Hunting a partnership with sportsmen, farmers

Dave Bergmeier

In Kansas and in many other High Plains states November means an opportunity for sportsmen to enjoy nature’s landscape.

Upland game hunting is big business and brings many dollars to rural communities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated in 2016 that nearly 40% of the United States population was involved in spending $156.3 billion on licenses, equipment and fees to enjoy wildlife, as noted by the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute.

Over the next few months the High Plains will be the shining star as outdoor enthusiasts will direct their attention to sporting goods suppliers, landowners, hotel operators, hunting lodges, restaurants and convenience stores. Rifle season for deer hunters will also soon open, too. During pheasant and quail season hunter breakfasts and suppers are popular, though they are likely to be more subdued this year. Those fundraisers raise significant monies for youth and church groups.

Pheasant and quail hunting success depends on the stewardship of farmers and ranchers. Multiple states offer walk-in hunting opportunities in which states pay landowners to allow public access for hunters—a real victory for hunters and landowners. Those who choose to use walk-in hunting also have a duty to make sure they are good sportsmen by cleaning up not only for themselves but for others, too.

We encourage hunters to be respectful and courteous to landowners by seeking permission in advance and making note of any restrictions. Some landowners like to have their family be able to hunt first before allowing others to have access.

Too many unfortunate stories occur of hunters stirring up cattle enough the livestock cause damage to fences or get out on neighbors’ land. Gates being inadvertently left open and cattle getting out are stories no one wants to read about. Hunters should report cattle that are out to local authorities.

An important rule of the High Plains is do not hunt without permission. Landowners also need to be understanding that at times a miscommunication can occur. Besides fish and game wardens, many sheriff’s deputies will be on added patrol watching for illegal trespassing. Please be safe as hunting as accidents are serious business to all.

Veterans Day: Never forget

A special thanks to veterans as we remember Veterans Day on Nov. 11. Following the Nov. 3 election it serves as a reminder of the sacrifice men and women made so that Americans can feel at ease in casting their votes to determine leadership at the federal, state and county levels.

We should never forget about the sacrifice young men and women continue to make to defend freedom and preservation of our way of our life.

Remember to take time to pay homage to veterans and also thank those who have enlisted in the armed forces or serve in a reserve capacity. Our future is in good hands because of the dedication and sacrifice of those men and women.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].