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The Observer paper 02/10/16

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Hug a hunter

Like many other species, wood ducks suffered from the loss of habitat and over-gunning in the early 1900s. Later, concerned sportsmen vigorously lobbied for stricter hunting regulations and taxed themselves to provide funding for habitat enhancement. Today, Americaís game animals are some of the most un-endangered species on the planet. JIM WARD / photo

Hunters often get a bad rap. To some, all we do is tromp through the woods, shooting holes in everything that wiggles. Without any regard for the forest environment, we throw our beer cans everywhere, leave all the gates open and poke 4-wheeler ruts through every meadow. Indeed, there are slobs in our ranks, but it’s not the norm and it’s not condoned.

Bow hunters, like the elk they seek, undergo Metamorphosis in autumn

The scents and sounds of rutting bulls draw the attention of sleek cows in the fall. JIM WARD photo

In autumn, we bowhunters go through an annual metamorphosis. It starts out rather subtle. String fingers begin to twitch, senses become sharper and eery, elk-like calls begin to emit from evening showers. Dedicated hunters start to pour over topo maps and pre-scouting adventures begin. Mere weeks before the season opener, hunters bump up their exercise regimen and start pounding targets with carbon shafts.

Tiger trout destined for Phillips Reservoir

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR will soon be home to tiger trout. The trout are being raised at Klamath Hatchery in Chiloquin near Klamath Falls. S. JOHN COLLINS / Wescom News Service

A red-letter moment in Eastern Oregon outdoor history is fast approaching.

Three thousand six-inch tiger trout will be introduced into Phillips Reservoir, 20 miles southwest of Baker City, in late September. This will mark the first time tiger trout have been released in the region.

Oregon implements blaze orange law for youth

Gavin Young of La Grande wears hunter orange during a pheasant hunt at Ladd Marsh. The new Oregon hunter orange law states that hunters age 17 and younger are required to wear a hunter orange exterior garment or hat when hunting game mammals or upland game birds with any firearm. JIM WARD photo

The new state law took effect Monday, but its first major test is 56 days away.

Oct. 1 is the opening of general deer rifle seasons in Oregon, the first major hunts in which the new mandatory blaze orange requirement will be in effect.

Snow drifts greet Super Shoot archers at Super Shoot

Archers walked past this snow drift at last weekendís Eastern Oregon Super Shoot at Anthony Lakes. It was 75 yards long and 12 feet high at its tallest point. Norm Paullus of the Grande Ronde Bowmen, one of the tournamentís organizers, is standing next to the snow drift. SCOTT WILSON photo

ANTHONY LAKES —Archers at the annual Eastern Oregon Super Shoot did not have to look far for ice cold refreshment last weekend.

About 10 snow drifts, including one about 75 yards long and 12 feet high at its tallest point, decorated the Super Shoot’s upper course.


Babcock wins freestyle crown at national championships

Ron Babcock of La Grande takes aim at a target at the recent National Field Archery Marked 3D Championships in Redding, Calif. (CLAYTON LOWE photo)

The text message would have given most people reason to jubilantly celebrate.

But not La Grande archer Ron Babcock. The message did not even elevate his pulse rate.

Union man's 2010 hunt is one for the records

N.W. Head & Horn competition ranks 81-year-old Union manís elk #1 bull in 2010

Birding at Minam State Park

The Wallowa River at Minam State Park is rife with a variety of birds, especially during spring migration. Saturday morning Janet Hohmann led a tour of bird enthusiasts along the river looking for aviary signs of spring.

“The birder stereotype is a little old lady in tennis shoes,” Hohmann said.

O. Henry used this image for two characters in his play “Ransom of Red Chief,” performed this winter by the Mid-Valley Theater.

To the rescue

Wallowa River serves as classroom for swift water training

Birdathon offers once-a-year opportunity

Submitted photo Lynn Tompkins of Blue Mountain Wildlife in Pendleton displays Ula, a golden eagle, during an earlier presentation at the annual Ladd Marsh Birdathon. Tompkins will give a presentation at 1 p.m. May 14 at this yearís Ladd Marsh Birdathon. Blue Mountain Wildlife rehabilitates wildlife. Ula has been with Blue Mountain Wildlife since suffering a serious wing injury after being hit by a motor vehicle. Submitted photo

A birding festival that may have no peer in Northeast Oregon will be conducted soon.

The sixth annual Ladd Marsh Birdathon is set for May 13-15.


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