Each summer, more than 60 employees from the DWR’s northern region spend a day together, improving wildlife habitat and a local DWR facility. In June of 2012, we held our annual workday at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
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.
That night, waterfowl activity seemed to increase with the rising moon. Wild wings were everywhere! The drake pintails were handsome greeters with their tuxedo-like plumage. Green-winged teal introduced the show as they propelled like fireworks over the vegetation, and then down over the water. This evening, they were the supporting cast to the greatest and most literal Swan Lake performance!
To put together our deer-objective recommendations for the Wildlife Board, we will be holding open houses at different locations across the state during the month of February. We hope to gather your input on two important topics…
It’s been a long time since I made requests to Santa, but just in case he happens across this blog post, I’m going on the record. Here are some of my on-the-water wishes for 2012.
To most biologists, summer means fieldwork, and lots of it. It also means plans that can change rapidly from one week to the next based on weather patterns and the movement of fish.
A few weeks ago, I convinced a coworker (who has a reputation as a top-notch tiger muskie fisherman) to show me and my friend, Melissa, how to catch Utah’s most coveted sportfish. We headed out super-early to Newton Reservoir in Cache Valley (north and east of Logan) and fished all day.
My first introduction to drift fishing actually happened by accident. I laid down on the bottom of the canoe, secured my fishing pole in the rod holder and enjoyed the gentle rocking of the waves. The clouds floated overhead, my eyelids began to close, and then…WHAM!
The challenges of managing mule deer on the Kamas unit are not much different from those of most other northern Utah locations. Development, highway mortality, depredation issues and increased recreational use on critical winter ranges have all taken their toll on mule deer populations throughout the Intermountain West.
This family wanted to change the cheatgrass desert back into the productive rangeland it once was. The focus was to bring back a lot of the critical mule deer winter range, while at the same time planting seed mixes that would feed livestock.
When the ice thaws in the spring, a whole winter’s worth of shad carcasses are released. Wind and wave action push the shad to shore, and that’s where you can find catfish doing their “spring cleaning.”
I have learned some interesting things during the process of collaring and monitoring deer in northern Utah. The first and most significant thing is that in recent years, deer numbers have generally risen. I have also found that when the deer died — if it wasn’t because of the winter weather — it was often because they were hit by a vehicle.