Outdoors

Highlights from the Big Horn Show

Spokane Sheriff's Deputy Jay Bailey accepts a boat registration form while he talks to boaters about the new boater education law. (Jesse Tinsley)
Spokane Sheriff's Deputy Jay Bailey accepts a boat registration form while he talks to boaters about the new boater education law. (Jesse Tinsley)

Here’s a sampling of highlights from the Big Horn Outdoor Adventure Show at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center last weekend:

Hottest topic: “Wolves,” said Mike Wilkinson, one of the staffers in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife booth. “We’re getting a lot of questions about them.”

Over in Trophy Territory, surrounded by big-game mounts brought in for scoring, the topic was even more intense. “I’ve never heard so many people complaining about wolves,” said Jim Nelson, who’s been a volunteer helper for 50 years at the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council’s show.

Dog training: The Spokane Bird Dog Association is inviting hunters to bring their dogs to a training day, which includes expert help for all breeds, starting Saturday at 8 a.m., at the Espanola Training Grounds managed by the club west of Medical Lake. Details: spokanebirddog.org.

Double standard: Mule Deer Foundation members are raising money and awareness for projects to boost habitat for their signature species.

“We put up $5,000 and the volunteers to replant bitterbrush on (a) big-game winter range (that) burned two years ago by a fire near Grand Coulee,” said Mike Jones, the group’s Washington director. “We also donated a trailer the Fish and Wildlife Department uses for all the equipment they need for controlled burns to improve habitat on wildlife areas,” he said.

“Fire set at the right time is beneficial to deer.”

• The Mule Deer Foundation’s Spokane chapter has set a fundraising banquet for April 5. Info: (509) 994-5031.

• The MDF is adding chapters in Colville, Omak, Ellensburg and Tri-Cities, bringing the statewide total of chapters to nine.

Under-60 boaters: Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies were promoting their free boater safety classes so they won’t have to write so many tickets.

Starting this year, all Washington resident operators under age 60 in boats of 15 horsepower or more must have a boater safety card.

“It’s a state law,” said Deputy Thad Schultz.

Deputies are offering free classes – two in April, four in May and June – and they were filling up fast at the show.

Preregister online at tinyurl.com/boatsafe.


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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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