Posts tagged: outoors
WILDLIFE WATCHING — Of course there are ups and downs, but overall this isn't a bad time to be among the critters.
Most of Montana's suite of wildlife species are doing better than they were 50 years ago. The reasons for the resurgence are mixed, with federal protection of some species playing a part, protection of habitat another. — Billings Gazette
HIKING — A trio of aggressive coyotes took on two Labrador retrievers running loose with their owner on the South Hill bluff trails Thursday, sending one dog to the vet for a chest full of stitches.
He wanted to warn other people who take their dogs to the bluffs. Keeping dogs on leashes could help prevent similar encounters.
HUNTING — On March 20, I devoted my weekly Outdoors column to the case of Oregon hunter Bob Beck, a TV hunting show host, who pleaded guilty to shooting two deer in Idaho even though he had only one non-resident tag.
The case was made a year after the 2010 hunt when a sportsman gave Idaho Fish and Game a tip after seeing the hunt and the killing of both deer on Beck's Extreme Outer Limits program, which aired on the Sportsman Channel. Beck did not own up to the illegal kill until he was confronted by authorities. The guilty plea was entered and the fines were assessed in February 2012.
Beck has issues with my reporting and commentary on the case. He's elaborated his concerns in posts at many online forums.
Indeed, he's working to have details on the outcome of the case changed. But as of this week, the ruling remains the same as I reported it on March 20 based on information from Idaho Fish and Game Department investigators and the Benewah County prosecutor.
I'll update any changes that develop in the case.
As of today, the case is still active in Oregon.
Meanwhile, you can hear Beck's version of the case in his own words in a radio interview conducted last week by John Kruse of Northwest Outdoors Radio.
The taped interview will air on the show as follows:
Kruse also plans a follow-up interview with Beck..
STATE PARKS — The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is launching a new program that allows vehicle owners to voluntarily pay a $10 fee when they register their cars that gives them access to 30 state parks in an effort to raise money for the embattled agency, the Associated Press reports.
Director Nancy Merrill hopes the idea, modeled after a successful program in Michigan, will alleviate financial pressure on her agency that has been mounting since Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter moved to wean it from taxpayer support two years ago.
Idaho Parks and Recreation currently offers a similar annual parks pass, but it now costs $40 and raises only $800,000 annually. Merrill is banking on the reduced price — and access to a much-broader audience through Idaho’s car registration program — to help bring in an additional $1.9 million annually.
“We’ve been going through a lot of troubles and strife these last few years, and we’re now an agency reinvented,” Merrill told the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday. “We’re seeking a dedicated funding source. It would move us toward a long-term sustainable process.”
Read on for more details from the AP.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — One of the best wildlife viewing stages anywhere in September and early October is the cottonwood bottom along the elk viewing area in the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge60 miles north of Lewistown, Mont., (my hometown).
Even though the elk are in the rut, they know exactly where the elk viewing area boundary is… where archery elk season hunters lurk. Yet the elk come out and put on a show of bugling and mating as if on a stage in front of cars lined up along the dusty refuge road for more than a mile.
Soon the action will disperse, and the show will be over.
ADVENTURE RACING — Only 10 days remain before the start of Expedition Idaho, the 400-mile uncharted adventure race teams from all over the world will be trying to cover in six days.
The photo above shows a course official sampling portion of “the trail.”
North Idaho organizer David Adlard said more volunteers are needed to help in remote locations on the course that will be covered by food, raft, kayak, mountain bike and through roped rappels. Call 208-664-0135 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meantime, read on for interesting details from Adlard and experts who've been helping him set up waypoints for the cross-country route. You'll be amazed.
BACKPACKING — Two Gonzaga University students vacationing in May near Grand Canyon National Park Gonzaga played key roles in saving a man's life.
According to a story from the GU News Service, nursing student Maggie Clark and accounting student Julia Biemann saved a man from drowning after they'd hike in 11 miles to Havasu Campground.
The man had been swimming in whirlpools churning beneath 200-foot Mooney Falls on Havasu Creek, a Colorado River tributary in the Grand Canyon some 120 miles northwest of Flagstaff. The vortex caused by the falling water apparrently suck him back toward the falls where the currents forced him underwater for several minutes.
The story explains how a nursing student put her skills to work and how an accounting student with climbing skills honed in GU classes gave the story a happy ending.
CAMPING — The Kootenai National Forest, which manages the Cabinet Mountains of northwestern Montana and a portion of Idaho, has enacted stricter food storage rules to help prevent campers, hunters and cabin dwellers from luring bears in to trouble.
Storing food in a vehicle satisfies the rule for most campers. But campers without hard-sided RVs or vehicles must take extra measures.
Details have been posted on the forest's website.
Bear resistant containers are required for campers in some cases.
Hanging food properly continues to be an option for backpackers and other backcountry campers.
The diagram at left indications how campers who must go light can meet the forest's “approved storage method.”
Storing food in a bear resistant manner means hung 10 feet off the ground and four feet horizontally from a tree or other structure; stored in a hard-sided camper; vehicle trunk, or cab or trailer cab: in a hard-sided building, or stored using an electric fence.