Wildlife appreciation, conservation days offer educational, fun attraction for all

“Let’s get these kids off the couch and outdoors.” That’s Bruce Burenheide, longtime management at Bluestem Farm & Ranch, in Emporia, encouraging and inviting children of all ages, even those most mature often over-exercising rocking chairs, to participate in the 14th annual Wildlife Appreciation and Conservation Days, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10, hosted by the business serving the Flint Hills for more than 55 years.

“We work to make this an educational and fun day for everybody and especially the children, who often just don’t know, understand and appreciate the entire wonderful outdoors, especially the rich bottomland and world renowned native grassland Flint Hills,” Burenheide emphasized.

Among the conservation groups to be in attendance include Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Fishing’s Future, National Wild Turkey Federation, Lyon County Soil Conservation, Kansas Hunter Education, Camp Alexander, Kansas Fur harvesters, Kansas muzzleloaders, Kansas State Rifle Association, the Beau Arndt Foundation, and others.

“These important organizations come into the store, set up booths and welcome an opportunity to meet everyone to explain about the importance of wildlife and conservation to the region,” Burenheide said.

“Officials from the Kansas Wildlife and Parks will have their laser shooting booth for everyone to test their skills on all kinds of game and targets, and there’ll be air-rifle and BB-gun ranges. The Kansas Bow Hunters will also have their archery shooting range here,” he said.

There will be representatives from several manufacturers that offer products in the store’s sporting goods department, such as knives, guns, archery, game calls, cabinets, outerwear, ammunition and the like.

Gas-fueled grills are to be set up outdoors for a hot dog stand with beef and beans for brunch, dinner, or early supper. “All proceeds from the stand will be divided among the conservation groups,” Burenheide said.

There will be drawings for prizes, with the grand prize a Henry rifle.

For more information, see www.bluestemfarmandranch.com.


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, Kan., lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and radio marketing consultant.


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