Author: Gary Lewis

PacWest Outdoors: Blackpowder Blacktail at First Light

A solo hunt with an 1840s-tech muzzleloader at the end of the Applegate Trail. By Gary Lewis Dawn. That was the moment. Not earlier when it would be easy to blunder into a buck. Legal dawn for this day in this part of the county was 6:51AM. Anytime before would be too soon. I poured 80 grains of black powder into the muzzle then seated a 50-caliber lead conical with the ramrod. Then I slung my possibles bag and camera over my shoulder. Outside, I shrugged into my backpack, the shoulder straps for the ground blind and a chair...

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PacWest Outdoors: Western Quail and Pheasant: Different Stages

One man’s limit of valley quail, a rooster and a hare to split By Gary Lewis What pheasants and quail want are layers of cover. Russian olive trees growing out of tangles of blackberry bushes, tall grass and tangle of cattails and more blackberry bushes. There may be no shortage of sharp-toothed critters that eat them and the hook-beaked birds that pounce on them from above, but if there are enough layers of habitat, Chinese pheasant and valley quail thrive. There are still places like that in Malheur County, in Umatilla County and in the Columbia Basin. We were...

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PacWest Outdoors: The 22 Nosler on New Zealand’s West Coast

Hunting chamois up above the clouds By Gary Lewis The first rule of mountain hunting is – don’t give up your elevation. The second rule is you’re always going to give up elevation. The third rule? It’s gonna hurt. When I heard about the new 22 Nosler, I was both surprised and pleased and, of course, I had to try it. The cartridge and its first rifle was introduced at SHOT 2017. I needed to know – does the 22 Nosler come in a bolt-action? “We have one for you, Gary,” Mason said when I put the question to...

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PacWest Outdoors: Left-handed Rockfish on the Oregon Coast

Want fish and chips for dinner? Catch it yourself. Prospecting the ocean floor with hardware and spinning gear. By Gary Lewis We wonder how much color a fish can see 30, 60, 90 feet down. How much difference does it make if the grub on the end of the line is green or white or red or blue? Is it more important to the angler than to the fish? When I broke off the red bait that had been working, when I stuck it to the bottom of the Pacific off Newport on the Oregon Coast, I grabbed another...

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PacWest Outdoors: Hunting Coyotes on the Summer Range

Plan more coyote hunts in spring and summer to take pressure off big game in the critical months for young ungulates. By Gary Lewis Waves of heat shimmered off the asphalt. The mercury hovered north of 95 degrees. I parked at the gate to wait for the rest of the party and the stillness of the summer day stifled. If there was one corner of the state that hadn’t been invaded by hordes of eclipse watchers, I’d found it. Out here on a highway east of Paulina, west of Seneca, smack dab in the center of nothing, I leaned...

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