Hunting has always given me something to look forward to. When I was 13, opening day of pheasant season was a big day that couldn't arrive soon enough. I usually started to get the fever in August when my family would take Sunday evening drives in the country. I'd be watching for pheasants -- scouting. But I didn't have to see lots of pheasants to be excited for opening day. As a boy, I didn't know how important the camaraderie would become, and I didn't have the foggiest idea how important hunting would be in my life. I just knew that something new and exciting was going to happen, and I loved every minute of it, whether there were lots of birds or not.
Today, I understand how important hunting has been in my life -- how important it is to be in the field with certain people and dogs, and I fully appreciate every day. I'm looking forward to the hunting seasons even though the prospects for good bird populations in my area aren't good. The drought and heat have taken a toll on pheasant and quail populations, I'm afraid. But I'm still making plans to hunt. I've already made arrangements for my cousin to join me on opening day. Last year's bird hunting was disappointing, but we had memorable experiences, hunting ducks and even did a little crappie fishing. We made the best of what we found. We'll do the same this year.
Kansas provides a variety of opportunities, and we'll stay flexible and enjoy each other's company. I can't wait for hunting season!