Archive for Thursday, March 25, 2004

Leavenworth County hunting preserve proposed

March 25, 2004

In the midst of the urbanization of Leavenworth County, one piece of ground is becoming more decidedly rural.

Piper real estate developer Don Budd plans in a couple of years to open a private hunting preserve on a 400-acre site along Stranger Creek between U.S. Highway 24-40 and Evans Road. The property is about five miles east of Tonganoxie.

Budd's long-range plan for Stranger Creek Private Hunting Preserve is to sell annual memberships to hunters, all of whom will be expected to abide by local and state hunting laws and seasons. But first he's working to make the land more attractive to wildlife. Budd estimated the work would take at least two years.

He plans to increase waterfowl areas, plant food plots, establish nesting areas and start a wood duck area, among other work. The entire property is in a flood plain, Budd said, noting that part of the land will continue to be farmed.

The process will take time, Budd said.

"It's not something where you can buy a piece of ground and in a year you're up and running and ready to go," Budd said.

A natural help in drawing wildlife is the winding Stranger Creek, as well as the land's location in a natural flyway zone for migrating birds.

Budd, who had considered other sites in Missouri and Kansas before deciding on the Tonganoxie property, said he's had good response since erecting signs on the highway and Evans Road.

"We've had a lot of phone calls," said the 45-year-old Budd, who has been hunting since his father took him quail hunting at the age of 5.

The establishment of the preserve is a long-time dream. During recent hunting seasons, Budd said, geese, ducks and turkey were taken at the site. And, Budd said he hopes that the pheasant and quail populations will increase with the improvement of the habitat.

"It's a gradual change," said Budd. "You start finding them a little more habitat each year and it just makes it easier for them to prosper."

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