Author: Gary Lewis

PacWest Outdoors: 6 Steps to Break in to Chukar Hunting

It’s the tension, three-toed tracks by the waterhole and a bird hidden in the bunchgrass. It’s the ache you feel in your muscles, a blur of wings and the thump of the gun. By Gary Lewis Seth O’Hare, 32-years-old, was on the first bird hunt of his life. In one hand he held a borrowed Remington 870 and in the other he held a bird aloft. He had just made a beautiful shot on a towering rooster pheasant. “Can you do this without a dog?” “You can, but it’s a lot harder.” On the other side of a strip...

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PacWest Outdoors: Deer Hunting: A Trip Back To The Start Of The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail ended for some at Oregon City, and for others in Eugene. It started in Missouri when pioneers pulled up stakes in search of a new start. By Gary Lewis Growing up in what used to be called Oregon Territory, first in southwest Washington, thence to Oregon City and then to Central Oregon, it is easy to think of the Oregon Trail in terms of its terminus at The Dalles and Willamette Falls. When we hunted Missouri, my mind’s eye conjured images of Missourians lining out in Conestogas and Studebaker wagons – headed to Oregon. The Oregon...

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PacWest Outdoors: Elk: Back in the Blues with an Army Veteran

U.S. Army vet Kyle James returns to his homeland for a late-summer elk hunt By Gary Lewis After I got back from Iraq, I didn’t want to hunt for a long time.” A lot of things change for a soldier back from war. “After I got back, even most music, I didn’t want to listen to.” It was a time to heal. Kyle James, who makes his home in Oregon City, is a soft-spoken 30-year-old who used to sit in the turret on an armored Humvee with his finger light on the 240 Bravo trigger. We hunted with him...

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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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