MyOutdoorBuddy Hunting News Regional Directory
New Feature

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


Website of the Week


The Mudhen King

id-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. People in the movie business can be a little strange. After a heated argument during which I notice that my fly is open, they offend my delicate, artistic sensibilities, and we part company. I guess I don’t want to be rich and famous that badly.

Anyway, as I continue to write movie scripts, I happen to notice an ad in the local newspaper that talks about a movie being filmed in my hometown, and they’re looking for local people to fill some positions. I figure this might be a good way to learn the movie business from the inside out, so I apply for a job.

The guy doing the hiring tells me they don’t need any more people. I say that’s fine, but I’d like to fill out an application anyway. He tries to give me the “brush off”, but I don’t leave, and when he realizes I mean business, he hands me a piece of paper. I fill it out and give it back to him, and as he’s saying don't call us, we'll call you, and

he's about to toss my stuff in the waste basket, something on the resume catches his eye.

He gives me a look and says, “Wait a minute.”

He leaves the room and returns shortly with another guy. The other guy says, “Your application indicates that you have fish and game experience. Is that true?”

“It’s the only thing on that application that istrue,” I say. I smile as I say it.

“Do you know anything about birds?” he asks.

“Birds,” I say, “I practically invented birds.” I'm still smiling.

They look at each other, and they walk off and huddle in a corner, whispering back and forth. They come back, and the second guy says, “Do you think you can round up two thousand chickens for two days for free?”

Naturally, I’m thinking, how in the world does this relate to “fish and game” experience? (I told you these people can be strange). “…Do you want them dead or alive?” I ask with the best poker face I can muster.

“Alive,” the guy says.

“I can do that.” Of course, I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to do it. And I’m coming to the conclusion that these people are more nuts than I thought.

The guy smiles. The two of them look at each other like they've just shared a private joke. “If you can do that, we’ll hire you, and you can have a job.”

The next thing I know, I’m driving around all over the countryside, looking for somebody to loan me 2,000 chickens for two days for free. I remember that some people I know have a chicken farm. It turns out they have a contract with Foster Farms, and the chickens belong to Foster Farms, and the people can’t loan out Foster Farms chickens.

I should stop at this point and answer the question that’s probably running around inside your head: what about the mudhens? Bear with me. I’ll get to the mudhens. This chicken story is just too good to pass up.

Anyway, I somehow manage to locate a family that raises free-range chickens for sale at a Farmer’s Market. I somehow convince them to let me borrow 2,000 of their chickens for two days, but there’s a catch. The movie company has to agree to pay them ten dollars for every chicken that dies during the two days. Worst case scenario: the chicken farmers collect a neat 20 grand if I wipe out all their chickens. I’m mildly shocked when the movie company agrees to this. I will find out later that movie companies are notorious for agreeing to things that they don’t necessarily plan on actually honoring.

I rent two, large U-Haul vans and move 2,000 chickens six miles across town, where I tend to them around the clock for two days in an old barn, watering and feeding them by hand day and night. The chickens are required as background material for a scene involving an argument between two, young lovers. I lose a total of six chickens, and the movie company owes the family $60 dollars, which I doubt they ever paid. (The scene ends up lasting about 17 seconds in the finished movie).

Word gets around, and I’m something of a hero. Obviously, they didn’t think anybody could get 2,000 chickens for two days for free.

Attractive, young women working on the production are giving me alluring smiles.

I feel like Cool Hand Luke after he ate the 50 hard-boiled eggs.

Exhausted, but glorified.

The next thing I know, they’re asking me if I can catch a couple dozen mudhens.

I’m cocky now. “Don’t insult me. Why would you even bother to ask?” I say.

They’re impressed. They give me a raise, a pickup to drive, a gas card, and an expense account.

I make a quick phone call to the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area and ask the boys how they catch a few waterfowl. A funnel trap, they say. A wire enclosure shaped like a funnel. You bait it with corn. The birds follow the corn inside it, but most of them can’t figure how to get back out through the narrow opening.

After getting a special permit from the fish and game department, me and another guy set up the trap in one of the town’s wastewater ponds. We drive out the next morning and the trap is a carnival of quacking, flapping ducks and mudhens.

Judging by the look in their eyes, the two guys that hired me are now thinking I might be able to walk on water. I’ve also developed a following of groupies. I'm pretty sure

that song on the radio has been written for me. It’s Dire Straits playing “Money For Nothing, And Your Chicks For Free”.

Alas, all glory is fleeting. When the film production ends, the two guys who hired me disappear like thieves in the night, and it dawns on me that in all the excitement, I neglected to pitch my screenplays.

I come back to the real world and eventually find work slopping offal in a slaughterhouse.

Post Script: The scene involving the mudhens was never used, and Everett Wilson, the guy who helped me catch them, turned out to be a lifelong friend. He’s a very talented guy with an M.A. and an M.F.A. in art, and he’s illustrating my book about duck hunting. I think it might be correct, what they say: truth is stranger than fiction.

Don E. Webster is, at heart, a writer. In his heart of hearts, he’s an outdoor writer. Aside from working several years for the California Department of Fish and Game as a young man, he worked primarily in automotive sales and management prior to retiring. He would have written much more, except that he’s spent entirely too much time hunting and fishing. Excerpts from Don’s forthcoming book on waterfowling, “Bury Me In My Waders – An Old Duck Hunter Recalls His Fowl Past” will soon be previewed on MyOutdoorBuddy.Com.

More Hunting News

Conservation Key to Future of Hunting

11/14/16 -- At its core, conservation seeks sustainability of wildlife and wild places. Ethical hunters want wild animals to flourish in their natural habitat as much as possible, and will act on their behalf in order to protect and conserve... Full Story

​I Was an Indoor (Outdoor) Slave

Don Webster, author badge,
04/07/16 -- I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all those kind folks who sent me "get well" cards and flowers during my recent, self-imposed stay at the Broken Antlers Rehabilitation Clinic. I'm especially indebted... Full Story

Nash Buckingham

Don Webster, author badge,
Theophilus Nash Buckingham (1880-1971) was an American author and conservationist from Tennessee. He is known for being an avid shotgunner and wingshot, and a best-loved outdoor writer of his time... 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

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

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

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

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

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


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.