Many DWR biologists (including me!) started off as university students working on projects funded by the DWR, and that led them to a career with the agency. It’s a great path if you are truly serious about becoming a professional biologist.
It was a cool November morning, and the mountain peaks pierced the low-hanging clouds, like pillars supporting a gray ceiling over the floor of the San Rafael Desert. The bison were there, and we approached in quiet excitement. We watched and listened as five bulls left their pinyon juniper loft and crashed their way through a pocket of quaking aspens below.
No matter where you live in Utah, there’s upland game nearby. You can hunt in the Mojave Desert for quail, the alpine habitats of the Uinta Mountains for ptarmigan, the agriculture fields for pheasants, the beautiful yellow and red grandeur of the Wasatch Front for ruffed grouse. Diversity is the spice of life.
Last week, I had a delightful experience that made me giddier than my wedding day. I was invited to join biologists and researchers as they banded burrowing owlets. Tiny, downy, newly hatched baby owls? Count me in!
The over-arching goal of the research is to restore native fish species, including Bonneville cutthroat trout, to fire-affected streams in the Tushar Mountains. However, the watersheds of these remote 12,000+ foot peaks do not provide data easily.
Keeping the fish you catch — up to your legal limit — is the key to providing fish with the food they need to grow. So keep your catch and cook it up for the fam!
Either hunter could have legally shot at the bird but both declined. I was impressed with the good judgment and courtesy the father and son team exhibited even though they had no idea I was watching.
I harvested five chukars in less than two hours! This hunt will forever be seared in my memory. I have a general philosophy that life is about the happy memories we make. My hunting companions performed their tasks flawlessly, and I shot as good as I ever have.
When I first visited the burned area it looked like a bulldozer had gone down the middle of the stream. It was completely full of gravel. There were no fish. There were no pools. This was my first taste of what we were dealing with.
I’m not sure how either one of us made it down that slope without a broken ankle, nor who was more excited, me or the dog, but after retrieving the bird we both sat down for a good twenty minutes to catch our breath, admire the bird’s beautiful plumage, and enjoy what I’ll always remember as a perfect moment.
I would like to invite you to think about making your own adventures in the backcountry, though not all at once, I might add, because there is nothing better than feeling that you are fishing an untouched lake or moving in on an elk bugle that actually came from an elk.
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.