Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::


Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::

Illinois hunting and fishing

Manhattan, Kan., wildlife artist Jerry Thomas numbers and signs a print at his home studio. Photo by Michael Pearce.

Wildlife artist sees conservation as his duty

March 30, 2012 at 09:53 AM


WICHITA, Kan. — For about 25 years, those who appreciate the outdoors have appreciated the wildlife artwork of Jerry Thomas.

The Scott City, Kan., native has created hundreds of outdoors paintings that have become everything from greeting cards and fine shotgun engravings to prized commissioned pieces and widely circulated prints.

With fine details down to the number of feathers in a strutting turkey’s wing or perfect replication of colors on a rooster pheasant, he’s rated as one of the nation’s best.

But few realize how much the art has done for conservation and other causes through wide-scale sales of limited edition prints and other creations.

As an avid sportsman, Thomas said he feels indebted to conservation groups for enhancing wildlife. As a professional he feels closeness because many supported him greatly in his early days as an artist.

Thomas has no exact figures, but simple math shows his works have raised a lot.

“Ducks Unlimited did over 2,500 prints of one painting and they probably averaged, conservatively, $250 at auctions,” Thomas said. “It doesn’t take many of those to get into (millions).”

Mike Hayden is familiar with the contributions.

While Kansas governor in the late 1980s, he began working on projects with Thomas. The relationship has held through Hayden’s tours with the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and years with Kansas Wildscape.

“Jerry’s work has done a tremendous amount of good, working with Ducks Unlimited and a host of other organizations,” Hayden said. “He’s helped raise a tremendous amount of money and his work usually carries a strong conservation message, too.”

Other groups include the National Wild Turkey Federation, Waterfowl USA, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Pheasants Forever.

Illinois hunting and fishing
A painting titled, “Silent Watch - 1996,” is part of the collection by wildlife artist Jerry Thomas.

The money raised from such sales goes mostly toward habitat and hunting recruitment projects.

Sometimes Thomas has been commissioned for such projects. Other times he’s done it so he could keep the original and gain further exposure.

This is the 20th year he’s donated the official print for the Governor’s Turkey Hunt.

Becky Wolfe, hunt director, said the annual prints are presented to the 200-plus landowners who donate hunting grounds.

Thomas’ No. 1 signed print of each painting may bring $1,000 or more for the hunt that sponsors several college scholarships.

These are especially busy times for Thomas. His home holds several artworks in progress and a gallery of his works has been opened in Scott City.

In the last few years he’s gained a reputation for his western history paintings.

Thomas, 53, has donated prints to help with several western causes, like the purchase of land that once held a famed Cheyenne camp Custer and his men failed to conquer near Larned. The U.S. National Park Service manages the site.

Hayden said as much as Thomas’ works have already done to promote good causes, the best may be yet to come.

“As Jerry’s matured his artwork has matured, too, and he keeps getting better,” Hayden said. “He’s got a lot of good years left ahead of him.”


Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: Rescued snowy owl in Illinois going to Alaska

Previous entry: C’mon folks. Make those fish stories believable

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

February 2020
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons