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Outdoors Feature

Wyoming waterfowlers — go where the birds want to be

July 31, 2014

When I began hunting waterfowl semi-seriously in the 1980s, the outlook for ducks was both grim and glum. The count of migrating mallards out of Canada in 1985 fell to a record low of below 5.5 million birds, with other species in even more dire straits. This year, according to the recently issued 2014 waterfowl-population-status Read More

Guide diaries: No swimmin’ in the fishin’ hole

July 24, 2014

Over the past few years, I’ve had a number of folks, both locally and nationally, ask about whether I’d ever return to the professional fishing guide business again.  After long consideration, I finally decided this spring to get back on the water and start earning a bit more income for my family. When I obtained Read More

How to make a monster

July 17, 2014

We honestly don’t pay much attention to the status of private gun ownership and use, especially here in Wyoming, thinking it’s nothing we need to be overly concerned about.  We mostly seem to adopt the attitude that our guns are safe from government interference. The efforts to ban, or at least severely restrict the possession Read More

A bear walks into a bar

July 3, 2014

The meaning of a big-game records book is always open to discussion, if not debate. The concept almost certainly began with “Horn Measurements and Weights of the Great Game of the World in 1892,” a book assembled by the renowned Victorian taxidermist, Rowland Ward. Ward learned his art from his father, who accompanied John James Read More

Spring fishing still inconsistent on the ‘Mountain’

June 26, 2014

I’ve had a lot of friends and acquaintances ask me about how the fishing is up on the “Mountain.” To me (and us), the “Mountain” means the South Tongue River around Prune Creek or up by Tie Flume campground, and the North Tongue in the Burgess Junction area. I spent three days up there last Read More

Picking out new binoculars for hunting? Know what you need for the task

June 19, 2014

Every year I have the opportunity to test and evaluate the latest hunting optics from a wide range of manufacturers; and I am always impressed by how many quality riflescopes and binoculars keep turning up. The following are some of the best binoculars of the year, 2014 edition. Let’s start with the Celestron Optics Granite Read More

Isn’t that why we go? Good times with ‘rough’ fish

June 12, 2014

I consider myself a “sport fisherman,” as, I suppose, do most of you reading this column. As such, we spend much of our leisurely time in the pursuit of catching various species of “game fish.” In doing so, we occasionally have the misfortune of catching those other species of lower life forms known to many Read More

Hog wild

April 24, 2014

They are not here, which is good and bad. Wild hogs — Sus scrofa:  swine, pig, boar — are animals that run in herds called sounders, and when it is in a pack of boars it is a singular.  They are creatures famed in Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, Norse, Hindu and other mythologies.  Between native stock, Read More

Clean as a whistle; happiness is a clean gun

April 10, 2014

Your great-grandfather certainly knew how to clean a gun. There was no choice in the time of blackpowder but to scrub a gun with hot soapy water after firing it (and that’s another gun-cleaning story), or be ready to deal with severe corrosion. Then came smokeless, non-corrosive powders, and just as important, non-corrosive primers (early Read More

Understanding casting — part 2

January 9, 2014

In my last column we talked about the basics of an effective fly cast and the four main areas used to identify most casting errors: set up (tight line with rod tip low in front); power (up hard into the back-cast); location (stop high at 11 o’clock); and then timing (pause to let the line Read More

Brass tactics

January 2, 2014

The seasons of a hunter’s year are not limited to the open ones. Even during the hunting seasons there are variations: The season before the licenses are filled and the season after, and the season when you wonder if you filled your license too soon, or the one when you wonder if you are ever Read More

Teddy’s bear

December 19, 2013

I received the photo of a black bear cub in my email the other day. The photographer was the talented Keith Benoist, who takes photos of all things in and around Mississippi, especially wildlife. The photo was taken in the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, the cub one of the rare Louisiana black Read More

Late fall fishing on the ‘Horn

November 14, 2013

As promised in last week’s column, I took a streamer-fishing trip to the Big Horn River this week. My wife had Veterans Day off from work, so we decided the river might be less crowded on Monday versus the weekend. How right we turned out to be, you’ll see in a moment. As I indicated Read More

