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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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