Articles

In Pursuit of the Eurasian Collared Dove

“If there were ever a time to doubt Wikipedia, you can count the claim that ‘The collared dove is not wary…’ a busted myth on rural farms and public lands… A perfect opportunity to introduce a young hunter to wingshooting or soothe the gripping withdrawal mid-way between the end of the prior and beginning of… Continue Reading →

Angling for Archaic Sturgeon

Once a teenager with wild dreams of becoming a fish biologist, I set my graduate school sights on studying the prehistoric and long-lived sturgeon that swim among the barges, gators, and salmon in our nation’s largest river systems. And, as all best laid plans, sturgeon were far from the focus of my master’s thesis. But… Continue Reading →

Fishing the Lakes that were Not Meant to Be

Fishing desert lakes April through June is tough to beat. Flipping around on a float tube, the warm spring sun across my back, and wild trout smacking small streamers like mini freight trains is what I have come to love about desert lakes. Well, that, and the rugged, burgundy and chocolate-colored basalt rims punctuated by… Continue Reading →

Tenkara Angling for Mountain Trout

The sun sets early in the deep canyons of Kelly Creek in the Idaho wilderness; the opulent evening glow casting an amber hue upon considerable granite outcrops and emerald pools below. Rugged ridges and peaks reach skyward looming over the river, defying its brazen attempts to break free of their control. Diminutive yellow stoneflies flitter… Continue Reading →

Spring Trout on the Fly

____________________________________________________________________________________________ My Tundra bounced up onto the old wood plank bridge. The dark planks rocked and popped beneath the weight. I was pushing the width limit. My hands, white-knuckled on the wheel, managed to avoid shredding a quarter panel against the steel rails while the Selway River boiled a bit off color below. Upon a… Continue Reading →

Phantom of the Uplands

I must admit I am my mother’s son, and apparently that of her mother as well. Both enjoy collecting beautiful things to display, as well as practical materials that may be of use at some unknown (and inexplicable) point in time. I am not a collector, per se, but I am guilty of keeping things… Continue Reading →

Speaking Valley Quail

Published in the East Oregonian, April 18th, 2020 During these days of house-arrest, I am lucky enough to telework in my basement “deer room”, yet maintaining sanity within the confines of my own property is largely left to sunny day chores like gardening and tending to our small orchard and food plot. Unfortunately, no matter… Continue Reading →

Embracing our Native Mason Bees

Published in The Waitsburg Times, April 2nd, 2020  NOTE: Featured image of a blue orchard bee taken by the US Geological Survey.  Early morning strolls through the summer garden at our little McKay Alto homestead can only be described as an angelic wakeup call. The capacious songbird melody wafts on a gentle breeze as the… Continue Reading →

Dreams, Misery and Steelhead

Published in the Waitsburg Times March 21, 2020 The unusually warm 34 degrees greeted us under bluebird skies as we turned up Highway 153 toward Twisp. My last trip up this highway was five years prior in 2015; the last steelhead season open to the public on the Methow River as fish returns to the… Continue Reading →

WDFW Revising Game Management Regulations

Published in The Waitsburg Times, February 20th, 2020 February 6th, The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) opened the public comment period on proposals to update regulations for a variety of game hunting opportunities, as well as the proposed 2020 hunting seasons. Among the proposals, two changes in particular have potential to influence hunting… Continue Reading →

Shed Hunting the Wheat Country

Published in the East Oregonian, March 21, 2020. March is a fine time to work a bird dog on the Palouse. With the upland season a couple months past and the snow freshly off the wheat fields, my girls and I took to a secluded parcel for a run and maybe put up a rooster… Continue Reading →

CZ Bobwhite G2 – A Side-by-Side Shotgun for Practical Upland Bird Hunters

At just $650, this sleek yet humble side-by-side boasts attractive design, light weight, superb handling, and is tough as nails. Published by Project Upland February 21st, 2020. Read it here.  

Swinging the Runs for Wallowa Steelies

Published in the East Oregonian, February 15th, 2020. The majority of my winter trips to the Wallowa River are characterized by slippery travel across Toll Gate under an active snow or ice storm. The five-foot walls of packed snow confining the highway are intimidating, yet comforting in the fact that I might simply bounce off… Continue Reading →

Winter Birding Brings Nature to All

Published in the Waitsburg Times, February 6th, 2020. Growing up a hunter, my mother and I agreed rarely in our views of humans interacting with our ecosystem, save for our thoughts on habitat conservation and a deep appreciation for nature’s beauty and songbirds. Sitting together by the back-porch door of her Appalachian home, sipping a… Continue Reading →

Late-Season Roosters

Published in the East Oregonian, January 18th, 2020.  Let’s face it. Whether satisfying a hard-charging, time-consuming passion or taking afield as a weekend warrior, hunting hard can wear you down. And, Heaven forbid, at some point you may even want to take a break. From my perspective, I don’t necessarily want a day off. But… Continue Reading →

