Outdoors: Another great barbecue showdown produces new winner

Shane Ullrich

This year’s Grills Gone Wild Barbecue at the Jennings residence was another hit.

This is not just a barbecue. It’s an annual cook-off between four guys, and the criteria are something else, with categories such as best presentation, sauce and taste.

To start with, let’s just say it’s quite the competition, and with most men, barbecue is a man thing. So there’s some pride on the line.

Defending team champs Pork Chop Brian Gardner and Jarhead Jason Jennings had their crown taken away this year by newcomers to the ring; but obviously, the newcomers weren’t new to the sport of grilling.

Jason Duncan’s team went the whole way, smoking its meat and then barbecuing it. Congratulations on the victory.

“We’re all winners who tasted his barbecue,” Matt Melcher said.

You probably noticed folks running around in camo this last weekend. That’s all those bow hunters getting in some last-minute scouting before this Saturday’s opener.

With the rain this last weekend, a much quieter stalk will be possible, so good luck to you guys and gals that sling the arrows. As for us rifle hunters, we get to wait while hearing all the hunting stories about the big ones.

Fishing hasn’t come to a close just yet. Foster is still producing some nice trout, and Green Peter is best at a depth of about 60 to 75 feet, especially around the island.

Kokanee fishing at Green Peter Reservoir remains mildly successful with fish running in the 14-15 inch range. The fish have moved into deeper water at 45-60 feet. Rainbow can be caught by fishing at shallower depths. The reservoir level is low enough that the only usable boat ramp is at Thistle Creek.

Ocean fishing was hot last week, according to reports, as anglers pulled into the docks with halibut, tuna and salmon from a single trip. Tuna fishing off the Oregon coast continued to be good last week, with anglers averaging five albacore each. Most catches are being made about 20 miles offshore

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The month of August means pronghorn time for the Oregon hunter fortunate enough to hold tags for the fastest land mammal in North America. Wildlife biologists set just under 4,000 pronghorn antelope tags for the 2007 season, a 2 percent increase from last year. Openings are staggered across the months of August and September, with most controlled seasons opening Aug. 18.

Pronghorn antelope live primarily in grasslands but can also be found in brushlands and deserts. Populations are doing very well in the southeast corner of the state (Lake and Harney County) with declining habitat and predation taking a greater toll in other regions. The pronghorn hunting season coincides with fire season, so hunters need to carefully check fire closures before heading out.

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If you plan to do some bow hunting for deer or elk, the deadline to purchase tags is Thursday, Aug. 24.

Oregon is one of the only western states with a general bow season for elk. Deer tags will cost Oregon residents $19.50 and elk tags are $34.50, available at license agents and many Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offices.

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Bear and cougar seasons are open now. The highest densities of bears in the South Willamette Watershed can be found in the Siuslaw and Indigo units. Armenian (Himalayan) Blackberries are beginning to ripen at lower elevations and bears will now be foraging in areas with an abundance of ripe berries. At higher elevations hunters should target areas with western raspberry, trailing blackberry, or other ripe berries. During these hot summer days bears will likely be most active in the mornings and evenings. Predator calls can be used effectively this time of year.