column By: John C. Gosselin | August, 19
Well, my friends, here we are! Pretty soon our favorite bird- hunting seasons will be here. Whatever your upland bird of choice is, I hope you have an eventful and safe hunting season.
From this end, we’ve got a jam-packed issue for you, one that we hope will help get you excited for the seasons that are just around the corner.
Here’s a glimpse of just a few of the treats we have for you in this issue.
You know, unless we have the wherewithal to own our own chunk of bird- hunting land, we all have to depend on the availability of and access to public lands. In fact, it can easily be argued that the state of public lands in the U.S. is as important to bird hunters as the state of the population of their favorite birds. With that in mind, we are both fortunate and pleased to announce that starting with this issue, our “For the Birds” Department will include contributions from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA).
A conservation group that focuses on keeping, as they say, “public lands in public hands,” BHA is probably most associated with the American West, where it was conceived and has established a firm base. But public lands also exist east of the Mississippi, and BHA is expanding its presence on that side of the continent, with chapters in most states in the East, South and Midwest. We’ve asked BHA to keep us abreast of its activities that would be of most interest to you, our readers. If this goes over well, perhaps we’ll have to change the name of the department to “For the Birds … and Bird Hunters”!
Also, since it’s the autumn issue of UA, that means it’s time for our annual feature, “The Scout.” We’ve sent our team of intrepid reporters on a mission to find out the latest prognostications for the upland bird hunting seasons in the lower 48 states.
Also in this issue, as we get to our second-to-last feature celebrating 100 years of South Dakota pheasant hunting, writer Jodi Stemler takes a look at how conservation measures in the state have affected bird populations. Before you go there, though, be sure to check out the most recent action regarding conservation programs in South Dakota. You’ll find that in the “Flushes” Department.
Finally, please join me in congratulating two columnists who earned recognition this year for work that appeared in the pages of The Upland Almanac. Alan Liere won three awards from the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association. His “Losing My Stuff” (Fall 2018) and “Blame It on Gus” (Spring 2018) took first and second, respectively, in the “Hunting” category. He also took third in the “Managing Our World” category with “Fear and Loathing in Southern Oregon” (Winter 2018). Also, among the four awards Editor Tom Carney took home from the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association’s summer conference was first place in the “James A.O. Crowe” contest for best column writing with his back-page offering, “Tailfeathers.” Way to go, guys! We are happy and lucky to have you grace our pages with your outstanding work!