NOWA Constitution & By-Laws Changes

 The proposed changes laid out in the accompanying copy of the NOWA Constitution and Bylaws are the final version that the NOWA Board of Directors has recommended for your approval.

The great majority of the proposals are for housekeeping purposes – to correct grammatical or style errors, for example, or to describe a passage’s intent with more clarity.

 Two of the proposals, however, are a bit more substantive, and the board wishes to call them to your attention. One would reduce the number of board members to six from nine, and the other would eliminate the position of second vice president, a position that no one currently holds.

The board decided to sponsor both proposals after lengthy discussion that focused on the current size of NOWA’s membership and on the difficulty of recruiting members to participate in NOWA’s governance. The board believes that a modest reduction in the required numbers of officers and board will make the government leaner and more agile, and better able to respond readily to the organization’s needs.

A two-thirds “yes” vote is required to adopt all changes.

Please renew your membership by February 1st so you can vote on this important matter. We’ll get the electronic ballots distributed very soon.

2021 Happy New Years from NOWA

Fellow NOWA Members Dave K and Dave V on assignment in Guyana in 2017

Hi Everyone,

Well, we made it! If you’re like me you breathed a sigh of relief as 2020 slid into the rearview mirror. While “everything” is not over yet, we are closer to the finish line and a return to more normal lives.

Not long ago NOWA President Ron Kerr decided to step down. Ron did a lot for NOWA over the years and will always be part of the organization. I’d like to extend a big THANK YOU to Ron for all his efforts over the years!

I’ve agreed to be on the next election ballot as President and will stay on as long as I’m needed. If you’d like to serve as President, by all means throw your name into the hat! Our By-Laws require an election and it’s way more fun with more than one candidate. Like nearly every non-profit organization these days we have more positions than we have volunteers to fill them. Given this I’ll be reaching out in the near future to see if some of you could help us out.

Now for the most important news. The NOWA EIC contest is underway. The deadline for submissions is February 1st. We’ve got plenty of prize money so don’t miss your chance! Email or call me or Matt Liere if you have any questions.

The NOWA directory is now online, here’s the link:

We have set up a doodle poll for some professional development seminars that are in the works. Please take a moment to make your wishes known by clicking the links below.

Topics for Seminars

Best Time for Seminars

All the best in 2021,

Dave Kilhefner

2020 NOWA Excellence in Craft Contest

It’s time to submit your entries for the 2020 NOWA Excellence in Craft Contest!

Here is the contest entry form and rules: 2020 NOWA EIC Contest. The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2021. Also, here are entry forms only if you need extras: 2020 NOWA EIC Contest Entry Form

It’s understood the contest submission guidelines can be a little confusing; this is for the blind judging process. Last year NOWA offered to prepare your contest entry for a fee of $3 for members and $5 for non-members; this was a big hit so we are doing it again this year. This preparation service is for categories 1-6 only & all proceeds will go to NOWA. If you’re interested in this service please mail your entry to NOWA, PO Box 888, Tualatin, OR 97062 or email to

QUESTIONS? Call Matt Liere at 509-202-7790 or email: and/or call Dave Kilhefner at 503-692-1520 or email:

Good luck everyone!

Craft Improvement: Finding the Sweet Zone

Finding the Sweet Zone

By John McFarland III

My eyes caught the movement of a duck slowing moving through the water lilies, and the dew covered grass that was emerging forth in the marsh.  Its head was jerking to and fro as it foraged its way in my direction.  I could tell it was a wood duck drake.  Slowly I raised up my Canon EOS Rebel T3i, with a 100-400mm image stabilizer lens, and pushed the lens through the opening in my photo blind.   The excitement of the moment was intensifying, as I realized I was about to outwit this particular duck into giving up some photos for my ever growing waterfowl portfolio.

I photographed this particular woody this past spring in my secret sweet zone on Upper Klamath Lake, in Klamath County, Oregon.  It was a long time in the making, but in the last five years my success in wood duck photography has accelerated to the point that I refer to my realized achievement as being nuclear.  I’m not complaining though, as I consider the wood duck to be one of the most beautiful birds in North America.

