Fellow Outdoor Advocates,
I am proud to announce that one of our chapter’s own youth, Jared Austin, has been selected for a prestigious honor at the national level! He was one of just a handful of youth from across the county selected from a large applicant pool to be a representative on the National Youth Leadership Council for Pheasants Forever. The council is a group of highly engaged youth leaders that represent the future growth and vision of Pheasants Forever.
Jared’s community service and participation in youth directed activities for outdoor engagement and education set him apart from other qualified applicants. He has been instrumental in advocating that area youth organizations utilize the facilities we have built at the McPherson Valley Uplands and is working to complete our pollinator program that involves educating young kids in local elementary schools about habitat and wildlife sustainability.
Jared will be heading to North Dakota in July to take his position on the council and attend a 4 day meeting of leadership and conservation. Please join me in congratulating Jared on his well-earned accomplishment and support his advocacy by going to his Facebook page and liking the McPherson Valley Uplands.
John Worden, President, McPherson Area Pheasants Forever Chapter
Sponsored by: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, Pheasants Forever and Kansas Outdoor Mentors
Location: McPherson Uplands Outdoor Learning Center (1/4 mile North of Conway or 5.5 miles West of McPherson)
Dates: Thursday June 19th, Thursday July 17th and Thursday August 21st
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
- All materials are provided – Just bring a kid or the whole family!
- Clay Shooting Range for all kids old/strong enough to shoot a 20 or 12 gauge shotgun.
- Archery range will also be open for instruction.
- Air Soft Pellet Range and Sling Shot Range will be open for the little kids.
- Recommended ages: 4-18, but all are welcome!
- Hunters Safety Certificate is NOT required.
RSVP is NOT required. If you would like more information please call: Joe Schieferecke 620-242-8161 or Jason Austin 620-755-4727.
The Uplands hosted 21 McPherson High School students for the “Big Event” on Wednesday, April 23rd.
The freshman through senior group split into platoons under the guidance of sponsors Don Willits and Chris Walline. Uplands representative Jason Austin spearheaded the workday and helped students with the assigned projects.
All of the Uplands existing signs were removed, reset, re-leveled and tamped in place. The signs were damaged in last year’s wind storm and required repair. In addition to the sign renovations, the group canvased the campground, education and shooting areas and removed broken limbs, brush and debris. These efforts created a huge brush pile which will be burnt when weather permits. The “Big Event” clean-up put the finishing touches on our recent mowing and improvement projects.
After a barbeque lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs at the fire-pit area, the students completed their “Big Event” workday by moving the observation bleachers to a permanent spot by the headquarters building.
The following high school students participated in the event: Rilynn Anderson, Cody Armstrong, Riley Burghart, Kaylee Eberhardt, James Fish, Eric Gaeddert, Amanda Handlin, Olivia Hansen, Casey Higgins, Morgan Howard, Lucas Koehn, Cole Kretzer, Taylor Kulbeth, Moliann Metheny, Ethan Nadeau, Ember Nelson, Sarah Newberry, Jaden Nigh, Crystal Nutter, Chayce Pontious and Tyler Wheat.
Our Saturday workday at the Uplands was a rousing success! All of the trails, campgrounds, education and shooting areas were mowed, trimmed and made ready for the season. In addition, the forest trail was cleaned up by a crew with chainsaws and the trail was made ready by weed-eating and mowing.
A team led by Greg Smith made repairs to the shooting area roof which is now ready for installation of new tin to repair last year’s wind damage. Youth coordinator, Joe Schieferecke worked with the group to plan the new trap house and .22 rifle range. PF Biologist Allie Rath, assisted by Troy Shippy, staked out four pollinator areas for future development by McPherson area classroom students. Those areas were mowed by Dale Schmidt who also did yeoman work throughout the facility with his tractor and mower.
The following volunteers assisted on Saturday: Jared Austin, Jason Austin, Blake Druecker, Craig Druecker, Logan Druecker, Rich Miller, Judah Neff, Torrance Parkins, Brett Reber, Allie Rath, Travis Rose, Joe Schieferecke, Dale Schmidt, Troy Shippy, Baron Shively, and John Worden.
