New Feature

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


Website of the Week


Air Power in the High Desert

uiet, Jim Milton pointed his truck into the field, the engine at idle. We push-clicked the doors closed and placed jacks under the shooting platform with a minimum of commotion. We could see for miles across the desert east of Burns. Gray-brown ground squirrels perched atop huge dirt mounds and their trails ran like the spokes of a wheel into the two-inch high Harney County orchard grass.

White PVC pipes baited with tempting "tasties" and blood thinner offered the rats a slow demise. It did not appear to be working. Belding’s ground squirrels scampered in and out of the pipes. Without high speed lead intervention, the farmer would not have much grass left by summer.

Rex Allison, 12-year-old Ethan Allison and 15-year-old Sam King were along to help. To start close, to keep from spooking varmints farther out, we uncased the air rifles.

Air guns have undergone a quiet evolution. Benjamin, Crosman, Gamo and other brands are racing to bring us better ammo and optics, higher velocities, quieter operation, minimized recoil and fast follow-up.

Gary Lewis's Hunting Oregon, Klamath Falls, rockchucks, jackrabbits, possums, squirrels, Harney County, Jim Milton, Gary Lewis,, Frank Galusha
AirPower_GL 042- Jim Milton, of Diamond A Guides, shoots the Gamo Whisper VH, a.177-caliber break-action air rifle. Photo by Gary Lewis.

The pre-charged pneumatic 25-caliber Benjamin Marauder is sophisticated, accurate and quiet, with velocities greater than 850 fps and 45 ft-lbs of kinetic energy per shot. It offers a dual fuel option for either compressed air or CO2 and a built-in pressure gauge to display the gun’s charge level.

The futuristic Gamo Whisper VH is black with a skeletonized synthetic stock, topped by a 3x9 scope, a laser (not legal for hunting in Oregon) and an LED light. It shoots a premium lead-free pellet at an advertised 1,200 fps and standard lead pellets at 1,000 fps.

We tested the Whisper VH alongside Crosman’s Optimus, a break-barrel 177-caliber. After a short break-in, both guns shot quieter than brand new.

When I handed the rifle to Milton, he found a target. The gun coughed. Downrange, the impact sent a tiny trail of dust into the breeze. He compensated for the wind and scored a hit on his next squeeze.

We marveled at how quiet an 8-gram lead-free alloy projectile could be delivered with precision out to 35 yards or so.

Four main calibers are offered – .177, .20, .22 and .25. Most common are the .177 and .22. If the primary pests and protein sources are small and feathered, the .177 might be the best choice. That little pill delivered at up to 1,600 feet per second, is a proven performer. If an occasional rat, snake or squirrel might be contemplated, the .177 remains a worthy option.

If, on the other hand, the pest in question is furred, a .22 caliber brings the energy to put rockchucks, jack rabbits, possums and other small-game down for good.

A firing range and backstop can be built in a basement or garage. The practice is good training and, outside city limits, an air rifle can be used to dispatch unwanted varmints without alarming the neighbors.

Call it an arms race. The consumer, with more air power options than ever, is the winner.

Gary’s favorite place to stay in southern Oregon is the Running Y on Highway 140, west of Klamath Falls. Visit

Gary Lewis is an outdoor writer, author and TV host from Bend, Oregon.Top of Form He has written, or contributed to, 14 books and hosted multiple DVDs. Lewis is a past President of the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association (NOWA) and a columnist for The Bend Bulletin, a Contributing Editor for Successful Hunter magazine and a humor columnist for Bear Hunting magazine and a regular contributor for many other magazines and newspapers. To order a signed copy of the new Gary Lewis’s Hunting Oregon, send $24.95 (includes S&H) to GLO, PO Box 1364, Bend, OR 97709 or visit


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

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,

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 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: thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson 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.

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.