Author: Gary Lewis

PacWest Outdoors: Captivated by Mearns’ Quail

Hunt this rarest of North American quail in the deserts of southern Arizona Story and Photos by Gary Lewis A general named Crook with a weakness for bird hunting, found himself, after campaigns across the west, back in Arizona, his quarry, an Apache named Geronimo. One of Crook’s key strategies was the use of selected Indian scouts to guide each column of soldiers. The scouts were kept one to two day’s march ahead of the army and up to fifty miles along each flank. On May 20, 1883, Crook took his shotgun and wandered alone into the tall yellow...

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PacWest Outdoors: The Youngest Impala Guide

It was her hunt to guide and there were big impala bucks in the mopane bush. Story and photos by Gary Lewis She was in camp with us in 2006 when we were on safari in the Limpopo. She was two years old then and now, seven years later, she was with us again. Nine-year-old Mika already could read the track of the leopard from the back of the safari vehicle and knew enough to tell a kudu track from a waterbuck’s. Now it was the last day of our safari and the little girl who had been so...

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PacWest Outdoors: Hunting Carp with a Shoulder-Fired Trident

Straight out of the Victorian era – the kick, clobber, and fury of a vintage harpoon gun. Story and Photos by Gary Lewis Perhaps the main quarry for a shoulder-fired harpoon would have been pinnipeds: sea lions, walrus, fur seals and hair seals. The two main families are Otariidae (eared seals) and Phocidae (earless seals). Seals are used for oily meat, their fat and their pelts. The fat was, and is, used for fuel, lubricants, soaps, paint, cooking oil and for processing leather. The fat was also used as the raw material for an igloo window. For the Inuit,...

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PacWest Outdoors: Small Camp Security

Who is watching when you’re not watching? By Gary Lewis It might be a sleeping bag in a lean-to with a small warming fire at the entrance. It could be a wall tent with five or six hunters high in the backcountry. It might be a recreational vehicle parked at the end of a road. It might be a hiker’s bivouac on the shore of an alpine lake or a place to run to in the event of a natural disaster or unrest in the big city. Whatever the reason for the camp, chances are the camper or campers...

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PacWest Outdoors: An Honest Black Bear

You think a bear loses weight fast in its winter den? Try putting it on a scale! Story and Photos By Gary Lewis Does your scale go to 500 pounds?” It was September, in Minnesota, and the season was open. Brian Bachman outfits bear hunts on public lands in the Superior National Forest. When a group of public land hunters brought a bear into the local sporting goods store, the owner suggested they call Bachman and see if he would weigh the bruin. “Are you sure you want me to weigh it?” Brian asked. “Right now your bear weighs...

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