Feeling guilty, but ultimately deciding it would be okay, we took our self-isolation on the road and headed for Owyhee Canyon country. We volunteer with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to count sage grouse in the spring, so we were performing an essential activity. And . . . if you really want to avoid Covid-19, hang out here with the cows and coyotes.
No people, no news; instead–flowers, hawks, and calves.
We took a short-cut and stumbled upon this crumbling homestead. When it’s a long way to the nearest tree–but rocks abound–you build your house with stone. This homestead features a large barn and unusual two story house.
And most surprising of all, just down the road from the house and barn, we found a rock dam.
We walked up the swampy creek behind the dam. Calli might not be the world’s most obedient retriever, but her exuberance reminds me to have a little fun each day.
And lastly, here’s a general list of all the animals we saw our collective spring trips to the Owyhee region. My personal favorites (or non-favorites) are in bold.
- Mule deer
- Belding’s ground squirrel aka sage rat
- Cottontail rabbit
- Dog: our own
- People: almost none
- Cows: lots and lots of ’em
- Rattlesnakes (2)
- A snake Larry calls a rubber boa
- Tree frog
- Frogs that live in a reservoir and are very loud at night
- Ticks (too many to be happy about)
- Small mystery fish Larry caught in the West Little Fork of the Owyhee River
- Rainbow trout (which we ate)
- Birds of Prey
- Prairie falcon
- Red-tailed hawk
- Golden eagle
- Northern harrier
- Birds Larry preys upon
- Sage grouse (Larry doesn’t hunt these)
- Ducks Larry preys upon
- Cinnamon teal
- Greater Scaup aka blue-billed duck
- Canada Goose (not a duck, but seems to belong here anyway)
- Blue heron
- Birds I don’t know how to categorize and don’t want to look up even though Larry keeps suggesting I go get the bird book:
- Sandhill crane
- Horned lark
- Violet Green Swallow
- Brewer’s blackbird
- Red winged blackbird
- LBJs (Little Brown Jobs: small nondescript birds Larry doesn’t know the names of)
- Birds of Prey
Ichukar I followed links sportsmobile to here. I’ve tried sending you a pm on there but for some reason it keeps saying user doesn’t exist. (Tga713 forum username)
I’m another van chukar hunter/adventurer living in Boise.
Shoot me an email I’d love to meet up and discuss hunting/adventuring.
Dawn, the snake was actually a Racer (Coluber constrictor), common in the high desert. Rubber Boas are usually in forested areas. But we did see a Rubber Boa once in the Frank Church Wilderness. See its photo in a 2016 post at
May your dream come true and you get to see a Rubber Boa some day!
great pictures Interesting homestead.
Nice pictures—–That sure is neat country — Gary
The homestead is remarkable and the photos are great. Wonder when the whole thing was built. Was it on BLM land? Go Calli. Go Moby. Nice work, Janene.
Quite a list of critters! I can almost smell the sage and hear the hawk’s call. Thanks for taking us along. Nancy
Four elk in the pasture this morning. Love your updates.
Clearly that dog needs some more exercise. Thanks for a nice post. I hope you saw lots of sage grouse.
Love Calli’s independent streak! Hope we don’t have to wait too long for another adventure.
Fun post! Can’t wait till we all can go out again! Soon we hope!
Do you have a picture of the rubber boa? I live in hope of seeing one someday.
Great to see someone enjoying the open land. Amazing what all you saw in a place so void looking. Stay safe and healthy.
I love lists like this. Thanks for the vicarious outdoors!