NatBlogs

From Alaska to Yellowstone, how about an offbeat quiz?

Everyone has a special calling in life, and here are two people who share a unique fascination for, uh, animal poo. Alaska Poop Primer: Pellets or Patties? It’s common for Jessy Coltrane, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s assistant area biologist for Anchorage, to receive phone calls from area residents who describe in great detail the consistency, color and…

What’s your Rooster Shooting Percentage by Shot?

Depending upon what style of shotgun you prefer, a rooster has between one and five shots to evade your pellets. This numbers game got my baseball mind wondering about batting averages and shooting percentages. If you were to break down the roosters you kill with each shot in your gun, how would the percentages fall? So to clarify, I’m not…

Unintended Catches

When you’re fishing, sometimes you never know what you’ll catch! Leaping ‘Cuda Takes Bite Out of Angler Thanks to an experienced and quick-thinking Florida fishing guide, an angler was no worse for the wear after meeting with the business end of an airborne barracuda. Fort Lauderdale guide Capt. Carl Ball related one of his wildest fishing tales of the year…

Early season walleye jigging tactics

I love using jigs but too many anglers aren’t fishing them correctly. Just starters, understand that you won’t always feel the thump of a walleye when it strikes a jig. Guys expect that sure bite or hit. Many times you don’t feel it. So often you  drop the jig down and it stops. Maybe you’ll just feel some extra weight….

There’s Trouble Bruin

It’s springtime, and that means bears are out and about. And here at Offbeat Outdoors, that means there’s trouble bruin! Bruin Goes Bowling Colorado ranch hand Harold Cerda had just finished doing his business in a remote high country outhouse when a running black bear knocked him to the ground and chased him back to his car, where he sadly…

Girl Hunter

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, women’s participation in hunting has increased by 36.6 percent over the last decade. That percentage represents 660,000 new female hunters busting cattails, climbing into tree stands and hiding in camouflaged pit blinds. One of those women is Georgia Pellegrini, author of the new book Girl Hunter. Theories abound as to why women are…

Critter CPR

There’s a right way and a wrong way to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on furry critters… CPR Saves Man’s Best Friend A 6-year-old black Labrador retriever that nearly drowned in a Dallas-area swimming pool was saved by the quick thinking of its owner, who successfully performed the canine version of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on his four-legged companion. The dog, named…

On The Road, Again

Last week we brought you stories detailing the predominant types of critters that fall to Buick bumpers and Michelin radials in Indiana and California. This week, we pick-up (get it?) where we left off, with unusual tales from the pavement. Revenge of the Texas Roadkill A Texas man was seriously injured in a bizarre incident while investigating the damage to…

The Mr. Mom Advantage for Quail

One major difference between pheasants and quail is the role males may play in the reproductive cycle.  In some years, perhaps particularly when the density of quail is low, a hen may lay a clutch of eggs, and then leave her male bobwhite mate in charge of incubation duties for the next 24 days. Hens may then take up with…

Open-Door Policy

When critters discover doors that open automatically as they approach them, wild things can often occur. “Clean Up On Aisle 4!” Someone neglected to inform the black bear that wandered into the Olean, New York, Park N’ Shop during a recent night shift that it’s supposed to take care of his business in the woods. But it didn’t seem to…

Burn Baby Burn

The arrival of an early spring has put one song on replay in my head, “Disco Inferno” by the Trampps. At Pheasants Forever, it's the theme song of spring. Controlled burning in early spring accomplishes two main objectives in habitat management. First, burning limits the growth of woody and other unwanted vegetation, thereby maintaining the prairie as a distinct ecosystem….

Do I Have ‘Stupid’ Written on my Forehead?

To be sure, among the millions of enthusiastic and competent folks who enjoy the out-of-doors, there are a few misfits. Read on… In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash A Florida man who sold his boat to a man he didn’t know on a promise the buyer would return with his trailer and $1,700 in cash says he was…

Are you like your Bird Dog?

We’ve probably all heard the sayings about owners and their dogs looking alike, but what about shared mannerisms? I’ll venture our bird dogs mimic their hunting masters in a variety of ways. Here’s a sample of the similarities and adaptions I believe my shorthair, Trammell, and I share. Methodically Short and Deliberately Dainty. I am not the tallest guy in…

Dishonest Anglers? What Would Zern Say?

Humorist and longtime Outdoor Life columnist Ed Zern wrote in his classic 1945 book, To Hell With Fishing, “Fishermen are born honest, but they get over it.” ‘Honest Angler’ an Oxymoron?Last year, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game initiated a bounty program aimed at reducing the rainbow and lake trout populations in certain state waters where kokanee salmon numbers…

Not Lassie, But These Dogs Came Home

Regular readers of Offbeat Outdoors know how much we appreciate a good dog story, and here are two with decidedly happy endings. Good Lab Work Like most who enjoy life in the outdoors, I've got a real soft spot in my heart for good dogs-and good dog stories. Here's a great tale from Maine about a black Lab that went…

Would Aldo Leopold Enjoy a Chipotle Burrito?

Yes, Chipotle is still fast food; however, in a culture of pre-packaged meals this Chipotle television commercial (aired during the Grammy Awards telecast) does harken back to Leopold’s writing in A Sand County Almanac focused on food being linked to our land. What do you think? Does Chipotle get Leopold’s message or are they simply trying to sell you more…

Grilling Deer

We’re not talking about venison tenderloin on the Weber, either. Deer Enters One Van Window, Exits AnotherMotor vehicle accidents involving deer are commonplace in certain regions of the country. Usually it’s a simple front bumper and grill affair-and a $2,000 (or more) deductible. But an incident involving a minivan and a deer in Connecticut has to be one of the…

Late ice-fishing walleye jigging actions

Our sole job when fishing any species is to attract an individual and get it to bite. As the hard-water walleye season winds down, I’m using a lot of vertical jigging spoons and short-shanked jigs. Both enable me to bring fish off the bottom during a tough, late-season bite.We specifically want to find and target aggressive fish. That means if…

Wildlife Drunk Tank

From time to time, even wild animals are known to overindulge. Pelicans Under the Influence Authorities in Southern California report that four pelicans were detained in an animal drunk tank over a recent weekend on suspicion of public intoxication. One California brown pelican was injured after crashing through the windshield of a car on the Pacific Coast Highway in Orange…

6,526,717

6,526,717. That’s how many acres currently under a CRP contract are set to expire this autumn. If you thought last hunting season was tough, think about the ramifications to pheasants, quail, ducks, deer and our nation’s water quality if we lose 6.5 million acres more of critical habitat created by CRP lands. The clock to re-enroll those acres started this…