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Outdoors blog archive for Jan. 1, 2015

TUESDAY, JAN. 27, 2015

Snowmobilers share groomed trails with recreationists on foot and sometimes wildlife. (FILE)

Forest Service sets rule for oversnow vehicles 

WINTERSPORTS -- Just-released news of special interest to backcountry skiers and snowmobilers alike: The U.S. Forest Service today released the final policy for managing snowmobile and other "over-snow" vehicle use on national forests and grasslands. As directed by court order, the policy requires that roads,...

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An angler holds a fine Clearwater steelhead caught with the help of Clarkston-based fishing guide Toby Wyatt, right. (Courtesy)

Steelheading improves in Idaho's Clearwater River

FISHING -- Anglers fishing the Clearwater River are enjoying a healthy increase in the number of steelhead returning, according to the Idaho Fish and Game Department. After a lackluster season in 2013-2014, the number of “B-run” steelhead is up in 2015, and anglers are taking...

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MONDAY, JAN. 26, 2015

Alex Harris, 37, of Coeur d'Alene shot this 52-inch bull moose on Sept. 19, 2013, in Idaho's Unit 6 in the St. Joe River drainage. (Jacob Rothrock )

20 moose tags added to North Idaho hunts

HUNTING -- The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has set seasons for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats for 2015, adding moose tags for the Panhandle Region and adding new hunts farther south for bighorn sheep. The new rules will include the following changes: Panhandle...

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A grizzly bear feeds in a Western Montana farm field with a herd of cattle on June 17, 2014.  (Jaimie Johnson)

Man fined $30K for shooting grizzlies 

ENDANGERED SPECIES — The Montana man's excuse that grizzlies were a threat to his grandchildren didn't fly in court. Everett Skunkcap, 75, accused of killing three grizzly bears near his Browning home last summer has been ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution. The U.S. Attorney’s...

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Videographer Jay Krajic filming in the White Clouds mountains for Idaho Public TV's "Outdoor Idaho" program. 
 (Rick Gerrard / Idaho Public Television)

Senators work on central Idaho wilderness plan

WILDERNESS — Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Risch derailed a 2010 wilderness bill but says he’s working now with U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson on a scaled-down version as others attempt to persuade President Barack Obama to designate a central Idaho area a national monument. Risch, a...

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Kootenai County Sheriff's Deputy Travis Smith, left, and Dustin Repp turn toward some boaters whose boat had broken down Friday afternoon in Wolf Lodge Bay on Lake Coeur d'Alene. 
 (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Boater registrations fund Idaho access sites 

BOATING – Idaho boat registrations, which must be renewed starting Jan. 1, help fund county recreational boating services and marine law enforcement activities, the state Department of Parks and Recreation says. Idaho allows boaters to decide what counties receive their registration dollars. The annual registration...

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Scott Stouder, the regional field director for Trout Unlimited, packs his horses and mules through old-growth ponderosa pines as he heads into the Rapid River roadless area drainage near Idaho's Seven Devils Wilderness. 
 (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

Sportsmen rally against public land transfers 

PUBLIC LANDS -- Sportsman's groups are organizing a voice against efforts in Western states to eliminate federal control of public land. Lawmakers in Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming are spending considerable money and effort in attempts to get state control of federal public lands within...

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SATURDAY, JAN. 24, 2015

FRIDAY, JAN. 23, 2015

Raccoon tracks in fresh wet snow near downtown Spokane. (Rich Landers)

Fresh, wet snow perfect for tracking critters

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- I was late into the office this morning, delayed by urgent messages from a variety of critters. Last night's light, wet snow created a fresh page for wildlife to tell the stories of their early-morning lives for trackers to read. Conditions are...

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A bald eagle flies over Lake Pend Oreille in search of food.

Eagles still lingering at Wolf Lodge Bay

WILDLIFE WATCHING --Bald eagles at Lake Coeur d’Alene for their annual gathering to feed on spawning kokanee are dispersing, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist says. Carrie Hugo, who has surveyed eagles in Wolf Lodge Bay almost weekly since early November, counted 28...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 22, 2015

Wolves were first targeted in an official regulated Idaho hunting season that opened Sept. 1, 2009. The state began authorizing wolf trapping seasons in 2011. (Associated Press)

Survey: Idaho well above federal quota for wolves 25 

PREDATORS -- Although fewer than half of Idaho's wolf packs have been surveyed this winter, state wildlife officials already have documented the number of breeding pairs exceeds federal requirements. After the 1995 re-introduction of wolves into Idaho, the species multiplied quickly, peaking around 2009. The...

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A male downy woodpecker, left, and a black-capped chickadee share a bird feeder.

Winter tips for feeding birds 

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Feeding wild birds is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the U.S. While a handout can help birds find the calories needed to survive the winter, improper feeding can spread disease or increase birds' exposure to predators. the Idaho Department...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21, 2015

The Lookout Pass Free Ski School started its 72nd year on Jan. 7, 2011, to a swarm of enthusiasm. More than 500 kids age 6-17 had been registered.  (Courtesy photo)

Skiers set visitation records at Lookout Pass

WINTERSPORTS -- Lookout Pass ski area has had some record-breaking skier visit days in January, according to owner Phil Edholm. The resort off I-90 at the Idaho-Montana state line posted these numbers: Saturday, Jan. 17, single day attendance record of 2, 243 skier visits. Saturday,...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 20, 2015

Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.

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Blog Archives

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