tracery of field mice feet on a mission
and the delicately lobed footprints of
wood rats meandering for yards along
the trail before suddenly vectoring into
the brush. Even a lug-soled boot print
talks to the walker, adventurer and curious observer we become when the faint
glow of sunrise beckons to early risers.
Early morning provides some of the best opportunities for beautiful pictures. This scene was photographed
as fishermen on Tillamook Bay, Oregon, enjoyed a sunrise while waiting for the fish to start biting.
Photo by Carolyn Moore
Rare Cooking Advice, Literally
Newbies are often turned off by overcooked wild game and birds, when it
becomes as dry as my mother-in-law’s
wit. The taste of duck goes “fishy” less
than 60 seconds after it’s cooked rare, so
take it off the heat to finish it at medium-rare. Likewise, allow venison to become
medium-rare while “resting” for the five
to 10 minutes it takes natural juices to
settle into the meat before serving.
The Call of
Scott Linden’s website
offers video clips from
his popular TV series
dog training tips and
a comprehensive gear
checklist for upland game bird hunters.
Set Your Alarm
Outdoors enthusiasts like us are lucky.
Yes, we are lucky for all of the obvious
reasons, but also for one more mundane,
but equally valuable, reason: Our
internal alarm clocks ring earlier than
most. That’s fine with me because early
mornings are the most magical time of
day, full of sights and sounds that vanish
as the sun rises higher.
Early mornings are often cool and
quiet. Footpaths are as yet undisturbed
by other people. If you listen carefully,
you might hear the distant honk of
Canada geese or a coyote yip before it
hunkers down for the day.
Morning is primarily a visual feast,
from ground level to distant horizons.
From the high terrain behind our place,
the clean, still air features vistas that
reach to state borders south and east.
Often, during this time of the day, I
find my dog by the cloud of his breath,
not by a jingling collar tag.
Our still-bleary eyes are the most
active sensors as the orange sun crests a
ridge in the early morning. The trail dust
at our feet reveals the previous night’s
dramas: a beetle plowing a furrow, the
We Have A Winner!
Congratulations to trivia winner Michael
Oettinger. He correctly defined the Rat-Faced McDougal as a dry fly for fishing.
An Upland Nation mini-cooler is on its
way to Michael for his correct response.
They Are All Show-Me States
Sportsmen’s shows in every state crowd
the calendar at this time of year. Don’t
let the name fool you. Sportskids and
sportswomen are welcome, too. Sports
shows are an exciting and entertaining
entrée to the outdoors during the dark-est days of winter. They are full of noise,
lights, action and fun, with lots of freebies to take home—and corn dogs.
Campcraft and Outdoor Lore
• Remember to protect your “outside”
dog in winter. They can burn twice as
many calories in winter as in summer,
simply to keep warm. Add fat to their
diet. Olive or vegetable oil is an easy way
to do that.
• Got a trout stream fed by the waters
of a dam nearby? Start watching for a
blue-winged olive (mayfly) hatch that
brings fish to the surface on warm days
this time of year. n