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Home arrow Wallowa Life

On Call

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by JIM WARD for The Observer 

Artificial calls helping hunters, photographers catch prey 

Long before the invention of the wheel, mankind has been using his wits to bring wild critters to the stew pot. 

He had to — he was much slower and weaker than most of his prey.  


Becoming older to the cadence of Paul Harvey

This weekend I had the pleasure of being mauled by the nephews. I asked them, “Do you remember trying to cook me last time I visited?” The 8-year-old said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”


Canine chums and flying under the radar

Some people are conspicuous by nature; others of us come by it accidentally.


Reeling in the literary richness of Maclean’s book

Each year Fishtrap chooses a book for its annual community read that is as familiar as an old friend. This year is no exception with its choice of Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It.”


Eagle’s Nest

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On a cold winter morning along Foothill Road south of La Grande, a bald eagle heads for a more private perch from which to assess his potential eating opportunities. The eagle officially became our national emblem on June 20, 1782 — a decision Benjamin Franklin was famously not happy about. He much preferred the nation be represented by the Wild Turkey as opposed to “a bird of bad moral character.” CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer

Bald eagles have made strong comeback in Oregon, Union County 

A tremendous conservation success story.

That’s how Martin Nugent, the Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species Coordinator for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife described the bald eagle’s story in Oregon. 


Indicators of a genuine Oregonian

The night after Thanksgiving I went to see a band at Terminal Gravity. One of the musicians lifted his shirt to show off his tattoo. It was a likeness of the Portland White Stag lighted sign with a Sasquatch climbing up the side. Doesn’t get anymore “Oregon” than that.


Adventures in Africa

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Dick Hohstadt stands with mounts in his trophy room of some the big game animals he took during hunting trips to Africa in 2008 and 2011. DICK MASON/The Observer

Local hunter harvests 11 different animals, including wildebeest, warthog and zebra 

Reverse psychology works wonders when hunting black wildebeests in Africa.

Dick Hohstadt, a Union County outdoorsman, knows this firsthand. 


Contemplating what it means to ‘celebrate’ the holidays

Sometimes my rigid, literal mind blocks the essence of what people say and for that, I apologize. 


A career in the outdoors

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Vic Coggins, Enterprise Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife district biologist, spent much of his career studying Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and their habitat in Northeast Oregon.

Enterprise’s lead wildlife biologist will retire after 45 years of service 

On a cloudy December morning Vic Coggins awaits a clearing in the weather to capture wild sheep one more time. 

By the end of the year Enterprise’s lead wildlife biologist will retire from 45 years’ service to the state of Oregon. 


Getting a break from the American bustle

On the radio this afternoon an American living in Paris said that Parisians are focused on the food and the slowing down of the season.


Taking aim indoors

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Jerry Gibson of the Grande Ronde Bowmen focuses on a target at the indoor range in the basement of the Eagles Lodge in La Grande. CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer

Range in basement of La Grande Eagles Lodge a hit for archers who seek to improve, maintain their skills in dead of winter 

Old Man Winter is not kind to archers.

Bowmen who practice outside in cold weather have a greater chance of injuring themselves and run the risk of developing bad habits that can wreak havoc with their technique.


Camera constant companion

moved to Minam sight unseen, but I had an Oregon atlas. My friend Jessica and I used it as a reference and saw the three canyons where the Wallowa and Minam rivers join for a few miles before dumping into the Grande Ronde.

In search of wolverines

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Using a bait station and game camera set up in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wildlife Biologist Audrey Magoun can determine the gender, whether or not a female wolverine has kits and which animal it is by its markings. Submitted photo

Ongoing study focuses on elusive animal’s presence in the Wallowa Mountains 

A track found in the northwest corner of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is the latest evidence biologists have of wolverines in Oregon. 

Audrey Magoun, who is starting her third winter researching wolverines in the Wallowa Mountains, said she doesn’t know if it is any of the three she has seen on game cameras, but because they travel such great distances, it’s a possibility it could even be Stormy, the animal that she has seen the most.


Take the time to reach out

In a recent interview, I steered the topic to the natural beauty of our surroundings and how it draws people to Wallowa County. A woman replied, “It’s the natural beauty that attracts people and it’s our community that keeps them. Our social capital and level of caring is extraordinary.”

Tour provides up-close look

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For the past 22 years, T&T Wildlife Tours have been attracting people from all over the world to see these magnificent elk, and ride with Waylan and Jed, the team of Percheron draft horses.

Oregon’s only elk-viewing excursion via horse-drawn wagon runs weekends from Dec. 15 through March 3, some holidays  

Looking for some winter season family fun? 

Northeast Oregon has a great variety of opportunities when the snow starts to fly. 


Fishing Report for December 7, 2012


Viewing Report for December 7, 2012


Hunting Report for December 7, 2012

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ODFW photo Cinnamon teal frequent marshes and ponds and feed by dabbling, eating mostly plants but also mollusks and aquatic insects. ODFW photo

Trained to track

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U.S. Forest Service Biologist Mark Penninger, center, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist Russ Morgan, second from left, lead EOU students on a wildlife tracking field trip west of La Grande.

Biologists from the U.S. Forest Service and ODFW teach Eastern students how to record whereabouts of wolves, lynx, wolverines and other Northeast Oregon animals  

The U.S. Forest Service and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife soon will have a new resource to help monitor the populations of rare or secretive animals in Northeast Oregon — the eyes and minds of about 15 Eastern Oregon University students.  


Bundles of joy await prospective pet owners at area humane societies

My father came to speak to me one afternoon when I was 6 years old. He asked, “What would you like more than anything?” I quickly answered, “A horse.”

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