If you suffer from Bug-a-phobia disorders then you might want to skip over this article. 

My wife suffers from it to the extreme level and wouldn’t even get out of the truck while I was taking pictures for this article. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and have only been home 3-days in the last 32 days. So it was nice to be home this last week.

I had an article written for this week but Saturday Katy & I were driving down towards Jordan Valley, Oregon and saw the annual Mormon Cricket migration and I bumped this article ahead of the previously designated one.

I hate to call it a banner year but I guess from a cricket perspective that’s what you’d have to call it. 

Some years I don’t see mass amounts of them and other years I do but I guess according to weather conditions it fluctuates. Years ago on Memorial weekend we were going up to the mountains to camp. 

Right before we got to Horseshoe Bend there were a million trillion crickets crossing the road. That was the first big swarm of them I’d ever seen. 

There were so many crossing the road that they had up a flashing “SLICK ROAD AHEAD” warning set-up. 

The road had a slick mahogany colored covering due to all of the smushed crickets. It was like driving on an oil slick. 

When you drive over them it sounded like popcorn was popping.

Years later I was flyfishing the stonefly hatch behind Anderson Ranch dam and there’d been so many crickets migrating that the swirl pools and back eddies in the river were 1-inch deep in dead crickets. There were so many dead ones that there was a stink in the air.

This year is not a total banner year but still, there are a lot of them out right now so if you’ve never seen them, you ought to take a drive down towards Jordan Valley. 

I didn’t notice the exact mile marker but it’s about halfway down to Jordan Valley where the concrete barriers are on the left side of the road. They are swarming over the barriers thick as a herd of ants.

I always have to stop and take pics and a few videos and then observe them whenever I see them. Yesterday I noticed a few dragging dead ones that had been run over.

I don’t know why they didn’t just eat them right there? Maybe they were dragging them home to feed the family for a July 4th reunion? 

I also observed a live one and there was a cricket on each end of him trying to eat him. Maybe that’s why they keep moving? If they stop someone will eat them!



MORMON CRICKET FACTS

• They are not actually a cricket but are a katydid or a grasshopper.

• They can’t fly but do walk and can climb things.

• They can cover about 1-mile/day.

• From what I can tell they live in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.

• I see them moving in the spring on into summer.

• Their numbers are cyclical. There may be a lot this year and then next year you don’t see many.

• It is said that they can get up to 3-inches long.

And if you have relatives visiting from out of state visiting you might want to take them out to see this weird phenomenon. 

Probably the first thought to cross your mind will be the old Biblical plagues like on the show the 10 Commandments! 

If you take kids, don’t let any of them fall or they’ll eat their eyeballs out.  

Ok, maybe I made up this last sentence just to add a little excitement to the article.

Tom Claycomb is a hunting enthusiast and writes a bi-monthly column.