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Biologist promotes bats in free CdA program

Oct. 31, 2014 8:28 a.m.

WILDLIFE WATCHING – A wildlife biologists will present a free program, “Bats: Wonders of the Night, at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3, at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave.

Jenny Taylor plans to explain why bats are important to everyone, debunk bat myths and feature bats of North Idaho.

Taylor works with WREN, a Coeur d'Alene-based environmental education and conservation nonprofit organization.

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Asian carp fishermen take sport to new level

Oct. 31, 2014 6:02 a.m.

FISHING — When traditional fishing methods don't cut the hot mustard with high-flying Asian carp, some athletic young men behind a tow boat come up with a creative solution: Skarping.

 Check it out.

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Video: Eastern blue jays have taste for West

Oct. 30, 2014 6 a.m.

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Eastern blue jays have been trickling across the Rockies to the West for years.  Birders are resigned to the invasion, saving them driving miles for an addition to their life list.

Montana outdoor photographer Jaimie Johnson captured the feeding ways of this pair of blue jays on video near at his home feeder near Lincoln, Mont.

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Resorts offer ski passes to fifth graders

Oct. 29, 2014 6:01 a.m.

WINTERSPORTS – Once again, fifth-grade students are being treated like royalty at most Inland Northwest ski resorts, with free skiing and other discounts.

The Fifth Grade Ski or Ride Free Passport, costs $20, entitles students to three free lift tickets at each of the participating mountains, including 49 Degrees North, Mt. Spokane, Silver Mountain, Lookout Pass along with Bluewood, Loup Loup and Mission Ridge.

Some resorts also offer free or discounted ski rentals and lessons.

Parents and siblings accompanying the fifth graders can get discounts.

Applications are available in most fifth-grade classrooms in the region.

See details and download applications here.

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How to de-bone deer meat in 8 minutes

Oct. 28, 2014 6:12 a.m.

HUNTING — Most hunters eventually have to bone-out a big-game animal in the field or while butchering their meat back home.

Here's a video that sets the bar for how it's done: A butcher bones out a deer carcass in less than 8 minutes. Whew!

The man in his video clearly has been around a knife for a long time; he's made a business out of it.  

Here's an observation for mere mortals from my experience:

Most of us field dress only one or two big-game animals a year at most.  Don't expect to have this man's speed or skills.

I've bagged elk the last two consecutive years and each time I had to think through the process of field dressing and boning out the meat. It was not automatic.

Most important is being absolutely safe with the sharpest knife you may have worked with all year.

I tend to work slow. I'm often by myself working with a slippery carcass and often under less than desirable outdoor conditions and on a slope to boot.  Cutting yourself with a very sharp knife in a remote area can be a serious inconvenience.

Watch the video and learn… but be careful out there.

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Video: Terror in the trees as hawk hunts squirrel

Oct. 27, 2014 12:03 p.m.

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Through the tranquility of autumn leaves falling from the trees, life and death situations play out in our forests on a daily basis beyond human eyes.

This video of a red-tailed hawk hunting a tree squirrel is pieced together to depict an actual predator-prey encounter. The photography is absolutely stunning.  Check it out.

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New sno-park gives sno-mobilers trail access

Oct. 27, 2014 7:17 a.m.

WINTERSPORTS — A new Washington Sno-Park will give snowmobilers access to more than 100 miels of groomed trails in Kittitas  County this season.

 An open house and chili feed to present information about the first phase of the development is set for Nov. 1, 11:30 a.m. at the All Seasons Drive (formerly FS Road #4510) off Woods and Steele Road, approximately six miles southwest of Cle Elum.

The event is sponsored by Washington State Parks, county parks and the Washington State Snowmobile Association.

Evergreen Sno-Park, at 2,200 feet elevation, gives snowmobilers access to  more than 100 miles of groomed trails on the Taneum-Manastash trail system.

The new Sno-Park replaces the old Woods and Steele Staging Area and can accommodate up to 25 vehicles with trailers. Once completed, the two-acre site will be expanded to five acres.

For more information about the event, contact Florence or Wayne Mohler at fwmohler@msn.com.

Directions to the Evergreen Sno-Park:

From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 84, turn right on E. Russ St.  At the stoplight, turn left on First St; turn left on Stafford St heading south under I-90.  Stafford turns into South Cle Elum Rd. Go 0.8 mi to Madison St and turn right; go one block and turn left on 6th St (turns into Westside Road.  Drive 3.8 miles on Westside Road, turn left on Woods and Steele Road.  At All Seasons Drive, turn left for 0.7 miles. The Sno-Park is on the right.

The Sno-Park system officially opens Dec. 1, depending on snow conditions.

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Plan ahead for free entry to federal lands Nov. 9-11

Oct. 27, 2014 6 a.m.

PUBLIC LANDS — Federal and state land managers offer fee-free entry days to parks, forests, U.S. Bureau of Land management lands, refuges and other national interest lands where fees are charged on certain holidays scattered through the year.

  • The last big freebie of the year is Nov. 8-11 — Veterans Day Weekend — with free entry to virtually all the federal public lands.
  • Washington State Parks will waive the Discover Pass requirement on Nov. 11.

The fee waivers do not cover expanded amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.

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Great expectations: elk season opens Saturday

Oct. 24, 2014 2:33 p.m.

HUNTING — Eastern Washington's modern firearms general elk season opens Saturday at 7 a.m.

Montana outdoor photographer Jaimie Johnson, in the photo above, gives hunters a  couple of things to dream about tonight.

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Photo contest focused on women hunters

Oct. 24, 2014 6:01 a.m.

OUTPHOTO – Washington’s modern rifle elk season opens Saturday, giving sportsmen another chance to put aside the rifle, pick up the camera and snap a good photo of the girl or woman out for the hunt.

For the fourth year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is holding a photo contest, the winner of which will grace the cover of the state’s 2015 big-game hunting regulations pamphlet. The state distributes 650,000 copies of the pamphlet each year.

Last year the contest looked for the best photo of a hunting camp.

This year’s theme is “Women: Hunting Through the Generations.”

“We know that the world of hunting is full of mothers, sisters, daughters and wives,” the agency says in its announcement. “Passing down hunting knowledge through the generations is something that brings families closer and turns hunting experiences into cherished memories. If your family includes women who know a thing or two about the hunt, we want to know about it.”

Some rules to consider up front:

  • Digital photos should be at least 1 MB – preferably larger – to ensure a quality print job. 
  • Photos should not include logos or items that could appear to endorse specific companies or products. 
  • Submissions must be received by March 1, 2015.

See details on the agency’s website under Hunting.

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