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10 safety tips for Turkey hunters

Youth ages 17 and under can participate in the youth turkey hunt as long as they are accompanied by an adult 21 years or older — one adult per youth. This hunt is a good way to get kids out in the spring woods to learn about gun safety, wildlife biology and general woodsmanship. Dad or mom can prove to be real handy packing out a 20-pound tom turkey as well. JIM WARD photo

The beginning of the spring wild turkey hunting season is an exciting time for hunters who have been anticipating the opening for months. 

Hunters though need to make sure their excitement does not blind them to the precautions they should take to ensure a safe and successful day in the field.

With that in mind, the National Wildlife Turkey Federations is offering the following 10 safety tips for hunters . . . 

Gobble, gobble BANG!

A male turkey grows a tuft of stiff feathers in the middle of its chest referred to as a beard. Mature males sport beards 9 to 12 inches long. The bag limit on the youth turkey hunt is one male turkey or one turkey with a visible beard. About 4 percent of hens have beards but are generally shunned by hunters due to their importance in reproduction. JIM WARD photo

Turkey hunters who do their “homework’’ always have better odds of bringing home a bird.

This will be particularly true this spring. 

Kayaker takes GRAND adventure

GREG DAVIDSON is shown in his 14-foot kayak at the start of his 280-mile trip through the Grand Canyon.

Greg Davidson, a La Grande kayaker, was ready to celebrate — to mark his 50th year with a venture that would forever change his life perspective.

Last month Davidson  embarked on a 280-mile solo kayaking trip through the Grand Canyon. The 12-day trip on the Colorado River took Davidson from Lake Powell to Lake Mead and into a world of scenic wonder — one of towering cliffs, gorges and ravines, many splashed with color.

“It is phenomenal,” Davidson said. 

Local trio experiences Vietnam atop bikes

Anita and Kim Metlen of Imbler and Louise Squire of Cove cycled in Vietnam for eight days. The Metlens are on the left and Squire is on the right. The party is shown with a guide from Vietnam.

Traffic in Vietnam stops for nobody.

Pedestrians crossing crowded streets can expect to have cars, motorcycles and bicycles zigzagging between and around them.

Still, do not let this fool you. 

The driving habits of the Vietnamese do not reflect their demeanor. The people of Vietnam are extraordinarily gracious and warm hearted.  

Viewing Report / ODFW

ALL THE EXPECTED sandhill crane pairs have arrived and are on their territories at Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. JIM WARD photo

Sandhill cranes claim territories

Fishing Report / ODFW

Runoff event ruins fishing

Hunting Report for March 23, 2012 / ODFW

THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Despite the harsh weather, wild turkeys are getting spring urges. Many flocks have recently left wintering ranges and have dispersed to spring breeding areas — mostly to upper elevations. Perhaps more so than any other game bird, pre-season scouting for wild turkeys can greatly improve hunter success. April 15 is the opening of the general turkey season in Oregon. JIM WARD photo

Focus on game-rich areas that cats travel

U.S. appeals court allows wolf hunts

BILLINGS, Mont.  — A   federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit from conservation groups that want to block wolf hunting and trapping that have killed more than 500 of the predators across the Northern Rockies in recent months.

The ruling from a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Congress had the right to intervene when it stripped protections from wolves last spring.

Wild turkey banquet sets fundraising record

Lauren Sauers and Kaleb Ricker each were awarded scholarships at the annual banquet of the Union County chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Sauers is a senior at Elgin High School and Ricker is a senior at La Grande High School. They received scholarships of between $400 and $600. DICK MASON / The Observer

The Union County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation set a fundraising record at its annual banquet Saturday. 

The chapter’s banquet also gave dozens of youngsters many reasons to smile. 

Volunteers, researchers and a little owl come together with a dose of Tunnel Vision

A young burrowing owl receives a geo-locator backpack, which will monitor the bird’s movements for two years. To date, 341 owlets have been banded at the depot. Fifty-three have received the locaters. JAMES REBHOLZ photo


Some people have tunnel vision.  Of course, that can really limit one’s point-of-view, unless you’re talking about burrowing owls.

Burrowing owls are a dove-sized raptor. They prefer arid, sagebrush-scrub and grassland areas and, as their name implies, live in burrows. They don’t make the burrows themselves, but move into abandoned badger and ground squirrel holes. 


Ferocious loners

Forest Service biologist shares insight about wolverines in Eagle Cap Wilderness

A wolverine reaches up to eat part of a deer carcass at a trail camera station in the Eagle Cap Wilderness last winter. Wolverines may have been living in Wallowa County for years but had not been detected until recently.

The connection is both intriguing and illuminating. 

Wolverines and mountain goats appear to be linked. The connection is drawing increased interest from   Northeast Oregon residents since it recently has been established that  wolverines are living in Wallowa County.

Hunting Report for March 9, 2012 / ODFW

Hunters pursue cougars, coyotes

Fishing Report / ODFW

Steelhead fishing improving

Viewing Report / ODFW

CANADA GEESE are among the hundreds of ducks and geese turning Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area into an international airport. ODFW photo

Geese, ducks invade marsh

Grande Bikeway nearing reality

Anita Metlen, left, and Tina Seavert ride through Pyles Canyon, on the proposed Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway, in October, 2010. DICK MASON / The Observer

State likely to give green light to proposed scenic cycling route  

Fishing Report / ODFW

Steelhead fishing remains good on N.E. Oregon rivers

Bird Viewing Report / ODFW

WELCOME BACK! Sandhill cranes have just arrived at Ladd Marsh. Soon they’ll be courting mates with their melodious calls and frantic dances. Cranes are really quite omnivorous. Their diet might include a main course of sushi with a sprinkle of tadpoles. An entrée of meadow mice might join a bull frog for an appetizer. In late summer, they can often be observed combing the dry and brushy slopes, above Ladd Marsh, for snakes — some with rattles on their tails. JIM WARD photo

Sandhill cranes returning to Ladd Marsh

Hunting Report / ODFW

Rabbit in distress attracts coyotes

Bonding in Boundary Waters

Tim Vandervlugt of La Grande, a veteran of the Iraq war, stretches out as he climbs a portrage trail on skis during an Outward Bound trip into Northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness in January. SAM COOK / MCT photos

La Grande man forges friendships with fellow veterans on 7-day adventure in Northern Minnesota 

Hunters can find plenty of coyotes locally


Hunting Report...

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