Outdoors

In brief: Bring the family for Cycle Celebration

Valleyfest’s Cycle Celebration will be this Sunday at 7:30 a.m. at Mirabeau Meadows Park, 13500 E. Mirabeau Parkway.

There are three routes: The 50-mile “Hills Around the Valley” starts at 8 a.m. at the Mirabeau Meadows Trailhead of the Centennial Trail; the 25-mile “Adventure Ride” starts at 9 a.m. and heads east along the Centennial Trail before turning south around Saltese Lake; and the 10-mile “Family Friendly” ride starts at 9:30 a.m. from the Mirabeau Meadows Trailhead and travels along the Spokane River.

After the rides, David’s Pizza will be at the park, selling slices for $3 or two slices for $5.

Registration is $15 per person and includes a “Cycle Celebration” riding shirt and refreshments at comfort stations along the routes. For $30 you can register a family of four and get two riding shirts with additional shirts available for $12 each.

Register by Sunday to pick up your riding shirt when you pick up your packets.

Participants can register online at www.cyclingcelebration.com or by calling the Valleyfest offices at (509) 922-3299.

Cycling: The Blue Goose Family Fun Bike Ride, a free family-friendly 10.5-mile ride on packed, graded dirt roads, is set for Saturday, at the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge southeast of Colville.

The refuge has been marking its 75th anniversary with public events this summer, including birding walks and a popular butterfly survey.

Blue Goose bike riders can start anytime after 8:30 a.m. so they can finish by noon, when prize drawings will start at headquarters. Anniversary cake and bluegrass music will be provided.

Info:  (509) 684-8384, fws.gov/littlependoreille

Directions from Spokane: Drive U.S. 395 north to Arden (about 6 miles south of Colville). Turn right on Hall Road. At the stop sign, turn left onto Old Arden Hwy. Take the third right run onto Artman-Gibson Road. Go about 4 miles. At four-way intersection, turn right onto Kitt-Narcisse Road and follow it for 2.2 miles. Where road forks, bear right onto Bear Creek Road. Follow this dirt road 3.3 miles to refuge headquarters.

Shooters get a shot at cash

Shooting: Long-range shooting enthusiasts continue to test their skills in a four-event series at the new Rock Lake Rifle Range, 2356 Glorfield Rd., St. John, Washington.

The next shoot in the series is set for Saturday. Check in 7:30-8 a.m.

The Northwest Precision Steel Series Challenge has divisions for tactical and hunting class shooters, says organizer Doug Glorfield.

Tactical competitors will engage targets at distances of 175-1,250 yards in seven stations. Hunting and youth shooters will do five stations at 150-600 yards.

Shooters will compete for cash prizes on Saturday and in the other series shoots set for June 28, July 26 and Aug. 30. 

“My dad and I built the range last year, Rock Lake Rifle Range LLC,” he said, noting that the site is west of the south end of  Rock Lake. “We built it to host long-range rifle shoots to bang away at steel.”

Info: (509) 939-7855.

Hiking: Members of the Dishman Hills Conservancy will be leading short hikes each hour, noon to 5 p.m., this Saturday to help the public become familiar with the Spokane Valley natural area and the changes that are underway.

The open house activities will be based out of Camp Caro – south of Appleway on Sargent Road.

Sinlahekin celebration

Outdoors education: Experts will be making free presentations on bats, bears, bighorns and much more this weekend on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area in northcentral Okanogan County as the celebration continues for the 75th anniversary of Washington’s FIRST wildlife area.

It’s the third summer weekend in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife “Explore the Sinlahekin – Past and Present” series of free public field trips and presentations on the fauna, flora, geology and history of the area. The programs all begin at the Sinlahekin headquarters south of Loomis. 

Sessions scheduled on Saturday, July 26, include:

• Bighorn sheep of the Sinlahekin.

• Bats of the Sinlahekin.

Sessions scheduled on both Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27, include:

• Forests of the Sinlahekin.

• Role of wildfires in the evolution of the Sinlahekin’s landscape.

• Bears, cougars, coyotes and other carnivores.

Controlled hunt drawing ends

Hunting: Conversations this time of year among hunters often start with the question “Did you draw any controlled hunt tags?” 

A controlled hunt has a limited number of tags in a specific area for a specific species.  Controlled hunts are desirable because of location and timing.  Success rates are usually higher in controlled hunts than in open (or, “general”) seasons.

Controlled hunt tags are allocated by a random drawing from a pool of hunters who have submitted applications for the drawing. Moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunts in Idaho are all controlled hunts. There are both general hunts and controlled hunts for most other big game species.

The big game controlled hunt drawings have been completed and hunters have the ability to find out if they were lucky enough to draw a tag by checking the controlled hunt drawing results on the IDFG website.  It is the responsibility of controlled hunt applicants to check to see if they were drawn for these limited entry hunting opportunities.

Big game hunters who were drawn in controlled hunt drawings for deer, elk, antelope and bear hunts have only until Aug. 1 to purchase their tags.  Any tags not purchased by that date will be forfeited. Tags may be purchased at any Fish and Game office, any license vendor, by telephone at 800-554-8685, or online.

Between Aug. 2-4, IDFG will compile a list of forfeited tags.  A second drawing will be held to award the forfeited tags.  The application period for this second drawing runs Aug. 5-15. The drawing will be held around Aug. 20. Any tags left will go on sale over the counter on Aug. 25.


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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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