limit the fall take to bearded only, it will remain as "any turkey".

 

F250

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Dec 9, 2011
Messages
462
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Vermont
I received the notice on the limit and season changes a couple days ago. Sounds like there is a documented population problem. Good to see the KDWPT taking immediate steps to protect the turkeys. Guess we'll take the year off and not travel out there this season.
 
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