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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

What’s new at Kittle’s Outdoor in Colusa?

11/25/15 -- Black Friday has been turned into a 5-day event with practically the whole store on sale! For example: 30% off Duck Decoys, 25% off Clothing, 20% off all Duck Calls, 15% off everything else including Fishing Gear... Full Story

Sage Grouse subject of meetings with BLM

11/24/15 -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding meetings regarding mineral withdrawal related to the new sage-grouse plan at the BLM Lakeview District Office, in Lakeview, Oregon, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m... Full Story

OSP targeting poaching of wintering deer

11/22/15 -- The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division will be taking extra steps to protect mule deer on winter ranges in Eastern Oregon, along with a special emphasis in Central Oregon this year. Troopers primarily from... Full Story

Adv. CDFW Hunter Ed clinics set for 2016

Hunting clinic training, photo courtesy of CDFW
11/22/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released its schedule of Advanced Hunter Education classes for 2016.Several new offerings have been added, including Hunter Marksmanship, Hunt Planning... Full Story

RMEF praises Oregon wolf delisting

11/21/15 -- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation lauds the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) for using scientific practices and procedures to remove wolves from state Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection... Full Story

Southwest Oregon waterfowl report

2 men with limit of dabblers, photo by Tyler Lake
By Tyler Lake
11/20/15 – The first month of the 2015-16 waterfowl season is in the bag, and there is no surprise on the narrative. Having such a dry year meant not much water left in the valley going into the fall for birds to use. Leading into this season... Full Story

OSP seeks help to find bull elk poacher

Poached elk, photo courtesy of Oregon State Police
11/20/15 -- On Friday, November 13, 2015, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers from the Roseburg office responded to a report of a 6 point bull elk found dead in the Union Creek area off Cow Creek. Troopers located the... Full Story

Connecting with Fall Turkeys

Mark Higley with fall jake slung over his shoulders, photo by John Higley
Article and photos by John Higley
11/18/15 -- Anyone who reads my stuff on My Outdoor Buddy knows I write about turkeys and turkey hunting quite often. That’s because I’ve been involved in that pastime for over 40 years, ever since the first spring season in... Full Story

CA ban on bobcat trapping begins Nov. 20

11/18/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding bobcat trappers that beginning Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, recreational and commercial bobcat trapping will no longer be allowed in California. At a meeting in... Full Story

Chevy trucks joins RMEF Expo lineup

11/16/15 -- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is excited to announce Chevy Trucks as the Official Truck Partner of the Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Exposition, presented by Cabela’s, Dec. 3-12, 2015, in Las Vegas. The expo will take... Full Story

Big game still on tap in Southern Oregon

Hunting tags in a frying pan, photo by Jason Haley
By Jason Haley
11/16/15 – While most of the big game seasons have wrapped up for our brothers and sisters in California, big game seasons are just starting to heat up here in Southern Oregon. The late archery seasons and the Applegate Unit muzzle... Full Story

Fall Turkey Season opened Nov. 14

Wild Turkey, courtesy of CA DFW
11/14/15 -- Upland game hunters statewide are geared up for the opportunity to bag their Thanksgiving dinner, as California’s 2015 general fall wild turkey hunting season opened statewide today. The season extends through Sunday... Full Story

Waterfowl hunting ops coming up at ELER

Dead ducks and duck decoys ontop kayak, photo courtesy of CADFW
11/10/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering waterfowl hunting opportunities at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER) in Hayward. The reserve includes former salt ponds now managed by... Full Story

Hunting Methods & Rates of Success

Frank Phillips Jr. is on the left and his brother-in-law Brent on right, with Oregon Pronghorn killed, photo by Frank Biggs
By Frank Biggs
11/04/15 -- We all have a purpose to our hunt and our style of hunting, which is not always the same as others. It’s a cliché: 10% of the hunters may get 90% of the game but in my opinion that is really based on the how we hunt... Full Story

MeatEater host to speak at Elk Camp

Steven Rinella, aka “MeatEater” glasses a hillside for antelope. Photo provided by RMEF
11/03/15 -- Outdoorsman, award-winning author, TV show host and RMEF life member Steven Rinella will attend the of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Elk Camp national convention Dec. 3-6 in Las Vegas. “Steven Rinella is... Full Story

