The Kern Wildlife Refuge, known for the highest waterfowl take averages in the state, will open Oct. 22. At this writing, plenty of birds are calling the area home, including lots of gadwalls, shovelers, cinnamon teal, pintails and a smattering of mallards. With the approach of cool weather,…

The tiny bit of moisture El Nino left behind in the way of rainfall humidity has Valley Quail populations in the process of rebounding from all-time lows during the historic drought.

Bakersfield’s Kate Crosby had only eight minutes left in the Idaho spring black bear season to take her shot at a tremendous bruin standing across a canyon from her, her grandfather Paul Wade and father, Ryan. They had stalked the animal all afternoon without getting closer than 700 yards, b…

For a fisherman, nothing in the world beats the take of a giant tuna grabbing a fly-lined live bait, and after being hooked, feel it race off to what feels like the other side of the world. The sport remains an incredible adventure for anyone wanting to do battle with creatures so powerful t…

Next Thursday marks the opening day of California’s ‘split’ dove season and shotguns will begin popping a few minutes after 6:00 a.m. Hunters and their bird-savvy dogs will take to the field en masse when one of the most popular bird hunting days of them all starts off with, literally, a ban…

The lukewarm water temperatures and blazing hot sun at most of our local lakes can have a detrimental effect on not only the fish, but fishermen as well. For instance, bass and crappie usually will seek their comfort zones by diving deep into the thermocline, where most anglers will have dif…

Growing up in Buttonwillow, the scorching hot summer days never really bothered my friends or me. Even when the temperature stayed over 100 degrees for days on end, Larry Johnson and I would think nothing about grabbing our guns or fishing rods and taking off on foot or bicycle to the neares…

Morro Bay’s top-of-the-line sportfishing boat, the Endeavor, along with her experienced crew, went out of its way last weekend to honor two Bakersfield newlyweds, Erin and Kyle McAbee. Knowing the pair’s commitment to each other, the groom’s father, Terry McAbee, decided to give their marria…

The second phase of California’s implementation of non-lead hunting loads took effect July 1. So what exactly does this mean for all hunters from now until July 1, 2019, when a total ban on all lead projectiles for all guns goes into law?

Not to downplay the tragic Erskine Fire that killed two people, burned thousands of acres of forest land, wiped out hundreds of homes and completely devastated several towns, this writer believes, even after rebuilding and reseeding, the fire’s fallout will continue for many, many years.

T he Kern River above Isabella Lake, once nearing or even exceeding 2,000 cubic feet per second, has finally slowed enough to allow anglers access to once blown out spots harboring lots of fighting rainbow trout.

Kern River trout fishermen are having a tough time getting close to any fishable water above Isabella Lake. With flows close to or exceeding 2000 cubic feet per second, drifting baits in the current has become an almost impossible feat. It’s not that the fast flowing water makes fishing impo…

While growing up in Buttonwillow, catching a rainbow trout posed a bit of a problem for my best friend Larry Johnson and me. The mighty Kern River flowed through the gorge over an hour away from home by car, so without any means of transportation, other than a bicycle, we were destined to co…

Make no bones about it, I’m a fan of Morro Bay deep sea fishing at Virg’s Landing (805-772-1222) and has been since my friend Bill Lewis and I first went off shore when we were only thirteen years old. Bill’s dad, Nelson, paid $6 each for us to board the old Pathfinder (or was it the Mallard…

If you treasure your Second Amendment rights, then the 22nd annual Friends of the NRA banquet and fundraiser — the biggest and best fundraising event to be held in Bakersfield this year — is for you.

The Central Coast continues to provide excellent success for anglers heading out on sportfishers from Virg’s Sportfishing (805) 772-1222 or Morro Bay Landing (805) 771-5500. Weather permitting, the bite has been spot on as limits of rockfish and lingcod continue to hit the decks in near reco…

Alone at the bar, sipping my drink and not wanting to be bothered, I already knew they were there – again. They were always there it seemed, the young upstarts and the old wannabes alike, trying to make a name for themselves. I turned, caught the usual wild, wanton look in their eyes and kne…

Some of the world’s best shot-gunners will gather today through Sunday at the Kern County Gun Club for the annual Ken Barnes Open skeet shoot. Honoring Barnes, Bakersfield’s own former world champion, the shoot will test the mettle of world-class shooters in one of the largest skeet shooting…

Finally! With Lake Isabella water temperatures rising into the high fifties after a long series of cold fronts and resulting icy runoff, the Kern River Valley’s famous crappie have began their annual spawning run into the shallows.

