Outdoor Tips for Northern California and Southern Oregon outdoorsmen
New Feature

Click on Columnists  to access travelogues, field reports, advice, humorous tales and answers to your Q’s! 


Website of the Week


How to Observe Proper Boat Ramp Etiquette

By Chuck Giles
It’s that time of year again to discuss boat ramp etiquette; yes, there is an unwritten set of guidelines for launching and loading your boat. What follows are just suggestions to keep you from incurring the wrath of irate recreational boaters. Keep in mind to follow all boating laws at the same time.

First and foremost, practice backing up with your boat trailer, so when you finally arrive at the lake, have loaded all your stuff in the proper loading area and it is your turn to enter the fray on the ramp, you can at least appear to know what you are doing. Nothing is worse than watching someone who is weaving backwards all over the designated lanes on approach to the water. Save yourself some embarrassment and practice. Trust me; you won’t get much sympathy from those waiting in line to launch their own vessels while you are touring the entire ramp attempting to find the water.

A good rule of thumb for keeping your trailer in a straight line is to, while your are backing, hold your vehicle steering wheel on the very bottom and turn in the direction you wish your trailer to go.

The more practice you allow yourself, the better you become and soon not even have to turn your head because you can use your mirrors for their intended purpose; to see behind your vehicle.

Without appearing prejudiced, if you want to see pure back-up artistry, go watch as a bass tournament is getting underway. Most of these guys can back their boats into an eight foot tunnel if need be. I have seen over 100 boats being launched, in the dark, at a big tournament, using five lanes and not a vehicle crossed over the designated lanes. To them, time is of the essence, not to mention courtesy.

When you arrive at the lake of your choice pulling your boat, head directly to the area designated for prepping your vessel to go into the water. This is where you load your ice chests, this is where you unhook all the necessary tie-downs, this is where you assure your plug is indeed inserted correctly and most importantly, this is where all preparations are made prior to getting on the ramp. Once you enter the “ramp zone”, your only goal should be to get your boat off or on the trailer and then head to the parking lot. Experienced boaters do not like “ramp rats.”

Now let’s discuss launching or loading your boat in the dark, which occurs more frequently than you think. Rule number one, actually it encompasses just about all nighttime rules; you don’t need headlights to back up a trailer. You are going backwards! Your parking lights will more than suffice. Your parking lights will not blind the other patrons attempting to back up their vehicle. Nothing is worse than trying to back up with some beginner’s head lights glaring into your eyes and mirrors from the bottom of the ramp.

Now that you have gotten your boat off the trailer and into the water, get out of the way. Hopefully you have made provisions for one in your group to navigate to a dock area away from the ramp.

If you do happen to be alone, make every effort to expedite your boat’s exit from the busy area and then move your tow vehicle to the parking area. No one should blame a lone boater as long as every effort is being made to clear the ramp.

This is also the time to remind those who arrive early or leave late, when the light of day is insufficient, use your navigation lights on your vessel so others know your whereabouts and direction of travel in the water. This is not just courteous, it is the law.

Now let’s talk about going home time. When you head back into the marina or docking area, drop off someone to go get your tow vehicle and then get away from the pier so others may use it. Solitary boaters have no other choice than to dock their vessel safely and then proceed to get their vehicle.

When your turn finally arrives to get your boat on the trailer, do so quickly and safely. As soon as your boat is securely on the trailer, head up the ramp to the designated area for final road preparation. Please have enough sense not to attempt this on the ramp itself. Remember, it is illegal and dangerous to have a passenger in the boat when it is being towed. This applies all the time, even if you are just heading to the parking lot. No passengers in a boat when it is out of the water and under tow.

If some of these suggestions seem like I am being rude and sarcastic, I am. Believe me, if you don’t observe rules of etiquette, my attitude will seem tame by comparison to the comments and gestures you will hear on the ramp.

Seriously, it will make your and the other boaters’ day much more enjoyable by practicing simple courtesy at the “ole ramp.”

[Editor's Note: Please share with our readers what you know that will enhance the experience of fishing or boating in Northern California or Southern Oregon. What have you learned? Your experience could be invaluable to other anglers or boaters. What not to do is just as important as what to do. Please send your strategies, ideas, tips, techniques and personal experiences to editor@MyOutdoorBuddy.com. Please include your name and hometown.]

More Hunting Tips

B&C Cookbook kabobs the competition

Grilling season is here. The Boone and Crockett Club is sharing a kabob recipe from a cookbook that skewered the competition recently in a national book awards. The Club's first-ever cookbook, "Wild Gourmet... Full Story

How to Keep smilin’ after the Shot

A man in Camo stoops over and searches the area for signs of animals and their tracks
By Jason Haley
They returned to camp grinning ear to ear. I had a hunch what that meant and was hoping for the best -- a short trail, happy hunter and me in my tent before midnight. I knew better. As we gathered packs, bags, and extra... Full Story

How to Stay Sharp for When the Shot Counts

Daisy Pellet Rifle, Powerline 1000S
By Jesse Bible
I would like to share a method for honing shooting skills. Here in Northern California, the odds are that you will be taking a close shot at a deer that has more than likely seen you first. Once you...Full Story

How to handle firearms safely

Hunting seasons come and go but gun safety should always be on our minds. With that said, Budweiser and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), two longtime partners in wildlife conservation and responsible outdoor...Full Story

How & when to purchase a firearm for a special occasion

By Gary Heffley
There are many gift givers and gift recipients every year who expect to give or get a gun for Christmas (or other special occasion) who, because they are unfamiliar with gun purchasing laws in the state of California, become discouraged...Full Story


Your outdoor adventures have only just begun
Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at MyOutdoorBuddy.com.

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports


So many places to visit and so little time, but if you scan
these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
Buddy Photos

You are there! Towering mountains, vast valleys, unique shorelines. Land, water and air bursting with life. Opportunity presents itself. Llghting is right. Click! An image is captured for the ages.

Photo Galleries, MyOutdoorBuddy.com

Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

Come back to MyOutdoorBuddy.com for more Northern California and Southern Oregon fishing, hunting and outdoor news, reports, information, opinions and photos.


A friend to all who love the outdoors since 2006

Website Design Photo Credits: MyOutdoorBuddy.com thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of Tule-Lake.com, 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.

Website Design by Anders Tomlinson

©Copyright 2005-2015 by Frank Galusha, Editor and Publisher. Articles and photos are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the publisher and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of same who reserves all rights. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any MyOutdoorBuddy content, graphics and photos without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited.