The Fort Riley Ramble-My season’s last hunt in Kansas
Three gun dogs struck point, hard, not 10 feet before me. I pulled up my 20 ga. just before a bobwhite broke right. My first shot was behind, but the second put him down.
It was an exciting moment at the Fort Riley Army Base with the Fort Riley Pheasants Forever chapter in south central Kansas. I was also hunting last Friday with members of
the Flint Hills Quail Forever chapter. Both chapters work hard to improve habitat for quail at the 100,656-acre Fort Riley Army Base, most of which is open to public hunting for a small fee.
For you history buffs, the fort was founded in 1853 and was named after Major General Bennett C. Riley, who ran interference against understandably upset Native Americans on the besieged Santa Fe Trail. The base, home to about 25,000 people on any given day, was also once home to the late General George Armstrong Custer.
Not only was the quail hunting exciting at times, but the live fire too. Yes, at one point we were directly beneath the flight path of 105mm artillery shells flying overhead. We also heard 50 cal. machine gunfire off in the distance. Of course, we were hunting far from any firing or impact zones. It was fascinating, though. I always wondered what real artillery fire sounded like. My thanks to our armed forces at Fort Riley and elsewhere, especially overseas, for their service!
As we hunted the expansive prairie and wood lots, civilian Alan Hynek, Fort Riley PF chapter leader and base conservation branch chief, explained the many things the chapter is doing to improve habitat for quail, but also for pheasants, prairie chickens, elk, deer and endangered Topeka shiners, piping plovers, least terns and much more. The chapter’s work includes controlled burns, native plant restoration, food plots, tree control, base youth hunts and much more.
Read more about this interesting adventure in coming issues of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever magazines. If you can’t wait to learn more about Kansas, attend our National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic Feb. 17-19 in Kansas City.
Tags: kansas quail hunting
5 Responses to “The Fort Riley Ramble-My season’s last hunt in Kansas”| |
Leave a Reply