Bill Marchel

Bill Marchel, of Fort Ripley, Minnesota, is a full-time wildlife and outdoors writer and photographer. He specializes in game birds, mammals and outdoor sports, such as hunting and fishing. For more information, visit his website at

Posts about Equipment

Ruffed Grouse

Posted by: Bill Marchel Updated: September 28, 2009 - 6:13 PM
For ruffed grouse hunters, the next few weeks will be prime hunting time.  The broods are dispersing, and adult males can be heard drumming in defense of their home ranges.  Recent cool and windy weather will hasten leaf fall allowing hunters a more open understory.  Concentrate your hunting efforts near aspen forests that have been clear-cut during the past decade.  Grouse will concentrate around favorite food sources such as grey dogwood.

Photo of the week

Posted by: Bill Marchel Updated: June 11, 2009 - 1:54 PM
If you are like most anglers you carry a camera while on the water.  Don't bury it deep in a duffel or in the bottom of your tackle box.  You might miss a chance at a great photo opportuninty.  While fishing I carry my camera in waterproof camera case that opens quickly by simply flicking two large latches.  I have my camera turned on, and all the automatic settings activated so in an instant I can "point and shoot."  Then if time allows I will adjust the various camera setting manually if needed for unusual lighting or other specific situations.  Be ready for that rare photo chance next time you are afloat.

Photo of the week

Posted by: Bill Marchel Updated: May 22, 2009 - 8:46 AM

A fast shutter speed is needed to capture sharp images of birds in flight, especially speedy birds like wood ducks.  This image of a drake wood duck was shot at 1/1000 second using a Nikon D300 camera and 600 mm Nikkor lens.  Just keeping a fast moving bird in the frame is difficult.  It takes a lot of practice.  I employed a solid tripod and Wimberley Version II tripod head, a great aid for tracking photo subjects in action.  When photographing birds in flight be prepared to shoot a lot images to get just a few "keepers."