When my family moved to Buttonwillow in the early 1960a, crayfish were abundant in the dirt canals around town, and one learned to quickly and safely handle them. Carefully avoiding the pinchers, we’d squeeze the meat out of the tail and use the bait to catch catfish, carp and bass, but a lo…

Last Friday’s soldout Tulare Basin Wetlands Association dinner proved to many people the importance of waterfowl habitat construction and conservation when sportsmen filled the Bakersfield Elks Lodge to capacity.

Bakersfield’s Rob Collier, who has only shooting trap since October, surprised everyone at the Kingsburg Gun Club’s “Winter Chain Trap Shoot” by firing a solid 95/100 overall score in breezy conditions to win the prestigious event by two birds.

“Practice makes perfect”, or so they say, and after years of experimentation, I’ve found a great way to prepare wild ducks on the barbecue. The outstanding shooting most hunters enjoyed the last few days of the season means there are more than a few birds loafing in their freezers that need …

Licensed junior hunters 18 and under and supervised by an adult can take advantage of some banner waterfowl shooting on Feb. 6 and 7, on the annual California Junior Waterfowl Hunt. 

During the early 1970s, the fall and winter months allotted for the taking of waterfowl were very special to me. Although I love to fish, to this day, shooting ducks and geese remains my top-of-the-line favorite outdoor pursuit. Of course, things have changed drastically since then, with nec…

Trout fishermen are having a devil of a time finding decent action on planted rainbows in our area. While Buena Vista’s trout program is in full steam, the numbers of fish are down and the overall size has been unacceptable, with only an occasional lunker. Traveling to different lakes might …

For nearly a month now, fishermen have been understandingly angered when they were ordered to stop fishing and leave certain areas of the California Aqueduct. Most notably, some of the more popular water-control gates, fish-holding sites where anglers gather, have been temporarily placed off…

My favorite holiday gift for the season can make your home, garage or patio more comfortable while having a lot of outright fun. We carry ours with us wherever we go and it pays huge dividends, especially when we’re camping out of doors trying to relax in peace and comfort.

Cold and wet weather to our north has pushed thousands of doves into the Southern San Joaquin Valley just in time for this Saturday’s second half opener. Continuing for 45 days, the popular winter event should provide hunters with outstanding shooting when the bell goes off one-half-hour bef…

Assemblywoman Shannon Grove will hold a town hall meeting Saturday at the local Riverlakes Ranch Community Center, 3825 Riverlakes Drive, at 3 p.m. The event, the first of a kind in our area and geared towards Kern County sportsmen, will feature several California Department of Fish and Wild…

The Kern River Fly Fishers Club will host world renowned professional fly fisherman and author George Daniels on Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. for fly tying and a 7 p.m. for the regular club meeting at the Veterans Hall at 400 Norris Road. 

Back when I was growing up in Buttonwillow, finding game to shoot during hunting season was rarely a problem. Almost everyone in town knew each other, and as long as we kept the local farmers’ properties the same way we found them (or better), no one ever challenged us on any of our frequent…

Try­ing to draw a bead on a speed­ing, dodg­ing, dip­ping and div­ing mourn­ing dove can be one of the most dif­fi­cult of tar­gets for a shot­gun-tot­ing hunter.

While the continuing drought has most fishermen dreaming of full reservoirs and bygone days, the catfish at Isabella Lake haven’t heard the news. The lake’s 6 percent capacity has simply served to concentrate the millions of whiskerfish swimming about the Kern River Valley waters, and angler…

The California State Senate, in a “business as usual” vote last week, nixed a key provision in SB345 that would have replaced our state’s calendar-based fishing license system with one based on a full 12-month schedule.