Prior to my explosion in wood duck photography, I would set up my photo blind near a piece of driftwood or protruding rock in the water.  This was done with the hopes of catching a duck climbing out to rest or preen itself, rather than just photographing a duck swimming by.  It was a good idea, and got me some results, but it was still very much more of a miss rather than a hit.

Finally, I stumbled upon the key needed to improve my chances of getting the type of photos that I wanted.  The secret was in discovering the sweet zone where wood ducks and waterfowl of different types would congregate in larger numbers to rest and preen themselves.  My discovered sweet zone area consists of three driftwood logs spaced about 5-6 yards apart, with the shoreline protruding outward just enough to where I can set up my blind, and photograph across any of the three logs where a duck may decide to sun themselves.  My success skyrocketed!

In addition, I came very close to getting a pine martin photo from the sweet zone this past spring.  Unfortunately, my excited movement alerted it to possible danger, and it retreated back to where it came from before I was able to push the shutter.

Now that I’ve discovered this sweet zone though, it’s time to make an all-out effort in getting landing and takeoff photos.  Until then, I will still work to capture the best driftwood poser photos I can of woodies and other cooperative waterfowl.  Whether with a shotgun, or a camera, I wish you all good shooting on your waterfowl adventures.


More Alaska Articles Needed

Nushagak River Article:

One of our Editors is looking for a story on effective techniques for Nushagak King salmon. The article should be about 2500 words long, with a dozen great photos.

This will be for the December 2020 issue and the deadline for the article is October 1st. Payment depends upon experience.

2021 Fish Alaska and 2021 Hunt Alaska Magazines:

Please send queries of stories you’d like me to consider for 2021 Fish Alaska  & Hunt Alaska issues. Please submit a proposed article title and paragraph  describing what the article will be about. I’ll be developing the editorial calendar over the few weeks and will let you know what we’ll take.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Standard length for a feature article in Fish Alaska magazine is 2500 words, though we do often publish smaller or larger features.
  • Upon submission, we’ll want at least a dozen great photos from which to choose.  More is always better than too few.
  • First run only; we don’t like to reprint anything that has been published elsewhere.

Submit your queries to me no later than Friday, August 15th.  

If you are a NOWA Member, Contact Dave Kilhefner  ASAP (  for details.

Alaska Article Needed


One of our Editors is looking for a story on fishing for species other than salmon (rainbows, dollies, grayling, pike) on the upper Nushagak and/or its tributaries.  The article should be about 2500 words long, with a dozen great photos.

Deadline to submit the article is not later than October 1st. Payment depends upon experience.

If you are a NOWA Member, Contact Dave Kilhefner (  for details.

Building Your Online Brand

If you’re on the NOWA mailing list you know that each month we ask what you’ve been up to for our member news.

This month Randy Bonner replied that he was holding a giveaway for Mack’s Lure products on Instagram. As the outdoor writing industry has been going thru many changes over the past decade, I was intrigued  what the benefits of this activity would be and emailed Randy, asking him to give me a call thinking that would be easier than emailing back and forth.

Randy replied “I’ll have to call you later, but I can write you from the turkey blind 🙂” and then sent me this:

In my opinion, especially with the way things are going with the print industry and the economy, we’re all in this together, and that goes for the advertisers, publishers, and writers, putting together content for readers that keeps them engaged. For now, a lot of the reaction I’ve gotten from this is coming from Washington, where people can’t fish, but it’s definitely on their minds. A giveaway is more than just stuff, it’s something that gets people excited about getting back on the water (or in the woods). It’s a thank you to Mack’s for sponsoring NOWA. It’s also a way for me, as an outdoor writer, to continue growing my (online) brand, when the inevitable transition of focus is going towards web traffic as readers lose interest in print subscriptions. I love contributing to both, and they both have their place. But building a web of online networking through publications, advertisers, writers, and readers is what seems to keep people engaged. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like free stuff???

I emailed Randy a well deserved Thank You and soon got this reply “Had to cut it short because a pair of gobblers was closing in fast. Thanks for being my good luck charm!”

A big Thank You to Randy for the Instagram Tip and to Mack’s Lure!