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2013 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo

2013 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo

Great things are happening in the Conservation Outreach section here at the DWR. One of the most exciting things I’m working on, as the new events coordinator for the agency, is the upcoming Western Hunting and Conservation Expo.


In search of feathered treasures

In search of feathered treasures

My favorite part of the festival was the trip that went to the extreme southwest corner of the state to a place called Lytle Ranch. I was with a group of bird photographers and we were richly rewarded for our efforts.


Ice fishing in southeastern Utah

Ice fishing in southeastern Utah

In Utah we’re lucky enough to have a long and consistent ice fishing season on most of our favorite waters. I’ve always been a quality over quantity guy, so I’ll share my favorite spots in the southeastern part of the state.


A successful hunt and a delicious meal

A successful hunt and a delicious meal

Wild game cooking is rewarding because of the effort involved in pursuing, obtaining and preparing wild table fare. In addition to the actual hunt, there are countless hours of preparing for the hunt—painting the decoys, repairing weights and lines, training the dog and keeping sharp with shooting for those teal that zip in (and mostly out!) of your decoys.


Snowshoe hares: a unique challenge for Utah’s upland game hunters

Snowshoe hares: a unique challenge for Utah’s upland game hunters

A blanket of snow covers Utah mountains and valleys and frigid temperatures are icing lakes and reservoirs. It’s the time of year when several hunts are over or winding to a close. Guess I should clean my shotgun and put it away until turkey season opens next spring. Or should I?


My son’s first pheasant

My son’s first pheasant

At the very moment I spoke those words, the sky exploded with that familiar, vibrant blur of a rooster pheasant! Startled enough by that one, a second rooster busted from the cover and headed for the trees.


Fishing for crawdads at Strawberry

Fishing for crawdads at Strawberry

On page 13, the Utah Fishing Guidebook states, “Fishing for crayfish (also called crawdads) is a fun activity for the whole family.” But I’m here to tell you that crawdaddin’ is not just “fun,” it’s crazy-awesome and you have got to give it a try.


Meet the bats

Meet the bats

Participants were extremely satisfied with the experience—especially the opportunity to see these mysterious creatures in the flesh. There was also talk of how therapeutic it was to sit in the darkness and watch the stars from lawn chairs.


Unsightly scavengers worth seeing

Unsightly scavengers worth seeing

My charges include over 200 species of birds and dozens of mammals. Many of the latter (such as pygmy rabbits, American pika and northern flying squirrels) are poster children for cuteness. Most of our sensitive species can fit in your hand. One of these “sensitive” critters—and by far the largest of them—requires at least two people to handle: the California condor.


Large, colorful cutthroat trout at Strawberry

Large, colorful cutthroat trout at Strawberry

Bear Lake cutthroat trout follow the same tributaries during their early-June spawning run. The tributaries to the reservoir are currently closed to fishing. Though the water is a little murky in June, you can still watch them in the river as they work their way upstream to spawn.


Find fishing close to home

Find fishing close to home

Now that these ponds are being stocked weekly, it’s the perfect time to start getting out there with family and friends. Whether it’s for the family interaction, some quality time with a spouse or just to reacquaint with nature, community fisheries offer ideal outdoor settings.


It’s time for sage-grouse to strut

It’s time for sage-grouse to strut

Every spring from early March until late April, male sage-grouse engage in a fascinating blend of dancing, vocalization and fighting. The fiercest males move toward the center of a clearing in the sagebrush, signaling upward climb in rank.