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Tagging toads at night

Tagging toads at night

Boreal toads are more active at night, so we’ll be surveying breeding sites after dark using headlamps. Food and sleeping arrangements at one of our remote cabins in west Box Elder County will be provided! The work typically does not end until after midnight.


The best turkey hunt ever

The best turkey hunt ever

All of the sudden we found ourselves surround by turkeys! As a couple of hens ran off, we heard the thunderous GOBBLE-GOBBLE of the tom wondering why the hens were leaving him. We watched as he strutted by just out of range and fed up over the hill. We quietly slipped out and set up in this draw again the next time out.


Masters of the mountain

Masters of the mountain

I am still amazed at the acrobatic nature of mountain goats. You can see them jumping from rock to rock, climbing up the slick, steep cliffs without a problem. It’s of little wonder that predators don’t target them very often.


The hunt of his dreams

The hunt of his dreams

As the alarm went off, I remember thinking just five more minutes! But, I could hear the commotion of the hunting party layering on the camouflage. I honestly don’t think Dakota slept that night.


The familiar tug of a hooked fish

The familiar tug of a hooked fish

I felt the solid hit and pull of a fish after setting the hook. I played him with my reel and he was large enough to take some line as he made his runs in his effort to escape. Within a few minutes, I had him to the boat. After a quick photo op, I released him. I felt great — I’d just landed my first fish of the season.


Keeping the family hunting tradition alive

Keeping the family hunting tradition alive

Joshua put his hands over his ears and motioned to Isaiah to do the same as I set the hair trigger on my 50-caliber muzzleloader. Within seconds after the smoke cleared, the animal stopped running and it was over. The boys were beside themselves. The look on their faces was one of excitement and sheer joy.


Like father, like son

Like father, like son

I, meanwhile, popped away at the birds with my little single shot Savage. Miss after miss followed. “Man,” I said to myself, “these ducks are hard to hit!” Finally, a big drake mallard flew straight at me. I shot, and it fell. What a thrill!


“Can you help me? There’s a bear on my boat.”

“Can you help me? There’s a bear on my boat.”

The dogs were leashed, the tranquilizer gun loaded and the bear was injected with anesthetic. Just before passing out, the cub decided to make one more rush for freedom. He plunged off the boat into Lake Powell, swam a few yards and then went limp.


Bring on the bats!

Bring on the bats!

Everyone was eager to not only see these mysterious creatures up close, but to touch and even smell the furry little flyers. Seeing everyone in the dark was difficult, but characterizing the mood of this group was easy: Bring on the bats!


See Salt Lake’s peregrine falcons from a different point of view

See Salt Lake’s peregrine falcons from a different point of view

Thanks to the web cams in the nest box, we’ve been able to watch (in high def!) this year’s lone peregrine falcon chick grow from a tiny fluffball into an almost-adult predator preparing for life outside the box. But what’s even better than seeing falcon action in high definition? Seeing it right in front of you!


A little slice of wild in the heart of Salt Lake City

A little slice of wild in the heart of Salt Lake City

Looking at the calendar, I’ve noted that it’s time to prepare for the upcoming 2013 Great Salt Lake Bird Festival (GSLBF) happening May 16-20. Since 2009, I have co-led a GSLBF birding field trip in downtown Salt Lake City with the expert assistance of bird watching enthusiast Terri Clemons. The excursion is called the City Center Bird Walk.


Hanging out on rooftops with peregrines

Hanging out on rooftops with peregrines

I knew my job with DWR would provide me some cool opportunities, but never could I have guessed I’d end up on top of one of the tallest buildings in Salt Lake, holding a box with a peregrine falcon inside.