Traditional Tactics for Iced-over Yellow Perch

Published at Angler Pros. I am not sure what allure ice fishing or yellow perch had on me, but both suckered me in quickly. A high-mountain reservoir contained yellow perch near my Appalachian home town, but I could never quite connect with them like folks who knew the lake better than I. They were forbidden… Continue Reading →

Hardwater

Ice fishing Washington State can be hit or miss, but not because of the fishing. When the weather is cold enough to pack on the ice, the yellow perch and trout fishing can be excellent, and with a few simple techniques, anyone can get in the game. Published January 2, 2020 in the Waitsburg Times.  … Continue Reading →

A Christmas Songbird Tradition

Songbirds are an icon of our natural world, inhabiting nearly every landscape. These remarkable birds are worth noting and saving; just what the Christmas Bird Count through the Audubon Society promotes. Published in the East Oregonian, December 21st, 2019. I talk a good game about hunting and fishing, and most of my fondest memories revolve… Continue Reading →

Just Follow the Dog

Breaking into upland bird hunting can be intimidating, what with the spendy gear and quintessential image folks push on social media these days. But the bottom line, the only requirements are to grab your shotgun and just follow the dog. Published in the Waitsburg Times, December 5th, 2019. A hint of the long shadows of… Continue Reading →

Thankful for the Opportunity

Fall sparks a time of reflection and thanks, and the Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to be thankful for our public lands and natural wonders. Published in the Waitsburg Times, November 7th, 2019. The month of November is a special month. Not only because it’s like an extension of October in the Walla Walla… Continue Reading →

The Rios of Fall

Fall turkey hunting the Walla Walla Valley is as fine an experience as it gets! Published in the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, September 22nd, 2019. The grandeur of a wild turkey in full strut, spitting, drumming and gobbling their hormone-crazed heads off lures the masses of anxious hunters, wrought with spring fever. Spring is an… Continue Reading →

Fixed on Pinks

Published in the Fall 2019 edition of Tenkara Angler. A rare high-pressure day, the sun shone beautifully across my shoulders into the turn pool where the river met the ocean. The tannin-stained river spilled over the cascade perpendicular to the boulder I stood against, then curled downstream alongside my perch. A large eddy occurred between… Continue Reading →

Pinks on the Fly

Published at Angler Pros. Every angler venturing to Alaska in search of salmon on the fly dreams vividly of aggressive coho or chum trouncing a streamer being ripped across the river. Day and night dreams of beautiful roll casts, colorful marabou and bunny streamers wafting brilliantly through prime holding water, and a shark-like wake split… Continue Reading →

The Autumn Stream Palette

Published October 3rd, 2019, The Waitsburg Times Fall is undoubtedly the most anticipated and contested season of the year, and rightfully so in both regards. The fat days of summer are quickly drawing to a close at our latitude, even more dramatically in climates further north. Darkness cloaks our early waking hours and morning routines,… Continue Reading →

Grouse of the September Uplands

Publish September 5th, 2019, The Waitsburg Times With the summer heat still baking the brown and brittle landscape, dog work would need to be restricted to the precious early morning hours of refuge. Fortunately, we were blessed with an overcast sky; one of the first to come of the early fall season. But the transition… Continue Reading →

Elk in the Abyss

Published as a series in the Milton-Freewater Valley Herald, August 9th and 16th, 2019. Friday, October 28th, 2016, at 10:00pm I was startled awake as my lovely wife, Ali, bailed out of bed in a mad dash for the phone. We are early-to-rise, early-to-bed folks, and our friends typically don’t call after about 7:30pm; therefore,… Continue Reading →

Paddle-boarding the Snake: It’s for the Dogs

Published August 1st, 2019 in the The Times The first time I spied a stand-up paddle board (SUP) was cruising South on Highway 97 somewhere around Orondo, WA, on the Columbia River. A perplexing and comical sight, it appeared that folks were paddling surf boards and going nowhere for no reason and not getting there… Continue Reading →

Propagating an Outdoor Heritage

Published July 26th, 2019 in the Milton-Freewater Valley Herald What do native habitat restoration, clay targets and the youth of our local communities have in common? Pheasants Forever. And the future of native habitat conservation and outdoor recreation at the hands of our future leaders advocating for all of these. Habitat enhancement and youth involvement… Continue Reading →

Back-country Trek for Treasure Lakes Trout

Thirty minutes of channeling my inner mountain goat, teetering and hopping up, over, and across jagged granite perched me 11,300 feet above sea-level. With burning thighs and short breath, I gazed back at Long Lake about a mile and hundreds of feet below. The journey to landing a California golden trout on the fly in… Continue Reading →

From Raghorns to Riches

An special draw elk hunt in Idaho’s Unit 37, Big Lost Wilderness, gave us four seasons with warm summer sun, firgid winter temps, gale-force winds, snow and fog, forty-five miles of steep mountain terrain, botched stalks, and sleepless nights. What we took from it? Incredible scenery, solitude, mental and physical health, and in the end,… Continue Reading →

Pheasants Forever Hosts First Fundraiser Hunt Test at Clyde Preserve

Blue Mountain Pheasants Forever holds their first Pheasant Challenge to raise funds for habitat and youth involvement in the outdoors. Published in the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, February 17th, 2019.

