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Park Ranger gets Medal of Valor from Governor

California State Park Ranger Jeffrey Scott Sipes of Santa Cruz was recently awarded the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor for his exemplary service and acts of heroism.

On Sunday June 28, 2009, Jeffrey Scott Sipes was instrumental in saving the life of a 17-year-old teenage boy when he was being electrocuted near Rio Del Mar Beach in Santa Cruz County. (Photo Courtesy of California State Parks Photographer, Brian Baer)

An Aptos high school student was with a group of friends just before 10 p.m., when a branch about 70 feet up a eucalyptus tree fell onto a high-voltage power line, knocking conductors and other equipment on to the grassy knoll near Rio Del Mar Beach. The young people were spending recreation time at the beach when they heard a loud noise, saw sparks and thought it was fireworks; but one of the teenagers spotted fire and went up the hillside to attempt to put out the flames.

Witnesses saw a flash of light, and then the neighborhood lights went out. The 17-year-old victim was on the ground, screaming in pain, but his friends could not get him away from the wire, which was still charged with 12,000 volts of power.

Someone called 911. When Ranger Sipes, who is a part-time firefighter, arrived on the scene, and helped Aptos firefighter Captain Greg Hansen pull the boy out of the electrically charged area.  Each rescuer grabbed one of the boy’s arms and pulled him to safety.  Ranger Sipes placed himself in grave physical danger when he helped rescue this victim, knowing that policy calls for rescuers to "isolate and deny entry" until the wires can be turned off.

The victim was subsequently listed in critical condition, suffering major burns to his head, upper back, one arm, legs, hands and feet. Jacob would not have survived if they waited for PG&E to shut down the wires. PG&E later reported that 134 customers lost power during this incident - testifying to the enormity of the situation.

For more information see the Department of Personnel Administration’s special website dedicated to the awards at

More Hunting News

Bucks & Bulls contest gaining momentum

Elk antlers, Jason Haley
By Jason Haley
11/19/14 -- It’s taken a while, but the annual Bucks and Bulls contest at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Medford is finally taking shape. I stopped by a few days ago and there are now 11 bull elk, 11 blacktail bucks... Full Story

Through the rear view mirror

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, 2014 Stearns Unit #4, Frank Galusha
By Frank Galusha
11/19/14 -- To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, "The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of draughts -- and books -- and artifacts -- Of bandages -- and flings -- And why the flag is upside down -- And whether men... Full Story

My Best Friend Always Wears a Fur Coat

Don Webster author badge,, The oudoor edge
11/17/14 -- Like many waterfowlers, I’ve been around hunting dogs as long as I can remember. More than likely, when I came home from the hospital as a newborn, there was a hunting dog of some sort riding with me and my mother in the... Full Story

For the turkey hunter in your life

John Higley, Successful Turkey Hunting, J.J. Reich
By Frank Galusha
11/17/14 -- Successful Turkey Hunting by John Higley with contributions from J. J. Reich should be in every experienced or would-be turkey hunter’s reading and re-reading list. This book covers all the basics but within every... Full Story

B&C publishes first cookbook

 Boone & Crockett Cookbook
11/12/14 -- After 127 years and nearly as many published books, the Boone and Crockett Club has released its first cookbook. "Wild Gourmet: Naturally Healthy Game, Fish and Fowl Recipes for Everyday Chefs" is the newest title... Full Story

Win! 16 Oregon guided youth deer hunts

11/08/14 -- Sixteen youth deer hunters will get the chance to go on a guided deer hunt on the 9,500-acre C2 Ranch near Medford this year. To be eligible, youth must have drawn the 630T Rogue Unit Youth Deer controlled hunt tag... Full Story

Connecting with Fall Turkeys

Fall flock of turkeys, John Higley,
By John Higley
11/08/14 -- Judging from the number of wild turkeys I’ve seen recently in my travels around Shasta County I’d say fall hunting will be fair, if not outstanding, this year. It all depends on the number of turkeys in the area where you’re hunting... Full Story

B&C: Maine voters make sensible decision

11/07/14 -- Maine voters rejected Question 1, a ballot initiative to ban sportsmen's use of bait, hounds, and traps. If passed it would have negatively affected Maine hunters and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife... Full Story

Pheasant season opens Saturday

Kona, Chocolate Labrador Retriever, Alturas photo courtesy of Dan Ryan
11/05/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is providing several pheasant hunting opportunities at Northern California Type A wildlife areas for 2014. The general pheasant season opens on Nov. 8...  Full Story

Umpqua NF resets travel mgmt. meetings

By Frank Galusha
11/03/14 -- The Umpqua Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association has put out an alert regarding upcoming travel management plan meetings set previously by Umpqua National Forest officials. According to the alert the... Full Story

Duck hunt gone awry

Unit 4 at the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, photo by Frank galusha
Article and photos by Frank Galusha
11/03/14 -- As I reported yesterday in my article about fishing the Upper Klamath, last week’s weather forecast was as fickle as any I’ve seen. Wednesday was to be a calm day with maybe a sprinkle in Siskiyou County... Full Story

Waterfowl face drought/disease in CV

By Frank Galusha
10/26/14 – My father often spoke of seeing waterfowl blacken the skies in the Central Valley wetlands back in the 1940’s. Construction of Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River was destined to change that as it was part of the... Full Story

Eden Landing ER hunts to be allowed

Waterfowl hunting at sunrise photo courtesy of CA DFW
10/23/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering fall waterfowl hunting opportunities at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER) in Hayward. The reserve includes former salt ponds now managed by... Full Story

Remembering the Jordan Buck

Boone and Crockett Club, James Jordan and his whitetail tale became a legend
10/20/14 -- Ninety-nine deer seasons have passed since James Jordan pulled the trigger on a gargantuan whitetail that would become one of the best-known trophies of all time - and still stands as the biggest... Full Story

Waterfowl hunt regs on Liberty Island

10/14/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding hunters that new land regulations have gone into effect at Liberty Island Ecological Reserve. On Aug. 11, 2014, regulation... Full Story

C Zone Blacktail

By Dusty Clement
10/03/14 -- This hunt started last year when I discovered an out-of-the-way public piece of property which is very difficult to access taking a boat and a fair amount of hiking through the Sacramento River jungle to reach... Full Story

Don’t forget waterfowl hunt regs!

