Nevadans aimed high when we set out to create the largest and most advanced shooting range in the world. But we kept a steady eye on our target. And today, with great pride, Nevada has hit the bull’s-eye.”
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Move over, boys. The girls are coming to deer camp and the ol’ fishing hole, too, and they are doing it in record numbers. While that might not be news to folks who have been around the outdoor world for more than a few years and have read the sign, it probably is to those who haven’t. Not to mention those who don’t necessarily appreciate the hunting and fishing sports for what they are.
“Doug, hold still!” While still a whisper, Paul’s command was emphatic and left no doubt he finally had seen what we were looking for: a mule deer buck. It was shortly after 8 a.m. on the third day of Nevada’s early deer season and in roughly the same place where we had seen a group of four small bucks on opening day.
As I sit down to write this column, the smell of bacon hangs in the air, the breeze is blowing through the juniper trees, and the ragged cliffs of the Schell Creek Range rise up to the east. Around remains of what once was the morning’s cooking fire sit three of my friends, men I enjoy spending time with in the field. Not everyone fills the bill.
Regardless of your philosophy when it comes to the federal government shutdown and the politics driving it, one thing is certain: Nevada’s outdoor enthusiasts will be impacted. The question is just how much of an impact the shutdown will have and in what way.
Recent rainstorms have greenery popping up across much of Southern Nevada, and that should provide a nourishing boost to the area’s quail, chukar and rabbit populations. The rains probably came a little late for hunters hoping to put a few of those critters on the dinner table this hunting season.
Thunderstorms that pounded Southern Nevada the past few weeks brought much-needed water to the desert but also put a damper on the mourning dove hunt. Doves that migrated into the area between storms quickly were pushed out with the arrival of the next round of thunder and lightning.
Hold on to your hats, folks. Our western neighbor is about to step off the political and fiscal cliff, and no doubt there are some people who hope Nevada follows suit. If that happens, the state’s hunters and recreational shooters could end up paying much more for their hunting ammunition, but only if they can find enough to meet their needs, and if they can afford to buy it once they find it.
There is good news for hunters who have been waiting for opening day of Nevada’s waterfowl season. According to the 2013 Report on Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, hunters can expect to see bird numbers similar to those of last year. The overall duck population is about 45.6 million birds, according to the report published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Even though she was hoping to find him, the hog still caught Heather Pratt off guard when it strolled past the ground blind where she had been pondering the beauty of nature.
The morning sun had yet to light up the red-orange sand that lines the shoreline when Roger and I motored away from the launch ramp at Southern Utah’s Sand Hollow Reservoir. We had found quick action for small but scrappy largemouth bass the previous afternoon and looked forward to picking up where we left off when the setting sun forced us off the water.
While mule deer, elk and bighorn sheep get most of the attention when it comes to big-game hunting in Nevada, the pursuit of pronghorn antelope can be challenging and rewarding.
If there was a common focus among the manufacturers’ exhibits at the 2013 edition of ICAST — the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades — it was the umbrella rig, or products like it. From the Booyah Bait Co. to the rod builders at G. Loomis, nearly all the major players and many small companies introduced some product designed either to mimic the umbrella rig design or facilitate its use.
For many years, an angler could walk into any major outdoor retailer or discount mart with $29.95 in his pocket and walk out with one of the most widely recognized and durable fishing rods on the market. Now a pending price increase is going to push that price up to $39.95, but I think fans of Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik are going to like what they get for that extra 10-spot.
When it comes to selecting the right fly pattern to use, fly-fishermen generally follow the guideline to “match the hatch.” Simply, this means to present the fish you are after with a bait choice that resembles, as closely as possible, whatever they already are eating.
If you were one of the unsuccessful applicants in Nevada’s big game tag draw you may not have to sit this season out after all. Utah still has more than 3,300 buck mule deer permits available and they go on sale at 7 a.m. PDT Thursday, July 11 . (That’s 8 a.m. in Utah, which is in the Mountain time zone and observes daylight saving time.)
It’s Independence Day, so let me begin by expressing gratitude to our Founding Fathers for their sacrifice and willingness to risk, and in some cases lose, all they had to create a country where personal freedom is paramount and where we each have the opportunity to make something of ourselves. Let me also thank those who have risked and, in many cases, lost their lives to maintain those freedoms for the rest of us.
Downtown Henderson is home to one of those small businesses that are reminiscent of days gone by, days when customer service was a real part of doing business and not merely an advertising slogan. It is one of those places where people know your name, everyone is treated like a friend, and some folks drop by just to visit. Perhaps you have been there, too.
When we launched Roger’s boat, the sun had yet to clear the mountains on the Gold Butte side of Lake Mead’s Overton Arm, but it was already warm. One thing was certain, it was going to get only hotter as the sun continued to rise.
Despite the severe heat that enveloped the Las Vegas area Saturday, hundreds of anglers made their way to the valley’s urban ponds to take advantage of Nevada’s Free Fishing Day. And why not? That is the one day each year when anyone can fish in the Silver State without having to first procure a fishing license.
If you miss your first shot at a monster buck or a large bull elk, having a second chance to make that shot is a good thing. Likewise, if you were unsuccessful in Nevada’s big-game tag draw, a second chance can be good thing, especially for those willing to try something or someplace new.
Preliminary results of Nevada’s 2013 big game tag draw have been available online since Friday, and final results will be available in another couple of weeks. Unfortunately, while some of my friends are celebrating the draw results with tags for critters such as bighorn sheep, deer, elk or antelope, things in the Nielsen household are little more subdued.
Trusting completely in a weather forecast can be an iffy proposition. Anyone who has spent considerable time outdoors knows weather conditions can and do change unexpectedly and rapidly, so failing to double-check the weather forecast before leaving on an outdoor adventure is a foolish misstep at best. Failing to plan for the possibilities is another.
You know the years are going by when you look at your youngest son and realize for the first time that he can no longer be referred to as “The Wild Man.” Such is now the case with my youngest son, Hyrum, almost 17, whose outdoor adventures — and sometimes misadventures — have often become the subject matter for this column during his growing up years.
Most outdoorsmen and women spend their time, and often their money, trying to outthink or outmaneuver their game of choice. Recognizing this tendency, the outdoor industry spends its time and money trying to outthink and outmaneuver outdoorsmen and women. The results of their efforts can be seen in stores, catalogs and wherever we stash our outdoor gear.