Brother Owen 1972 – 2012

My brother, Owen Alford, lost his battle with cancer on March 26th, 2012 (OwenAlford.wordpress.com). We were life-long friends. Owen followed me into bowhunting several years ago, bagged a blacktail buck, and then set his bow aside for several years while he worked nights and went to school during the day. It was always his intention …

75 Years of Waterfowl Conservation

Ducks are thriving in North America, thanks in no small part to the wetland conservation group, Ducks Unlimited (ducks.org). DU was formed in the 1930’s, during the dark days of the economic depression. A drought was consuming the Midwestern United States and precious breeding ground in Canada was degraded, causing duck populations to plummet. While …

Duck Hunting 2011 – 2012 Season

We just wrapped up the 2011-2012 duck hunting season here in Oregon. It was the second season that me and Banjo were able to hunt ducks together and we had a great time. We even bagged some ducks along the way too. Banjo usually sits on a little porch on the front of the blind, …

Banjo’s First Upland Bird Hunt

Bird hunting season is in full swing here in Oregon, with opportunities to hunt upland birds (grouse, quail, pheasant, chukar, hungarian partridge) and waterfowl (ducks and geese). My elk hunting buddy, Brandon, is a die hard upland bird hunter and when he invited me on a hunt last week, I jumped in the truck and …

Let’s go drinkin! (…water that is…)

On multi-day, backcountry hunts, having a source of drinking water is an important issue. Water weighs a lot, so it’s not feasible to carry enough to last more than a couple of days. Water in the woods can also be infected with nasty things like giardia, e-coli, and parasites, so drinking that “fresh” mountain spring …

Black Bears

During my recent elk hunting trip, we had a couple black bear encounters. This bear was feeding on currant berries very close to the trail I was hiking on. I accidentally spooked the bear as I walked up and it ran out about 20 yards, turned and watched me. The wind was blowing from the …

Backcountry Elk Hunt 2011

Question: what kind of whackos spend 15 days in the backcountry drinking muddy iodine-flavored water, eating the same food day after day, and chasing elk from dark until dark? You guessed it: the same two guys and eight goats who went to Hells Canyon for a spring bear hunt. Why? Because IT ROCKS! Archery elk …

Gun Dog Banjo – My Best Good Buddy

Meet my best good buddy, Banjo. He’s a four-year-old purebred golden retriever who is getting ready for his second season as a gun dog. Banjo loves being outdoors, getting wet and muddy, and chasing birds. Oregon has 107 days of duck hunting fun, starting in mid-October and Banjo has been training steadily in preparation. Waterfowl …

The Gang of Six

It’s official: I completely lost my mind and purchased an additional six goats for my pack string. I already had four, now I have ten. The Gang of Six (G6) as I call them, are babies (“kids”) and will be full-grown in another three years. These will become my primary packgoats when my current four …