Hunting for Habitat

Pheasants Forever hosts their first hunt test fundraiser to bolster habitat and youth shooting funds. Published in the Waitsburg Times, February 14th, 2019.

Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita: The Marvel of the High Sierras

  California’s golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita) was first described by Dr. David Starr Jordan in 1893 as a species of trout of unusual beauty. Native to the South Fork Kern River and Golden Trout Creek and its tributaries, their narrow distribution has been threatened by human impact for more than a century. In the… Continue Reading →

Upland Review 2019

The 2019 edition of Upland Review is available online! This free online magazine  details the prior year accomplishments of the Blue Mountain Pheasants Forever chapter in Walla Walla, Washington, and includes a few short stories of hunting the 2018 upland bird season and conservation.  Check it out!

Idaho Gold: Prospecting the Overlooked and Underrated for Backcountry Cutthroat

The cutthroat angling in the Idaho backcountry can be phenomenal, but is no secret. When the pressure is on, taking to the “marginal” water, tenkara-style, can avoid fishing used water and salvage an epic experience. Details are available in fall 2018 issue of Tenakra Angler.

Pheasant Hunting the Walla Walla Valley Uplands

Published in the Union Bulletin, September 23rd, 2018. I sat alone in the gray calm of dawn, gazing contently across my food plot. A few wary whitetails snagged a snack on their morning commute. Steam curled up from a hot cup of coffee, tickling the hairs on my face and nose as I sipped in… Continue Reading →

Flat Water Char

What should have been an epic morning of dry fly action on high desert lake brook trout turned out to be a technical game of trying to match a midge hatch. In the long run, a dry fly/dropper nymph combo worked out for the tenkara rod in tactical fixed-line fly fishing style. Tenkara Angler Summer… Continue Reading →

BMPF Sets Youth Circuit

Published 24 May 2018 in the Walla Walla Union Bulletin. “Pull…” a shooter calls out, followed by a white clay launching from the trap, sailing to the left; a random, unexpected direction. The sleek over/under shotgun tracks smoothly until the bead connects, and upon recoil, dissolves the clay into a fine dust. In support of… Continue Reading →

Shedding the Blues

  Walla Walla Union Bulletin, April 29, 2018. I spent the last several minutes marveling over the roster’s brilliant plumage. The girls were electrified, showered in praise as I slid the rooster into my vest. It was late in the season; the thick reed canary grass was crusted hard with snow and broken over the… Continue Reading →

Simply Appalachia

Tenkara Angler Spring 2018

Prune to Perfection

February 10th dawned crisp and clear. Temperatures in the twenties presented a stark contrast to the mild fifties and even sixties experienced in prior weeks. Although the thermal shock was enough to coax folks into remaining indoors, an enthusiastic group met to brave the chill this luminous winter morning. Folks from Waitsburg, Dayton, and Pomeroy… Continue Reading →

Upland Review

I developed a magazine with the idea of showcasing the annual activities and accomplishments of Blue Mountains Pheasants Forever, Chapter 258, through photo essay. I also included a couple additional hunting articles. I retain the magazine as a separate publication from the Chapter with a plan of developing it into a free online magazine to… Continue Reading →

Tri-Rivers Champions Burrowing Owl Habitat Restoration Efforts

2017 Intercom  

Pheasants Forever Promotes Family Fun and Getting Outdoors

While many were braving the wee hours, and elbowing their way into good deals downtown, seven families thought better of the Black Friday chaos and opted to attend the annual Family Hunt, courtesy of Blue Mountains Pheasants Forever (BMPF). The Family Hunt is a special event that BMPF sponsors to express appreciation for our membership’s… Continue Reading →

Luck in the Breaks

A tale of a successful quest for a mature mule deer in the river breaks of Idaho (October 2017). Deep Countree is no longer publishing. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ The digital dashboard clock read 6:10am on day three of my four-day mule deer hunt in the river breaks of Idaho. Time was wearing thin. There was plenty of… Continue Reading →

Yuba

               The 2015 upland bird season in southeast Washington provided a better bird year than 2014 and I found my Llewellyn setters hunted better than ever. My pup, Laurel Mountain’s Yuba was in her first season afield. She was born with severe hip dysplasia; hence, we don’t work her very hard or long, but she… Continue Reading →

Spillway Weirs Help Increase Fish Survival

2015 Intercom

Tales of a Novice-Run Bass Tournament

University of Connecticut Student Subunit

 

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