Stapleton Family has Successful Thanksgiving Morning Prairie Dog Hunt

In what has become a Kimball family tradition, the Kimballs dress up in their hunting garb, grab their BB guns, pellet guns, and bows and arrows and head to one of the many Stapleton prairie dog hot spots. “We have been pretty lucky in that we try a new area every year,” said Eric Kimball. “They just seem to be everywhere, so we can’t go wrong.”

The Kimballs have been doing their traditional hunt now for three years, and wife Amy says the kids love it. “I make hot chocolate for the kids, and Eric and I have some hot, spiked cider when we get up. The week before, we take the kids to Bass Pro and let them pick out a new outfit and any new weapons if we need them. It has really brought us closer together.”

The Kimballs have two children, daughter Annabelle (9) and son Ethan (7). “We don’t really have any rules when we go out for the hunt,” says Eric. “We make sure that everyone gets at least one prairie dog kill, but in regards to limits, there are no limits.” Eric says that 2011 was their best year to date when they “got about 35” but this season was pretty successful as well. “We don’t do anything inhumane such as throwing things down the holes,” says Eric. “We try to get them when they pop up.”

Many friends and neighbors of the Kimballs appreciate their efforts. “A lot of people say things like, ‘Hey, at least someone is trying to control the population,’” said Kimball. “We know that some people do not agree with what we are doing, but it is fun for the kids, and there is no prairie dog shortage in Stapleton that I am aware of.”

Some residents are emphatically against the Kimball tradition. “I think it is unbelievable that we have something this horrible going on right here in Stapleton,” says resident Stacey Fobian. “Not that it makes it much better, but I am pretty sure they don’t eat the meat or use the fur or anything. It is just needless violence.”

SUN and the MCA are working together to figure out some simple rules so that no innocent hunters are injured if other Stapleton residents start the same tradition. “We want to at least ensure a safe hunting environment if more families get involved,” said SUN President Mike Victoria.

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