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Wildlife blog

DWR Wildlife Blog: Every few days we post new blog entries. It gives us a chance to talk about our jobs, our thoughts and our experiences with wildlife.

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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 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.


Crawling along the riverbanks

Crawling along the riverbanks

Fishing for brown trout in the Ogden River can be fantastic. Average fish densities can reach upwards of 6,000 fish per mile of stream. Yes, you read that right: there are tons of fish in the Ogden River.


Thankful for the wild turkey

Thankful for the wild turkey

Hunting the wild turkey in the spring is one of my treasured rituals. It’s the time of the year when I’ve stowed my ice fishing gear and I’m waiting for the lakes and reservoirs to open. Turkey hunting cures cabin fever.