Archive for Friday, February 6, 2009

Saturday’s Squirrel Scramble has registered 200 teams — so far

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Hunters in Tonganoxie are gearing up for the annual Squirrel Scramble.

February 6, 2009

The next competition

Hunters can sign up for the Squirrel Scramble at Adam’s Feed Store or Tonganoxie’s Downtown Bar up until the start of the event. For more information, call the feed store, (913) 845-1500 or e-mail squirrelscramble@aol.com.

Adam Bryant and his friends admit they didn’t quite realize what they were creating three years ago.

“We decided we were going to have a squirrel hunt,” said Bryant, owner of Adam’s Feed Store in Tonganoxie. “The first year we had over 100 teams; they come from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas.”

This season, nearly 200 teams will take part in the third annual Squirrel Scramble in Tonganoxie. If you’re not familiar with a squirrel hunt, you’re not alone. The hunt is the only event of its kind in the area. Those participating say it’s unique.

“It’s getting to be a big thing around here,” said hunting veteran Kyle Lux. “Go out in the woods for 20 bucks; you can’t beat it,” he said.

The rules of the popular Squirrel Scramble:

• On Saturday, two-person teams have until 4 p.m. to shoot 10 squirrels anywhere it’s legal to hunt.

• Participants draw numbers to determine how many red squirrels and grey squirrels they must collect.

• The winner is the team boasting the highest combined weight of 10 squirrels.

This year the winning adult team will collect $500. The youth division winner will take home a new .22 rifle.

Much to his surprise, 10-year-old Colten Pope won the rifle last year. “I didn’t think I was going to win,” he said.

Wesley Pope, Colten’s father, looks forward to the squirrel hunt every year. He says it’s a good way to spend time with his son.

“My dad used to take me out with my brother,” he said. “I am just trying to carry on the father-son thing like my father did with me.”

Organizers think the squirrel hunt is also a good way to get children involved with the outdoors.

And what happens to the dead squirrels?

“A lot of guys take them home and eat them,” Bryant says. “We also cut the tails off of them and use them for fishing lures.”

Hunters also say the event is a way to keep down the rodent population.

“They will get thinned out this weekend,” Lux said.

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