By Frank Galusha
09/19/19 -- As usual, our waterfowl hunting regulations are complex and the dates are hard to remember. Be safe and carry a regulation booklet with you at all times. Or print out the regulations directly from the CA... Full Story

Many ducks expected; need farmers help

 09/19/14 -- California Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited have released a joint statement encouraging rice farmers to think of wintering waterfowl during this historic drought. The breeding duck survey this past spring... Full Story

Fall general hunting seasons open soon

09/17/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) would like to remind hunters that California’s fall general big game hunting seasons are right around the corner. The upcoming California... Full Story

Vintage Waterfowler

old black and white photo of a skiff loaded with ducks and a man with his shotgun, courtesy of Don Webster
By Don E. Webster
09/16/14 --Having been pursuing waterfowl for over 60 years, I was exposed to its history as a mere child by my grandfather, Wilbur S. Pechin. He hunted ducks and geese along the Platte River in Nebraska in the late 19th... Full Story

Water shortage hurts pheasant outlook

09/10/14 -- [Updated 09/11/14] -- Pheasant season is less than two months away and this morning Pheasants Forever confirmed what most California hunters have suspected. The severe drought plaguing our state is crippling our pheasant... Full Story

Feral pig hunting to start on the SRNWR

08/19/14 -- Beginning September 1, 2014, the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge (SRNWR) will allow feral pig hunting in authorized areas. This decision will improve consistency of the refuge hunt plan... Full Story

The buck we didn’t get and two we did

Tyler Low with his 3x4 buck shot at 100 yards with a Weatherby Vanguard .300 Winchester Magnum. Photo by Kyler Olson
By Tyler Low
08/10/14 -- “Can you see him? He is just below the sky line to the left of the big live oak.” The respectable three-point stood only 500 yards away, but my hunting partner, Kyler Olson, couldn’t quite get an eye on him... Full Story

Oregon program takes disabled youths afield

Ashley Jensen in wheel chair in front of blind used when she hunts.
By Jason Haley
07/06/14 -- It began decades ago with a prayer and a broken-winged raven, struggling to move across the beach in the Cook Inlet of Alaska. As former pastor, Ken Coreson watched this scene play out: seagulls... Full Story

John M. Browning

By Don E. Webster
02/05/14 -- One has to wonder how differently the history of not only America, but the entire world would have been if John Moses Browning (January 23, 1855 – November 26, 1926) had not been born... Full Story

Where Are All the Pheasants?

Sacramento Valley Pheasant, Steven T. Callan, Where Have All the Pheasants Gone
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
The other day a neighbor stopped by my house after two days of hunting pheasants in the Orland area. He said that he and his golden retriever, Milo, had probably walked ten miles and only flushed three birds. Knowingthat I had grown up... Full Story

Ham on the Hoof

Article and photos by Gary Lewis
12/17/13 -- We were climbing a steep gravel ranch road in Charlie’s Toyota when we saw it, as big as a full-grown bear and on a dead run. Charlie hit the brakes and switched off the engine. There was no time to load the rifle. The shaggy, gray... Full Story

Back to the Start

heritage, history of hunting, hunting as a family, Jason Haley, Mt. Shasta, Mount Shasta
Article and photos by Jason Haley
10/18/13 -- I got tipped-off about a bachelor group of bucks from an archer I trust. That never hurts. And after spending opening day in the area, glimpsing two good bucks and seeing how the terrain lays out, I knew exactly... Full Story

Never say never

Never say never, rifle buk, Francisco Garcia,
By Francisco Garcia
Most of you have heard the saying, patience is a virtue, and I would say persistence is a virtue. If you want to fill your deer tag each season you have to put your time in. If you don’t give in and hunt hard you should be... Full Story

Me and my shadow

Twin melanistic fawns with doe, Me and my shadow, Jean Bilodeaux, Article and photos by Jean Bilodeaux
10/06/12 -- It’s always amazing to see the huge bucks reappear in the fields in Surprise Valley right after deer season. Many times locals breathe a sigh of relief as the big bucks that disappeared a month earlier now reappear... Full Story

Hunting trip gone bad

Deer holding tight in cover during times of heavy hunting pressure as I was about to find out. Francisco Garcia hunting story.
By Francisco Garcia
If you asked me what I’d rather be doing, most of the time I would emphatically say, deer hunting. For me nothing gets the juices flowing and the imagination spinning like the arrival of bow or rifle season for deer. When... Full Story

The Mudhen King

Mid-Eighties. I’m writing screenplays. They invite me down to Hollywood, and things look promising, but they want the horse in my story to be green. By that, I mean they actually want a green horse. Green in color. Don’t laugh... Full Story


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Website Design Photo Credits: thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of, Amber Galusha of, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

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