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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.


Spring fishing fever

Spring fishing fever

There is something about spring ice-off fishing that I can’t quite describe. The aggressive fish, the methodical rhythm of casting and the wide variety of angling opportunities — in short, it’s just awesome.


My first hunting experiences

My first hunting experiences

I was so nervous, I froze. All I could do was watch them walk by. All of a sudden they ran and I knew I had missed my chance. Of course, my daddy and husband made fun of me for choking under pressure. I hunted for seven days during that trip and never saw another deer.


Utah’s most-viewed fishing spots

Utah’s most-viewed fishing spots

One of the perks of working in the Communications section at DWR is that I have quick access to things like web statistics. (If you’re nerdy like me, those sorts of things excite you.) We recently checked the traffic on the fishing portion of the DWR website. In order from least to most page views, here are the 15 Utah waterbodies you were most curious about.


Ice fishing with a biologist and a news reporter

Ice fishing with a biologist and a news reporter

For about a half hour, Phil and I were treated to a non-stop photo opp as Calvin yanked trout through the ice. Most of these trout ranged from 14­­–16 inches. Except for one Bear Lake cutthroat, all of the fish were splake. All of the fish were well proportioned. Not fat, not skinny. Just right.


Birds are easy, illegal BB gun targets

Birds are easy, illegal BB gun targets

One spring afternoon, I was tired of the usual targets, and I made an amazing shot on a beautiful robin in our cherry tree. After my momentary elation, what I had just done dawned on me. I killed momma robin. I sat and stared at the nest a foot or two from where she was perched.


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?


Don’t toss your tree: help local wildlife

Don’t toss your tree: help local wildlife

Now, despite weeks of watering, you’re starting to find needles on the floor. It’s probably time to put the tree out on the curb for the city to haul to the landfill — or maybe grind into mulch for flower gardens at the local park. But wait, before you get rid of that tree, doesn’t it still have some value?


Deer: to feed, or not to feed.

Deer: to feed, or not to feed.

My primary concern is for the overall health and growth of a species. Rather than focusing on individual animals, I ask myself how management actions will affect the species as a whole in an area, and then I weigh the costs against the benefits. Given these considerations, most of the time my advice is that people avoid feeding deer in the winter.


Patrolling the winter range

Patrolling the winter range

One of last year’s 15 poaching cases involved more than 20 bucks killed within a two-month period. Fortunately, officers were able to catch the individuals responsible for this grievous act. The combined efforts of concerned citizens and DWR officers brought successful conclusions to some, but most of them are still open cases.