Out & About: Turkey hunts colored by visual issue

Gobbler decoy’s head shows colors to avoid. (Rich Landers)
Gobbler decoy’s head shows colors to avoid. (Rich Landers)

OUTSAFE – It’s not a violation of patriotism for a hunter to say no to red, white and blue – at least while hunting turkeys.

The spring gobbler seasons that open Tuesday coincide with the turkey mating season, when gobblers fan their tales, strut, and pump up with hormone surges that create eye-catching colors.

All the better to catch the favor of a hen.

But hunters are tuned in to those colors, too.

Only turkeys with visible “beards” protruding from their chests are legal during the spring gobbler season. But excited hunters sometimes take a cue from a flash of red, white or blue associated with a spring gobbler’s head – the prime target for a one-shot kill.

A camouflaged hunter wearing blue socks or pulling out a red handkerchief in the green and brown foliage could be mistaken as a gobbler by a rash hunter.

Most hunters remain in camouflage and use stealth when moving to different set-up sites.

But it’s wise to carry a fluorescent orange hat and vest to put on once you’ve bagged a bird.

At that point, the safest course back to your rig is full disclosure.

LPO Refuge friends set photo contest

OUTCOMPOSE – Most of the roads in the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge southeast of Colville will be free of snow this week, giving camera-packing visitors even more room to find the perfect shot for the refuge photo contest.

The ninth annual contest for amateur photographers is open to photos taken at the refuge between Aug. 16, 2013, and Aug. 15, 2014.

The contest is an incentive to check out the 41,568-acre refuge and its several trails and lakes.

Prizes will be awarded the Friends of the LPO in four categories: Animal Life, Plant Life, Scenics, Public Use.

Pick up entry forms and rules at the Refuge Headquarters, fws.gov/littlependoreille, or the Colville Chamber.

Info: Joel Anderson, “>onionjoel@gmail.com.

Kids Fishing sign-up due Friday

OUTDO – More than 1,000 fishing rods have been rigged up by volunteer sportsmen to hand out to about 950 kids ages 5-14 in the annual Kids Fishing event at Clear Lake on May 3.

Kids are scheduled for half-hour slots between 8 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. at Fairchild Air Force Base Recreation area.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to stock about 14,000 trout in net pens that the kids will be able to cast into from shore and docks.

For the $10 entry fee, each kid receives a Kids Fishing T-shirt, Zebco rod and reel and a chance to catch a limit of three trout. Volunteers will assist each kid.

Applications must be postmarked by Friday.

Download forms at tinyurl.com/1stcast.

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