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Acorns Wild History

Acorns Wild's story begins in 1870 in Austria where a master stone mason dreamed of frontier opportunity, leading Martin Schuler to embark on voyage to New York. There he met his soon to be wife Catherina through a mutual friend who had family in Junction City, KS. The trio continued westward after hearing tales of the Kansas Flint Hills. When they arrived in JC in 1872, there were many masonry jobs to be had and soon Martin was able to buy 80 acres (originally acquired through the Pre-emption Act), where he built his bride a 2-story limestone home. In 1881, at 42 years old, Martin drowned in a flash flood while traveling between work sites.

Martin and Catherina had 2 children. Their son, Andy Sr. (A.J.), went to work to help out his widowed Mother and by the time he was 25 years old was able to buy some purebred registered Angus cows and a bull. A. J. married Susanna Moore in 1920 and was heavily involved in community activities and infrastructure development (the first telephone company, the town football teams, township board, the baby beef club, the Kansas Angus Association, Better Livestock Day featured in both Life and Time magazines). In 1957, A.J. was inducted into the Prairie Pavilion's Wall of Honor. He acquired more land to add to his late father's original 80 acres and more Angus (up to 100 head).

One of Susanna and AJ's two children was another Andy, who followed in his father A.J.s footsteps from an early age. Andy went to grade school with and later married Rosie. In the meantime, he studied at K-State until World War II meant he was needed on the farm. Andy also supported the Kansas Angus Association, winning many competitions and lobbying for farm policy in Washington D.C. He was a leader in the Dickinson County Historical Society and was also inducted into the Wall of Honor in the Prairie Pavilion. Andy and Rosie, the glue for community 4-H, the farm and an excellent cook, had 8 children. In 1986, she and Andy were named Kansas Master Farmer and Master Farm Homemaker. The couple made apple cider at Chisholm Trail Days in Abilene for years and served as tour guides at the Seelye Mansion. All of their children completed college at Kansas State University and continue to carry on the values learned from their roots.

Susanna and AJ's other child was named Susanna Katherine (Susie). She showed cattle on several levels which, at the time, was quite uncommon for a female. Many awards were won, including the Grand Champion Steer at the 1936 and 1938 Kansas State Fair. Susie married in 1963 and moved out-of-state. However, due to her husband's untimely death, their daughter came to live on the farm with her Uncle Andy and cousins, becoming the youngest member of the family.

Rosie died in 1993 and Andy died in 2018, leaving a historic legacy and 1000 acres of premium Flint Hills land. The property included the original stone house built by Martin in 1875, 2 stone barns, the 1 room schoolhouse Rosie and Andy attended grade school at, several outbuilding and a prairie style Franklyn Lloyd Wright inspired home built in the late 60s.
Mike Harris, owner of Acorns Resort, loved the property and Andy – having spent 25 years hunting the ground there, daydreaming of such a place, and getting to know members of the family. Mike had also grown up loving the Kansas outdoors and when Andy's property came up for auction, Mike couldn't sleep for months – his dreams seemed too big.

In 2005, Mike had achieved his biggest entrepreneurial dream thus far, winning the lease of lakefront ground at Milford Lake. Over the last 16 years, Acorns Resort has become the largest lakeside resort in Kansas, owing to Mike's K-State Park Resource Management education, 14 years of work with the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife & Parks, raw determination, a great resort team, and support from family and friends. In 2008, Mike married Charmion, with roots on a Minnesota dairy farm and homes in various places, nationally and internationally before returning again and again to Kansas. Together they have 4 children, Zach, Brennan, Austin and Emily and dynamic perspectives that have manifested in many ways.

One day while scrutinizing the facts once again just to make sure there was no way for it to work out to buy all Schuler family 1000 acres, the idea of Acorns Wild was born. The legacy that began as a dream of Martin Schuler's 145 years ago and the years of hard work and commitment to history and progress of quality meat production could live on. Acorns Wild could be roamed not only by Mike, but also his family and some of the tens of thousands of visitors to Acorns Resort each year, many looking for a place to hunt and/or experience the beauty of the Flint Hills just as the first Schuler in this story longed to do. Additionally, instead of offering a premium heard of Angus, a herd of another kind that likely also once roamed this very land, Wapiti or Elk, could thrive. Mike bought the property in December of 2020.

Acorns Wild owes its existence to the dreams and dedication of many men and women, including many Schuler family members not mentioned here as their contributions are also extremely vast. You can meet these historically vibrant dreamers and doers when you visit Acorns Wild HQ wall of honor and remembrance (under construction).

Currently, Acorns Wild offers hunting for upland bird hunting, guided hunts, lodging and amenities.

Coming soon, Acorns Wild will have a meeting, dining, resting, history and retail space in the original 1875 stone house, elk tours, farm to table products, yoga in the hayloft of an 1800s stone barn, a nature trail and fishing pond.

Our Story

Acorns Resort was established in October of 2006 by Mike Harris, a life-long resident of Kansas. Mike grew up in a family which participated in all types of outdoor recreation and sports. His love of fishing, camping, boating, and water sports paired with determination has led to the creation of Kansas' largest lakeside resort. His experience in these hobbies, his education at Kansas State University in Park Resource Management, along with his 14 year work history with the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife & Parks has culminated into a popular summertime vacation escape. But yet something was missing. Many sportsmen and sportswomen gather in the fields each fall to chase the wily ringneck pheasant, the bobwhite quail, and of course chasing those big Kansas whitetails.

Acorns Wild was created to fill that void and to allow us to continue sharing our great outdoor experiences with you by providing first class hunting experiences. In December of 2020, a lifelong goal of Mike's finally happened.....the purchase of a 1000 acre property located in the geographic area called the Flint Hills of Kansas and about 20 miles south of Acorns Resort. This was a property which Mike had hunted for 25 years and where many daydreams had occurred while sitting on stand waiting for just the right one to stroll by. The land itself has a great history as being in the Andy Schuler family for over 120 years and was used primarily as an Angus cattle ranch called Fairview Angus Farms. They also raised crops and hay to sustain the livestock. The original homestead, built by a Schuler family mason, of native limestone rock is being preserved and converted into a meeting/dining space for hunters. All of the barns, corrals, and pastures were the home of thousands of Angus cattle throughout the years. Many of those same locations will now house a different animal which was native to Kansas....elk or wapiti. We will be offering elk tours, elk gift shop and retail items, and farm to table venison served at The Cove and through our convenience store.

Hunting opportunities on the farm will be enhanced with the property being enrolled into a CSA or controlled shooting area. The creation and improvement of upland game bird habitat along with strategically located food plots will allow our customers access to some premier upland bird wing shooting for pheasants, quail, and chukars.

Just as Acorns Resort took time to grow, so will Acorns Wild. Acorns Resort has been a 16 year work in progress with improvements happening each year. Acorns Wild will be the same, but on a much shorter timeframe.

None of this would have been possible without the support of family, friends, all of our loyal customers, and all of the Acorns staff who have worked tirelessly to prove the best possible customer experiences for our guests. Our promise to you is that we will bring the same dedication, work ethic, and friendly staff to this newest endeavor. Mike and his wife Charmion will live on site in the newest house built in 1965 with design elements similar to the prairie school house by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

So get ready, bring your friends or co-workers, and get ready to have the time of your life while enjoying both Acorns Resort and the Frontier of the Flint Hills we call Acorns Wild.