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To Kill or Not To Kill

Keep your fish submerged and use a pair of needle-nose pliers to pry the hook out if you intend to release it, touching it with your hands as little as possible, as this Barrier Dam angler did last Friday. This unhappy hooker wasn't fishing to play catch and release games with the salmon, but had hoped to haul up a legal fish. This Chinook sported an extra fin, making it illegal to keep.

Whenever I tell local hunters I have elk and deer in my backyard, they inevitably ask, “Do you hunt them?” No, I don’t hunt them. I tell them (somewhat tongue in cheek) I have a rule at my house, one I instituted when my three boys became of an age to carry a gun, “You kill it, you clean it, ... Read More »

A Call to Honor Our Heroes

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This weekend popular parks will be filled to capacity, backyard barbecues in both the country and the city will be cleaned and readied for the start of the outdoor cooking season, picnic baskets will be packed, plans to gather with friends and family will be made. But will we remember the fallen soldiers? I wonder. Those that have lost loved ones — dear ... Read More »

Momma Says: Take a Step Beyond Your Comfort Zone

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I was born into a family chock full of Adventurers. They would probably never categorize themselves as such, but I think they would be very proud of the label. None of them climbed Mount Everest or paddled down the Amazon River. They didn’t so much as even backpack through Europe. But they were Adventurers, nonetheless. They said “Yes!” to opportunity, ... Read More »

Great Backyard Bird Count

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The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) starts today. The GBBC runs February 15-18 and is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the United States. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. You can count birds from the comfort of your recliner ... Read More »

Zen & the Birds of the Walmart Parking Lot

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I am not an expert birder. Not by a long shot. But I’m learning, bird by bird. It wasn’t that long ago that I remember the excitement I felt at seeing a new and spectacularly plumaged guest at my feeder. Iridescent feathers of black glowing purple, green and blue; a bright yellow beak and a snowfall of largish off-white spots sprinkled ... Read More »

Chronicle Readers: Many Thanks to You & Farewell

Last banner photo for The Chronicle.

NOTE: I wrote my last column and fishing report for The Chronicle newspaper on Jan. 10, 2013. That was my farewell column. It was my choice to leave the newspaper, although my hand was forced by their insistence that I sign an all-rights, exclusive contract with them, giving them ownership of everything I have ever written for them and all ... Read More »

Animal Rights Vs. Animal Welfare

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As I travel around Lewis County in my various outdoors adventures I meet interesting people doing some very interesting things. But you don’t get to read about all of them. Why not? Because they don’t want their story told. It doesn’t matter if they know me as a reporter and know I always do my best to cover subjects accurately ... Read More »

Let Your Eyes Light Up

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I was watching Oprah one afternoon (stop groaning, men, and read on) when her guest, Maya Angelou, asked the audience, “Do your eyes light up when your child enters the room?” Her simple question stopped my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I wondered: do my eyes light up? And if not, why not? My two-year-old grandson lights up ... Read More »

Got Nature-Deficit Disorder? Go Outside!

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My best childhood memories are all tied up and tangled in the bow of Nature. Skiing, backpacking, trail riding, boating, fishing and sports. Caring for horses, chickens, dogs — any beast or creature on four legs, two legs, eight-legs or no legs (I’ve always been a big fan of the mighty worm). My parents worked hard to make sure I ... Read More »

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