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La Grande Observer Paper 07/23/14

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BRUSH BEAT: Trade show headed to Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — One trend at the world’s largest trade show for outdoor gear is equipment that’s also fashionable and comfortable.

The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market runs through Saturday in Salt Lake City, and nearly 1,000 outdoor brands are displaying their latest products for storekeepers and big retailers. About 22,000 people are in town for the expo.

The goods range from sleek Gore-Tex jackets and the latest in ski equipment, to luxury items like espresso makers and camp stoves that do double duty charging electronic devices.

Suppliers range from industry giants Patagonia and Mountain Hardwear to tiny Ruffwear, a maker of performance dog gear in Bend.

The expo has taken place in Utah since 1996 and pours $40 million into the local economy each year.


Storage solutions

Tom Claycomb conducts a gun cleaning seminar at the Scooters Youth Hunting Camp. (TOM CLAYCOMB photo)

A few quick tips for properly storing your guns over the winter

This time of year many of you will be storing away your gun for the winter. But, before you put your guns away, make sure that they’re properly cleaned or they may be rusted up when you pull them out for the next hunting season.


Keeping up with calendars no easy task as winter turns corner

I got home last night in time to bring in the firewood without the use of my headlights — it was after 5 p.m. – and this morning it was light at 6:30 a.m. I feel like I’ve finally turned the corner on the darkest of winter’s days.


JIM WARD: Young Guns

Kids who spend time in the woods hunting often learn to appreciate all the other creatures not intended for the game bag. (Jim Ward photo)
Once New Year’s resolutions are set in motion, sportsmen begin thinking about upcoming hunts. Tag applications and reserving vacations for autumn adventures are on the agenda. If you have young hunters in the family, efforts begin to address their desires. 

I still remember getting my first rifle at age 8 — a 30.30 Winchester. Wow — in 1960 game was plentiful and the hunting  seasons lasted for months. You could hunt almost anywhere. My first buck, a nice forked-horn, seemed monster-big. A lot has changed since those days.


BRUSH BEAT: ARPAC to meet in Salem

SALEM—The first meeting of a new Archery Review Public Advisory Committee will be 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday at ODFW headquarters in Salem (4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE).


Dog celebrates homecoming in most unorthodox fashion

In a recent discussion I was told an apartment is not a home. I disagreed. An apartment might not be a house, but it indeed is a home, if its inhabitants think so.


When the atmosphere is upside down

During summer we climb mountains to cool off.

But other than serving as effective natural air-conditioners, mountains have a rather more sinister reputation when it comes to temperature.

Mountains are where you get frostbite and hypothermia.


Brush Beat for January 17, 2014

Brush Beat for January 17, 2014

Locals escape avalanche scare

Most people in Northeast Oregon don’t think about avalanches happening in their own backyard — especially those who ski at local ski resorts.

During the weekend of Jan. 11-12, multiple avalanches were seen across the Wallowa and Elkhorn mountains, including one near Rock Creek Butte that caught local snowmobilers in its path of destruction.


Dog race returns

The 2013 Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Champion Laura Daugereau returns to defend her title in this year’s 200-mile race. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

JOSEPH — The running of the 10th annual Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race is Jan. 23 starting at Ferguson Ridge Ski Area.

The state’s only Iditarod qualifier hosts seven 200-mile mushers, 11 in the 100-mile race and two entries in the two-day, 62-mile pot race.


As the rubber of 2014 hits the road, resolve to eat more jelly beans

I didn’t take my tree down until the 15th day of Christmas this year for fear of getting into a long, involved project. To put the tree up it took the length of the movies “Christmas Vacation” and “Frosty the Snowman,” but it only took about 20 minutes to dismantle.


Skating through winter amid Mother Nature’s slippery ways

En route to cover one of my favorite topics, 4-H, I opened the door of my car and no sooner had I put my foot on the ground than it slid out from under me. It took me a few seconds to figure out how to get up. The parking lot had been transformed into an ice rink, and me without my skates.


Brush Beat for January 3, 2014

Area opens for duck hunters

SALEM—Waterfowl hunters will have a new area to hunt as of Tuesday when the 100-acre former duck hunting club Flight’s End on Sauvie Island opens to hunting.


Sharpening seminar

Tom Claycomb sharpens his Trihone Knife fold-up knife on his diamond stone. It can be a tricky task, but one that Claycomb says all outdoorsmen can learn to do.

Whether you’re a hunter, fisherman or backpacker all of us use a knife, and yet, I bet less than five percent can sharpen one. Let’s see if we can’t help you out today. 

I remember my first knife sharpening seminar 13 years ago. There was an older gentleman attending and he had a brown paper grocery sack with him.  


Being open and ready for anything

Vienna, Austria, is home to the world’s largest Ferris wheel, above, located in Prater Amusement Park, formerly the royal hunting grounds and twice the size of Central Park in New York. It was built in 1897, and stands 212 feet.

For the last few months I have been sharing with you places and events from our river trip through Central Europe last Christmas season. There were some experiences or sights that didn’t fit into any of the other columns, so I will share those with you now. 

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