TIPTON, Kan. (KSNW) – The sun is peeking over the horizon of the rolling Blue Hills in northcentral Kansas, home to the Ringneck Ranch, where inside, things are already cookin’!
“Biscuits in gravy, eggs, and sausage.”
A big breakfast for a big day of hunting!
“Nice hearty meals,” gleams John Dupuis.
A quick review of the rules.
“We expect everyone to know and adhere to the 10 commandments of safe gun handling.”
And they’re ready to go!
“This is Dot. Little Dot, she’s an English pointer.”
Trained dogs and professional guides help find the pheasants, which, even for an experienced hunter, can be tough on their own.
“We’ve hunted before in Coldwater, wild birds. I’ve probably walked 100 miles for a bird many times!”
That’s what keeps these brothers coming back here. The ranch even releases more birds in the field to add to the native population, all part of the package deal.
“You show up with your shotgun, your hunting clothes,” said Keith Houghton, owner, Ringneck Ranch. “We take care of you from the time you show to the time you leave. Meals, accommodations, guides, dogs, field vehicles.”
“That’s exactly it,” exclaimed Josh Pearce.
“There’s no prep,” said Seth Pearce, “you just show up and go.”
“That’s right. As long as you can shoot, life is good.”
Ringneck Ranch sits on land homesteaded by the Houghton family in the 1870s. From there, hunters have access to 10,000 acres. Most of the guests come from out of state for a reason.
“Probably, the biggest element is access. It’s difficult in today’s world to find places to hunt for very many folks.”
“Those cedars are coming up here at the end of the grass.”
The fun of the hunt is not just bagging a bird or several in this case, but spending the day outdoors with friends, many who make this a yearly tradition.
“I think we’ve already booked ours,” says Josh Pearce. “Yep, already have our reservation!”
“We just completed our 35th year of operation this last spring, and we have lots of wonderful friends as a result from across the country,” said Keith Houghton. “It’s like a family reunion every other day.”