‘Butte-ify the Big Horns’ supports Antelope Butte Ski and Recreation Area

November 8, 2013

SHERIDAN — Start stretching, Sheridan. Seeing how low you can go in the limbo competition at the upcoming “Butte-ify the Big Horns” event will kick fundraising efforts into high gear for the Antelope Butte Foundation, a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to re-opening the Antelope Butte Ski and Recreation Area located 60 miles west of Sheridan Read More

Stories from the fishing guide ‘diary’

October 17, 2013

It’s time for some more silly stories from my “guide diary.” Since my diary is in my mind, I did some reminiscing with my wife to come up with a few items you might enjoy. My wife, June, was my business partner during my outfitting days on the Big Horn River. She also worked extensively Read More

Locals make big ‘Splash’ at International Fly Fishing Fair

October 3, 2013

Last week I had the privilege to spend six days in the town of West Yellowstone attending the annual Fishing Fair hosted by the International Federation of Fly Fishermen. The Federation “is a 46–year–old international non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of the sport of fly fishing through Conservation, Restoration and Education.” Every year they Read More

Local fishing pros to help ‘Joey’s Kids’ Tourney

September 5, 2013

Mark your calendars to be at the Black Tooth Brewing Company on the evening of Sept. 20. That’s when Joey’s Fly Fishing Foundation will be hosting a fundraising event to kick off the first annual Joey’s Fall Fly Fishing Tournament (to be held the next day, Sept. 21). This Sheridan area nonprofit foundation, created by Read More

WGFD hosting buckshot clinic Aug. 17

August 8, 2013

SHERIDAN — The 2012 Wyoming Legislature gave the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission the authority to develop regulations governing firearm cartridges and archery equipment used for the taking of big or trophy game animals and game birds. The Commission passed regulations that became effective earlier this year. One of the changes is that shotguns using Read More

Local kids score big in ‘Bowling for Trout’

A month ago I described my “Trout Bowling” rig for using a spin fishing set- up to catch trout with flies on large rivers. Last week I took a local family to the Big Horn to put my rig to the test. Joining me was the Willey family: Stephanie, her 12-year-old son Ethan and daughter Read More

In search of the ‘Cutt-Slam’

July 25, 2013

About a month ago a friend contacted me about helping him to complete Wyoming’s annual “Cutt-Slam” competition. The Cutt-Slam is kind of a quest arranged by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department whereby fishermen seek to catch all four of Wyoming’s cutthroat trout subspecies in the same year. These subspecies are the Yellowstone, Snake River, Read More

Feds advance plan to kill barred owls in Northwest

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Federal wildlife officials plan to dispatch armed bird specialists into forests of the Pacific Northwest starting this fall to shoot one species of owl to protect another that is threatened with extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday released a final environmental review of an experiment to see Read More

Scrapbooks give peek inside Hemingway’s early life

BOSTON (AP) — Long before Ernest Hemingway first wrote a story, his mother was busy writing about him. Grace Hall Hemingway started a series of scrapbooks documenting the childhood of the future Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner by describing how the sun shone and robins sang on the day in July 1899 when he was Read More

Trail classifications to change on Bighorns

July 18, 2013

SHERIDAN — The Bighorn National Forest will change classification on approximately one-third of its trails, according to a media release. Recreation specialists update the Bighorn National Forest Trails Strategy, first published in 2005, every year. Changes to the classification system are based on reviews of trail condition, safety, type of use, and whether the trail Read More

Ol’ Ephraim —the grizzly bear’s grip on the imagination

Charismatic megafauna. That’s what they call the large mammals that hold sway over our imaginations. And none holds more than Ol’ Ephraim, Ursus arctos horribilis, the grizzly bear. I have managed to take one grizzly in my life, though technically it was a coastal brown bear, which is a grizzly that has bulked up on Read More

USFS, G&F to sponsor free kids fishing day

July 11, 2013

SHERIDAN — Young anglers will have a chance to try their luck at fishing and learn about the environment during the Bighorn National Forest and Wyoming Game and Fish Department sponsored free kids fishing day Saturday. Volunteers from the U.S. Forest Service and Wyoming Game and Fish will be on hand to provide assistance and Read More

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