‚Äčmuddy creek kennels

I believe I got my first gun, a .410 of course, when I was eight. My birthday is Dec.14th. If my memory is correct I got a wrapped up box of .410 shells on my birthday and a shotgun on Christmas day. Over the next few years my older brother, by two years, and I became accomplished at "putting the bacon on the table". Squirrels all spring and summer. Rabbits and quail all winter. Back then you could hunt quail like rabbits. We went with anyone who would take us. Soon my mother came to trust our judgment and we were then hunting on our own. She would take us to the country and drop us off to be picked up at a designated time. After we proved to be responsible in this arrangement we were then allowed to ride our bicycles, .410 or .22 in hand, out to our favorite spots. Abandoned farms, old cemeteries, creek bottoms, pecan groves, oil leases and so on. We hunted along water ways and ditches in the crop fields. We hunted down overgrown fence lines and railroad tracks. We shot doves at whatever wheat or milo stubble field the doves were feeding in. I say all this just to portray how we grew up and the way we lived. We cleaned our squirrels, rabbits, quail, occasional pheasant and doves in the alley back of our house. My mom fixed for family dinner any and everything we caught or killed with pride in her boys hunting. In those days, say the 60's and 70's, I do not recall ever being ran off, hollered at, or turned away without a good reason. There weren't any "no hunting" signs. There weren't any "no trespassing" signs. There weren't any "hunting rights leased" signs either. Hunting was a way of life for everyone. A boy with a gun out hunting was normal. If you wanted to hunt in the field around someone's house you went and asked. If you wanted to hunt in the field down the road you just hunted. If you wanted to shoot squirrels on the creek behind someone's house you asked. If you wanted to hunt squirrels along the river you just hunted. No one cared about hunting back then. There was plenty for any one who wanted to hunt. I believe the way the law on trespass read back then was " no fence, no sign, no trespass". Abandoned farm houses were everywhere. Things have changed....


We were "trying" to pheasant hunt this year and were at Belleview, Kansas. We were in the Pizza Hut and there were some guys in the next booth over who I spoke to.... "Yes" they were seeing some birds but them blankety blank poachers were coming in on their leased property.... sneaking in and killing all their roosters! Of course they couldn't be to friendly and a spirit of camaraderie was a little lacking. We could be poachers... Who knows. We also met some guys from West Virginia who belonged to a "Mid America Hunt Club". They had club leased property that they hunted on. In conversation with them I thought it was odd that they would extend to us the privilege of sharing this clubs operating procedure for dealing with trespassers on their leased lands."Boy... they sure didn't mess with em'..." Of course there was no camaraderie, common ground or sharing of information between hunters with these fellows either. We were not members.... Sitting in the restaurant you might hear a conversation from the next table that sounds like this: "We hunted NW 10 this morning and SW 8 this afternoon. I think we're going to hunt NE 18 in the morning and probably SE 12 tomorrow afternoon". Another table the guys might be saying " boy, it sure looked good on the map(walk-in map) but when we got there eight trucks were there already!"


Have you noticed how the No Hunting signs are getting more tricky? Some of them look like maybe the place is testing grounds for nuclear weapons or chemical warfare. Some signs cut right to the chase and just say that anyone caught trespassing will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law including the surrender of your youngest son for scientific research. Some of the signs down right lie. They proclaim these premises to be patrolled by sheriffs deputy. And some of the signs say "Hunting by Written Permission Only". Those are the best signs of all. They lead you to believe that maybe, just maybe, if you could just find out and track down the benevolent soul they would bestow upon you the privilege of hunting on their property. Only to find that the land had been sold or the landowner is vacationing in Jamaica and no, there is no one else who can bestow that privilege upon you but him. Mirages in the desert to a thirsty dying man. Actually to my understanding the fine is double in Kansas if the land is posted in that manner, I do believe....


Here about 10 years ago we started seeing these little square white signs here and there."Walk-In Hunting" they said. We said, "What the heck is that?" Well, here we are today 10 years latter. Follow along....."Hi, how are you?" (handshake) " My name's Craig Burns and I'm from over in Missouri, and we come out here every year to pheasant hunt and we would like to ask if it would be all-right to hunt that grass back over there?"Landowners response " There's some of that there public hunting land down the road over there, go help yourself. My land is leased to such and such."The state says they'll give a $1.00 an acre. Such and such says they'll give $2.00.Another land owner tells the state NO, he doesn't want to lease his land for walk-in, he tells such and such NO, he doesn't want to lease his land and guess what... now he tells me NO, I can't hunt either...This year the state of Kansas says populations are up, up, up. My goodness, there's one million acres in walk-in hunting access. Let's go!!! I talk to people all the time and I can tell you this....there are a whole lot of disappointed people in their walk-in hunting opportunity. No one says "we had a great hunt", no one says "we had a good hunt". What they do say is that they wasted their time. I personally am very much against walk-in hunting in Kansas. I call it government leavings. It used to be all the hunting was shared equally by everyone.... Everyone asked....  Pheasant hunting w as a way of life. Fat old men with no dogs who couldn't walk anyway drove out to western Kansas in a four door station wagon to drive the roads and shoot roosters in the ditch. They had a ball. Everyone had a ball. Now it is leased signs and "no hunting". Every man for himself. Pretty sad possibilities for anyone who isn't"connected"....
Asking someone to hunt now days is just about useless. Just hunting is out of the question unless you want to contract an exotic disease, lose your youngest son and... get to meet a real live sheriffs deputy. The government leavings are a waste of time. How many of your spots have you lost? This year alone I lost two places I have hunted for years in one area. They were both places I really looked forward to hunting. They were leased by Mid America Hunt Club.

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