Subscribe to In The Outdoors RSS feed

In The Outdoors

Banding project helps track bird populations

The 2013 waterfowl season got off to a good start with local hunters bagging limits of resident birds and some early migrants, but the action slowed quickly as those birds moved out and balmy temperatures lingered over Southern Nevada. This has waterfowl hunters hoping that a weather front will come in from the northwest and begin pushing a few ducks and geese our way.

Ladies first: Women fast-growing segment of outdoor enthusiasts

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.

Don't pass the buck: Deer hunt fun, even without tag

“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.

First day of deer hunt special

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.

Shutdown impacts outdoorsmen

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.

Lead ammo ban would prove disastrous

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.

Waterfowl season shaping up nicely

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.

When fish aren't biting, you still can go back to school

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.

Trade show participants hooked on umbrella rigs

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.

New Ugly Stik rod light, durable

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.

New fly-fishing bait imitates swim motion

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.

Try Utah if you missed out of a Nevada big game hunting tag

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.)

Protect yourself from desert's excessive heat

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.

Local outdoors folk mourn loss of 'friend'

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.

Youths make most of Free Fishing Day

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.

Leftover big-game tags widely available

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.

Successful hunts begin with planning

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.

Always check weather for outdoor ventures

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.