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.
I, meanwhile, popped away at the birds with my little single shot Savage. Miss after miss followed. “Man,” I said to myself, “these ducks are hard to hit!” Finally, a big drake mallard flew straight at me. I shot, and it fell. What a thrill!
Thanks to the web cams in the nest box, we’ve been able to watch (in high def!) this year’s lone peregrine falcon chick grow from a tiny fluffball into an almost-adult predator preparing for life outside the box. But what’s even better than seeing falcon action in high definition? Seeing it right in front of you!
Next cast… score! You know what I mean if you’ve ever seen someone holding a fishing pole get a bite that bends the pole. I still remember their lower lip bites and looks of concentration and wonder as they worked to reel in that big fish.
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.
I knew my job with DWR would provide me some cool opportunities, but never could I have guessed I’d end up on top of one of the tallest buildings in Salt Lake, holding a box with a peregrine falcon inside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?