This large sparrow (about the size of a house sparrow) is found this time of year migrating through Kittitas County on it’s way to the Southwest of the U.S. or as far south as central Mexico. The adults are handsome birds, with clear grayish breasts and a distinctive crown striped with black…

It’s August, on a hot, sunny day, you find yourself out boating at Moses Lake, the Potholes, or any of the various marsh areas around here. It’s a quiet morning near a shore filled with tule grass and cat-tails, and suddenly you hear a strange, deep creaking sound.

Anyone walking through the hayfields, grasslands, and sage in the Kittitas Valley from late April until August is likely to be serenaded by the distinctive and lovely melodious call of a western meadowlark perched on a shrub or utility wire.

The California Quail is a handsome miniature soccer ball of a game bird with a small head and bill, and a distinctive black head plume that curls forward in males. Its wings are short and very broad. The birds are a rich gray and brown, with a black face outlined with bold white stripes, and…

Benjamin Franklin would have preferred to have the Wild Turkey, not the Bald Eagle, chosen as the national symbol of the United States. Although the barnyard variety is a rather dull creature (leading to the insulting tone of the term “turkey”), the original wild form is a wary and magnifice…

These little owls live all year long in Kittitas County in mixed woods and partly open areas. They are no larger than the American Robin, but sometimes take prey up to three times their own size. Check out that poor bird the owl in the photo has killed, seen hanging right below the owl’s tai…

Can outdoor experiential learning opportunities keep out kids from becoming screen zombies this school year? The answer is simple; yes, it can.

Such a strange year, 2020, on so many fronts. Silly me, I have been anticipating and talking up the meals we might still have at the beginning of our general deer and elk seasons — those sacred breakfasts which set us properly on a path to make the precious meat with which we will sustain ou…

Last Friday evening, I pulled into Paradise with the meat made during our very successful 25th Annual Wyoming Deer and Antelope Safari. Interestingly, this year I headed out on Sept. 11 and arrived back home on the 18th — exactly the same dates as that first 1996 trip to Sheridan, Wyoming. T…

With continuing restrictions on gatherings beyond family, the question on the floor had to do with watching wildlife, possible photo opportunities and fresh air. Given the season, and the magic of watching critters gather for long flights to winter, I suggested Red Top Mountain along the Tea…

What started all this was a thirty-something homey asking about the logo on my shirt. I was at one of the few safe and open sight-in spots in the foothills, testing some loads for the .270 Edward, last of the Hucklings, would use on our upcoming Wyoming Safari. The short-sleeved shirt was fr…

Up in the hills, around town, or on the way to fishing in the Columbia Gorge, crows and ravens seem to be a regular object of attention lately. They seem to be most everywhere, just making sure we see and hear them, or busily and noisily harassing birds or dogs or cats around town. Generally…

Early morning a bit over a week ago. Homey Wes Clogston was settled onto his comfortable hunting stool by a tree in the north hills above our Paradise Valley. Properly blaze orange-vested, he was awaiting one of the crop-raiding elk known to sequester themselves in that area after feasting o…

I just received my third Master Hunter Permit renewal — my re-certification. I’m good to go for another five years of dealing with renegade and misbehaving wildlife. It’s been an interesting 15-year journey, so far.

Given the dearth of stuntman (or any other movie) work in Los Angeles, Edward has been executing a number of escapes to family units in Colorado and Paradise. With all the unknowns with which we are all surrounded, he has settled on a bit of fishing and (for the first time in years) Septembe…

Needless to say, it has been a strange year — well over that actually, now that I think about it. Last year’s salmon fishing suffered from low-numbers-cancelled seasons and a fair number of Coho that refused to enter the Klickitat until all our possible fishing dates were exhausted. Between …

You no doubt noticed the Daily Record’s front-page article last Saturday about the Swauk Prairie Bison ranch. The long-time family ranch is currently owned by Jim Hanson, who shares management of the ground and its bison with his daughter, Jody Thayer. The story didn’t mention the striking, …

The conversation was across a lively campfire in the Salmon la Sac Campground north of Lake Cle Elum. I was surrounded (as much as one can be in these social-distancing days) by three retired game wardens and managers from a state down south. The discussion was about change.

This probably should be “nurturing” outdoor kids more than creating, but the work is the same, I think. Anyhow, given the slow start to our outdoor play these last months, and the festering need of several sets of homey parents to get kids properly involved, conversations have been ongoing.

A homey cornered me outside Fred Meyer last week after trotting through a couple rows of parked cars. He was excited about wild places opening. And he had a very specific mission in mind.

No doubt you noticed those late night — and very early morning — thunderstorms rolling across Paradise last week. So rare here, but so full of life! Watching and hearing and feeling that crashing at 4:45 a.m. seemed to trigger sparks in every cell of my body. For a while there, it was, “What…

Finally, fishing is opening up around the West. We are starting to see possibilities — again — on waters across the state and into neighboring states. We are also seeing a big increase in the movement of fishing boats across state lines. With that movement comes a heightened attention to any…

Probably because we’ve been “sheltered” for the last few months, and if coincides with outdoor “openings,” this year’s Washington State Free Fishing Weekend is a bit more exciting than normal. It is always the weekend following the first Monday of June, and has become, for a great many famil…

What got me thinking about mudding, again, were the two open-sided, covered-with-mud rigs making turns onto University Way on Sunday. The young, mud-splattered drivers were hooting it up back and forth over some recent, and obviously exciting, adventure.