Springtime magic

One of my highlights every spring is the chance I get to count sharp-tailed grouse on a remote grouse gathering area — called a lek — in northern Utah.

Western Native Trout Challenge

It can be said that the "lure of the West" is native trout. They are the embodiment of the Western character — its eternal struggle and triumph of adaptation to a life of water in a dry land.

How to catch and cook bullfrogs

Most of the ponds and marshes along the Wasatch Front contain bullfrogs. A quick evening trip and some listening will reveal if you’ve found a spot where bullfrogs are present. They breed from late spring through early summer, during which time you’ll hear males call together in a chorus.

Walleye on the dinner plate

Spring means all kinds of walleye activity around these parts, and we're pretty excited about it. Our aquatic biologists are currently in the middle of spawning operations out at Willard Bay, preparing to grow millions of sterile walleye to plant into waters throughout the state.

A rare sighting of the elusive Gila monster

I heard my husband yell, "Look at that!" I turned and looked toward where he was pointing and saw a 2-foot, yellow-and-black reptile slowly crawling across the ground to the right of me. I gasped at how large it was — and because I'd never seen one and had no idea what it was.

Utah's Serengeti

It may be a long way from Africa, but Utah has its own little Serengeti where herds of deer and elk roam. As a wildlife biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) I've flown over a hundred wildlife surveys during the last quarter century. It was on one of those long days of flying in a helicopter counting elk that I began to realize how amazing this area really was.

Becoming a hunter

There I was, stomping through a field in the middle of Montana, shooting at pheasants. My first hunt was happening — and it was with a group of skilled hunters and professional guides. I felt confident, and surprisingly excited, about shouldering a shotgun and pulling the trigger.

Living life to the fullest

How do you begin to write a story about one of the greatest hunters and hunting writers of the last several decades? Well, I won't pretend that I have any ability to tell an eloquent story, especially through writing, but I will describe a person and an experience that has given me fond memories and taught me lessons I hope to carry on.

Rabbits over reindeer on Christmas Eve

I do not consider myself to be a traditional hunter. I'm still the only one in my family to ever hunt, and I learned to shoot a gun in my first job out of undergrad as a wildlife technician.

Lessons learned

It's a photo of a skinny kid. He's soaked, cold, straining to heft a game carrier filled with ducks his dad took that day. And straining to smile and hold back a tear.
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