ODFW: Pheasant hunting workshops set

Pheasant hunt, photo courtesy of ODFW
10/26/15 -- Sign up now for one of ODFW’s upcoming pheasant hunting workshops -- a Women’s Workshop Nov. 7 in Central Point and Family Workshop Dec. 6 near Corvallis.
These workshops are perfect for beginners or... Full Story

CA Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest

10/03/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is conducting an art contest to select the design for the state’s 2015-2016 upland game bird stamp. This year’s stamp will feature the ring-necked pheasant... Full Story

RMEF offers online gear checklist

09/19/15 -- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation unveiled an interactive, online gear checklist designed to assist hunters be fully prepared as they head afield. “This is the quintessential checklist for the elk hunter,” said... Full Story

Bucks and Bulls Contest underway banner at Annual Bucks and Bulls, Photo by Jason Haley
By Jason Haley
09/03/15 -- The 4th Annual Bucks and Bulls contest is open right now at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Medford. This season-long event brings hunters and trophies together from all over the region and state. There will be awards for... Full Story

Sportsmen a Big Part of Healthy Wildlife

A deer in the wild with Papillomavirus infection
08/24/15 -- You may have heard the story. Sportsmen help wildlife because excise taxes on shooting equipment and license and tag fees predominately fund conservation efforts. Sportsmen and wildlife watchers also spend a lot of time in... Full Story

Waterfowl regs set for 2015-2016 season

Ducks and geese at Gray Lodge. CDFW photo by Lori Deiter.
08/10/15 -- The California Fish and Game Commission adopted the 2015-16 waterfowl hunting regulations on Aug. 5. The season length for brant in the Northern Brant and Balance of State Brant special management... Full Story

Oregon Sleeper State for Pronghorns

A very good Pronghorn in the South Wagontire hunt unit in Oregon
By Frank Biggs
06/30/15 -- With time in the field, knowledge comes! No one comes out knowing everything about hunting but over the years I have absorbed a great deal of knowledge about hunting Pronghorn that roam the high plains and arid lands... Full Story

How much venison do hunters harvest?

Venison Bourguignon (Venison Stew), photo by Daniel Bledsoe,
06/17/15 -- The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) intends to find out. A study launching in 2015 will measure the actual amounts of venison and other wild protein harvested annually in North America. Researchers will assess the nutritional... Full Story

RMEF: 2015 Elk Camp registration opens

06/12/15 -- Full registration is now open and available online for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s 31st Elk Camp national convention set to take place Dec. 3-6, 2015, at The Mirage in Las Vegas. “Elk Camp always generates a buzz of... Full Story

Pups & Partridges on the Calapooia Prairie

Liesl, 11 month old pudelpointer, photo by Gary Lewis
By Gary Lewis
02/18/15 -- They say a great pointing dog only comes along once or twice in a hunter's lifetime. Some dogs don't have the heart or the desire. Others don't seem to have the nose or the brain. We brought home our pudelpointer in... Full Story

RMEF to CBD: Stick to the facts

02/05/15 -- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is calling on the environmentalist group Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to stick to the facts when making presumptions about wildlife populations. CBD recently claimed that Idaho’s wolf... Full Story

DSC convention goers raise $1M in 1 minute

01/19/15 -- Responding to a heartfelt appeal for youth outdoor education, DSC convention goers on Saturday night raised $1 million in about 60 seconds. The fast flurry of fundraising was a highlight of the 2015 DSC convention and expo... Full Story

It’s Not over Till the Lady Sings

mountain lion on rocky edge, photo courtesy of UDWR and Carrie Wilson, CA DFW
By Gary Lewis
01/19/15 -- If you want to avoid being attacked by a mountain lion, conventional wisdom says, you should travel in groups. If you encounter a mountain lion by yourself or with children, stop and make yourself look as big as possible... Full Story

Modoc Big Buck honors shared

Sheriff Mike Poindexter of Alturas bagged this beautiful X2 4X4 - 30 inch Buck. Photo courtesy of Sheriff Poindexter
By Lorissa Soriano
12/09/14 -- John Dederick the Mayor of Alturas and yours truly of Alturas, tied for first place to win the Grand Prize for the “Biggest Overall Buck” in the 2014 Modoc Big Buck Contest.
This popular event was sponsored by the Modoc Outdoor... 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

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

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

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


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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, 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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