There is no better time in the life of Ryan Flaming of rural Hillsboro than spring turkey hunting season when the trees bud out, green grass sways in the cool early morning breeze, and big toms gobble their intentions as dawn breaks across the sky. That is, there is no better time unless it is deer season, fall calving, winter cattle shows, or early summer chick hatching time.
Just about any time of the year, Flaming finds something to be passionate about outdoors, whether he is working with farm projects or hunting. It is all part of his year-round love for all-things-outdoors.
Flaming, a 2009 animal science graduate from Kansas State University, grew up south west of Hillsboro and farms there with his parents Tim and Judy Flaming. He also works as a Park Ranger at Harvey County East Lake, finding time to hunt and farm between 10-hour work shifts, four days a week.
Marriage to wife Amanda in June 2010 made Flaming’s interest in hunting and farming in Marion County all the more fun.
“My best memories so far are just sharing the hunts and experiences with Amanda,” Flaming said. “She got her first turkey last year and I just enjoyed watching her eyes get big and light up at the excitement.”
Flaming began hunting as a teenager with a BB gun but now at age 25, has moved in the realm of professionalism, using bow, rifle, or shotgun as appropriate for deer, turkeys, upland birds, pronghorn antelope, and mule deer. He regularly films hunts as a pro-staffer for Bust-A-Buck enterprises and Beyond Addiction Adventures.
“My friend, Luke Lehrman, helps with the videoing,” Flaming said. “We send footage in for online shows.”
Flaming also sells hunting products for the companies, showcasing their use and effectiveness in his own hunts.
“Amanda got her first buck last year and I got it on film,” Flaming said. “We were using Bust-A-Buck’s scent cover lotion and videoed the whole thing. That was awesome.”
As a park ranger, Flaming spends a lot of time outdoors patrolling the lake, building wildlife habitats, and maintaining park areas. His wife works as an assistant manager for Great Clips in Hutchinson, cutting hair and performing beauty treatments. Off duty, they can either be found in the woods hunting or back at the farm raising all sorts of animals and poultry.
“Together with my dad we have about 40 registered Red Angus cattle and about 40 more commercial cows that we use for embryo transfer,” Flaming said. “We have mostly fall calves and sell show heifers.”
Their bulls are shipped to Shawnee, Okla., where they are fed out and sold as part of the Red Alliance Angus group. The couple travels to national stock shows during the wnter, exhibiting their prize winning cattle.
In addition to cattle, Flaming raises Brown African and White Sebastopol Geese, Rouen Ducks, and Silver-Laced Wyandotte Chickens. Flaming advertises on poultry forums online and sells to buyers in Rhode Island, New York, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Florida.
“It’s a busy time of the year for me right now,” he said.
However, when the turkeys gobble within hearing distance, Flaming finds a way to get into the woods.
“I love to bow hunt the turkeys,” he said. “You have to get really close. When those big boys come running in it’s exciting, and I just love sharing it all with Amanda.”