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The Observer 02/05/16

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Home arrow Wallowa Life

New check-in process in effect at Ladd Marsh

Justin Russell with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife installs a self-check-in box at Ladd Marsh. (Courtesy photo)

With pheasant season just around the corner, Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area officials are instituting changes for anyone planning on using the area for hunting or bird watching.

The spawn is on at Wallowa Lake

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists Jeff Yanke and Kyle Bratcher count kokanee in the west fork of the Wallowa River as part of Pacificorp’s Wallowa Falls dam reclicensing process. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)

ODFW fish biologists are counting thousands of kokanee in few-mile stretch 

WALLOWA LAKE — A regular part of the ebb and flow of a Wallowa County fish biologist’s year are spawning ground surveys. 

Through-hiking in Eastern Oregon

 The Elkhorn Crest Trail near Baker City offers hikers a one-day through hike 

The concept of through-hiking — or “thru-hiking” if you’re not a strict spelling constructionist — is based in part on the idea that some trails are so spectacular that to miss a single foot of their tread is to be a traitor.

Mother Nature produces flooding, heartbreak to place I love

When natural disasters strike, I can’t not be sympathetic. When natural disaster strikes a place I love, it’s a different story.

Youth hunters on the prowl

Youth hunters will have the chance to hunt pheasants, quail and dove Saturday and Sunday at Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. The event is free and is open to hunters 17 years old and younger. (Observer file)

Young hunters will be all over Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area this weekend for free pheasant hunts 

Youth hunters will be flocking to Ladd Marsh Wildlife area Saturday and Sunday for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual free Youth Pheasant Hunt.

Expectations, and the ebb and flow between two philosophies

Even as our understanding of the universe expands, philosophies of old remain our foundation. “Seek and ye shall find” sits cozily on the shelves of our minds next to the “negation of expectation.”

Stray socks on Main Street, and being in sync with nature

A friend asked me last week, “Could you write a column about the stray socks I find on my morning walks through Enterprise?”

Mules help with hiking

A string of pack mules carry camping gear on the trail between Swamp Lake and Copper Creek on the Lostine-North Minam Loop recently. (DAVE BRITTON Wescom News Service)

Mules can make all the difference during a hike in high country 

Hefting 30 pounds is no big thing.


Hauling a few grocery bags from your trunk to your kitchen, for instance, barely rates as an inconvenience. 

Keep Oregon Green — it has been my lifelong mantra

Fall is coming to Wallowa County — when the borrow pits are decorated with shiny cans to welcome the change of seasons.

The hunt of a lifetime

Shelby Miller, of La Grande, poises by her kill, the largest Rocky Mountain Bighorn ever killed by a woman in Oregon. (Courtesy photo)

La Grande woman sets state record with big horn sheep kill 

Shelby Miller spent last summer chasing and getting the holy grail of rams, and, along the way, grew closer to the man of her dreams. 

Wallowa Lake, Minam park receive upgrades

The marina parking lot at Wallowa Lake was repaved in June. The upgrade was one of many around the lake and at Minam State Park. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)

Wallowa Lake is one of Oregon’s most visited state parks and the gem of the county. This summer, several upgrades are being made to make it even better.

As soon as I got out my running shoes, Finn would start dancing

 Every runner knows the advantage of a training partner. In a feeble attempt to start up again last week, I gave the Lab the slip and took the Red Menace on a short trip down the road.

Don’t overlook physical conditioning when preparing for hunting season

Before that crisp fall air shows up in the mornings, hunters all over Evhastern Oregon need to be getting ready for those early treks into the woods.

Outlook for elk is strong

 If you have a hunting tag for a deer or elk season in Wallowa County this fall, Mike Hansen probably would call you lucky.

Archery season approaches

Hunters can expect increased elk numbers in Eastern Oregon units this fall, according to ODFW reports. Archery season starts Aug. 24 and runs through Sept. 22. (ODFW photo)

Hunters prepare for the start of elk, deer seasons in Eastern Oregon

The forests in Union County are about to get a lot busier in the coming weeks. Archery season is set to start in Eastern Oregon Aug. 24 and, running through Sept. 22.

Spending the summer months like any other 12-year-old kid in

just can’t help being a 12-year-old kid in the summer, hanging out at the Wallowa County fair, getting ice cream from one of the county’s drive-ins or taking swim breaks at one of the county’s swimming holes.

County fair lets one be a kid again — if only for a few days

Ah, the giddiness of county fair time. I asked one young 4-Her how many girlfriends he had at the fair this year. His reply, “None, just two ex-girlfriends.” Not bad for a 10-year-old.

Personal flotation devices key to water safety

Bi-Mart employee Margy Tucker demonstrates the membrane inflatable technology involved in one life vest option designed to automatically self-inflate when the vest is submerged in water via an attached CO2 cartridge. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)

Tragedy struck Jubilee Lake, which is 19 miles north of Elgin, on July 21 when Jeffrey Anspach, 51, of Walla Walla, Wash., drowned after a canoe he was in capsized.

Bountiful black bears

Black bear season can be slow in early August, but as the season progresses the action will start to pick up. (Jim Ward photo)

Another strong fall black bear season is expected in N.E. Oregon 

With the arrival of August, comes the arrival of fall hunting season. The fall black bear season started Thursday and runs through Nov. 31 in Eastern Oregon units. Units in Western Oregon and Southwest Oregon go until Dec. 31.

Never too young to start

Cylie Lagao, 11, of Baker City has already won the Oregon Bowhunters’ annual Triple Crown challenge. Lagao won the first leg in Bend in February, the second leg held at Sherwood in June and the 3-D shoot held at Eagle Point. (Courtesy photo)

Baker City archer making name for herself at early age 

BAKER CITY — The first time Cylie Lagao hefted a bow, pulled back the string and felt that distinctive twang tingle in her fingers as the arrow flew, she was hooked.

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