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Thank you, Lord, for the weather

My last act before heading to the Blue Mountains to hunt elk is to check the weather and the fire situation.  Fire conditions, as are pretty usual this time of year, are critical.  No campfires allowed except in designated campgrounds.  I hate that, because sitting around a campfire at night is one of my most […]

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Just back from Alaska and headed out after elk

Well, there are times when it’s damn hard to fit real life in between the hunting and fishing trips. I’m just back from three weeks in Alaska, having stretched a four-day outdoor writers conference into a three-week RV journey with my wife. We flew into Anchorage, rented the RV and headed south to the Kenai […]

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One Step at a Time

When I first published this column in Game and Fish Publications in 1994, a number of Oregonians recognized the author as a guy who worked at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  They made the assumption that it was a real life treatise by an anti-hunting mole and they took a number of steps […]

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Bad Timing

Bad Timing ©2002 by Pat Wray I thought she had learned.  My wife and I raised our daughter well.  We taught her to be considerate of other people. Taught her to respect her elders. But somehow it didn’t take. The phone call came in the early evening.  By the sound of her voice we thought […]

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A Bad Thumb Year

A Bad Thumb Year ©2001 By Pat Wray One of the things I admire most about well-made firearms is the beautiful way they are machined and assembled.  The need to contain and channel explosive forces results in incredibly close tolerances.  For example, when a fine side-by-side shotgun is snapped closed, virtually nothing can escape or […]

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Things Your Back Can Teach You

Things Your Back Can Teach You ©2007 by Pat Wray   I was in as comfortable a position as one could ask, lying on my back, grass tickling my neck and ears, contemplating the sky, a soft breeze ruffling the trees above me.  There was only one thing wrong; I couldn’t move—at least not without […]

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Avuncularesis and its Effect on Middle-Aged Hunters or Shared Idiocy…Shouldn’t We Know Better? Ó2001 By Pat Wray   “Do you have any idea how weird you are?” Bill asked. There being no easy answer to his question, I decided to ignore it.  Instead, I repeated my own question, which had begun our conversation in the […]

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Reloading Cartridges…and a Life

          Reloading Cartridges…and a Life ©2008 by Pat Wray   I walk into my shop from the side door and flip on the lights.  A dull, low-pitched rumbling sound emanates from across the floor.  I walk directly toward the turning tumbler, unplug it, remove the cylindrical container and empty its contents […]

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Outdoor Mysteries

Can You Solve These Outdoor Mysteries? ©2010 by Pat Wray   As much as I hated the school-sanctioned cruelty my teachers referred to as pop quizzes, it occurs to me that every time I venture into the outdoors I notice something I don’t understand—something I don’t know—very much like the pop quizzes of my youth.  […]

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Man Caves

Man-Caves…Binky and Duff Style ©2011 by Pat Wray   “You call this a man-cave?” Duff asked with a smirk. Duff’s aggressive tone unsettled Binky, who was not prepared for a grilling from his older brother.  He was just showing Duff the new home he and Annie had recently purchased.  It didn’t help that Binky’s synaptic […]

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