Many thanks to those who participated! A special thanks to Neal Beam for the use of his tractor and mower and also to Joe Pavlovsky for the use of his mower to prepare for new sign placements.
The Uplands is in great shape for the many youth and hunter safety events this summer and we look forward to another great season of educating area youth.
Please join us on Saturday April 19th at 8:00 am for a workday at the Uplands. Our goal is to start work on the new trap house, make repairs to the shooting area roof, spray weeds and mow. We have a number of hunter safety courses, youth classes and school events on the schedule so we need to have the facility in perfect shape for the coming year. We will try to be finished by noon, so hope you can volunteer some of your valuable time!
Our second annual Field Trial was a great success with perfect hunting weather.
Thanks to our sponsors Dick Gehring with Gehring Buffalo Meats who provided our great lunch and Ken Stringer with Kansas Game Birds who supplied the chukars.
This year we had 27 dog handlers, with 4 competing in the youth class. Jacob Lackey who brought in 3 birds with the Labrador Hogan was the overall youth winner.
In the adult class, Tyler Gehring won the overall amateur completion with 4 birds shot and retrieved by his lab Diek with a time of 3 minutes and 45 seconds. Tyler also won the fastest bird retrieved to hand with a time of 1 minute and 13 seconds. Tyler donated his prize for the fastest bird back to the club. Congratulations Tyler on some great dog work, quick shooting and your donation back to the event!
This year we added a new class, women’s amateur. Congratulations to Susan Saunders and her dog Jazz (The Spaz) for taking the women’s class.
In the professional class Allen Makovec ran his dog Coy and brought in 4 birds in 4 minutes and 53 seconds. Congratulations Allen.
Thanks to everyone who helped to make our event a success.
Where: McPherson Valley Uplands Outdoor Life Center
This event is a benefit fundraiser to support and grow youth activities in our area. Join us at our facility for the event and learn about our past and future events for engaging youth in the outdoors.
8:00 – Registration Opens
8:45 – Rules Review
9:00 – Professional Class
10:00 – Amateur/Hunter Class
12:00 – Lunch – Provided
13:00 – Youth Class
Youth Class – no dog necessary must have own gun and be able to shoot safely
Amateur/Hunter Class – open to all with a dog and hunting license
Professional Class – Standard rules in effect, will be reviewed prior to starting
Pre-Registration is critical to ensure enough birds are available.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration form or call John Worden at 620-242-6209 for more information.
We are pleased to announce that The Uplands now has a geocache course available.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
At its simplest level, geocaching requires these steps:
1. Go to www.geocaching.com to register for a free basic membership.
2. Visit the “Hide and Seek a Cache” page.
3. Enter your postal code and click “search”.
4. Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name.
5. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device.
6. Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache.
The only necessities are a GPS device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone so that you can navigate to the cache and a Geocaching.com membership.
The McPherson Valley Uplands has five separate caches hidden across the property ranging from difficulties of 1-5. The Caches online page can be found here.
The Uplands geocache course was conceived and developed by Connor Ellsworth of Newton, Kansas for his Eagle Scout project. Connor did the research, created the caches and prepared the training course for users.
The Uplands needs your help. It is time for fall clean-up and maintenance to prepare for our field trial event scheduled for late October. Please join us on Saturday morning September 28th. We will plan to work from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. Projects on the list include:
1. Repair the wind damage to the shooting range roof.
2. Mowing and weed-eating.
3. Repair door damage caused by vandals to the headquarters building.
4. Trail clean-up and tree-trimming.
Your presence would be greatly appreciated to get the facility in perfect shape for users and the upcoming event.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Pheasants Forever and Kansas Outdoor Mentors
McPherson Uplands Outdoor Learning Center (1/4 Mile North of Conway or 6 miles West of McPherson)
Thursday, June 20th
Thursday, July 18th
Thursday, August 15th
(Third Thursday of the Month)
-All materials are provided – Just bring a kid or the whole family!
-Clay Shooting Range for all kids old/strong enough to shoot a 20 or 12 guage shotgun.
-Air Soft Pellet Range and Sling Shot Range will also be open for the littler folks.
-Hunters Safety Certificate is not required.
RSVP is not required. If you would like more information please call:
Joe Schieferecke 620-242-8161 or Jason Austin 620-755-4727