THURSDAY, DEC. 4, 2014

Cooking your game: Holiday hazelnut duck with fig and brandy cranberry sauce

When it comes to bird hunting, waterfowl may be the most difficult to master. Success in the sport starts with proper intel – knowing from where the birds are flying, where they’re landing. Then there’s the fine art of calling, getting a flock of mallards to make a U-turn midflight and descend into a group of decoys. A hunter must judge the bird’s speed, angle and distance to lead the bird and land a successful shot. Even the most proficient trap shooters are vexed when they hit the ponds and lakes in hopes of bagging a few waterfowl.

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SUNDAY, NOV. 30, 2014

Bighorn sheep were reintroduced to Hall Mountain above Sullivan Lake in 1972. The herd totals about 21. (Rich Landers)

Sullivan bighorn sheep boost to other herds

A small but tenacious herd of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in northeastern Washington is being tapped once again to boost a struggling herd elsewhere in the state. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists are attempting to capture two or three rams from the Hall Mountain herd that ranges near Sullivan Lake.

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This jacket a red-hot item

Last week in Denver, at a Columbia Sportswear event stocked with gear designers and at least one Olympic athlete, I got a sneak peek at what was being called “the warmest puffy on the planet.” It was one product among a dozen at a 2015 unveiling. But being a sucker for superlatives I gravitated toward the puffy parka and its shiny, baffled face, named ambitiously as the Heatzone 1000.

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Mount Spokane transitions to winter 

OUTGOING – The change from Discover Passes to Sno-Park permits is one of the transitions underway at Mount Spokane State Park as snow begins to pile up and road plowing begins. Starting Monday, vehicles accessing the cross-country skiing and snowshoer parking areas will be required to have Washington Sno-Park permits. The permits can be purchased from a variety of vendors as well as online.

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A locator beacon can also benefit the companions of an injured person.

Beacons of life

Lisa Jo Frech was five days into a 10-day, 170-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail near Glacier Peak when she passed out. She’s an experienced hiker, had trained hard for the trail and was feeling strong up to that point. Oh, well, she figured, sometimes people faint.

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FRIDAY, NOV. 28, 2014

THURSDAY, NOV. 27, 2014

Right in the back yard of Inland Northwest skiers, Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park offers added improvements to amenities for mountain enthusiasts this year. (Dan Pelle)

Time to hit the slopes: Take a look at area ski resorts opening doors to the winter season 

For skiers and snowboarders, Spokane is a strategic location. Few cities in the nation can match the proximity, variety, quality and affordability of choices for skiing and riding. Roads leading to mountain resorts that average 300 inches of snow or more a season fan out from the city like spokes on a wheel. Rise early, pick your direction and drive. Before long you will arrive at a winter destination with a look and feel that can only be found exactly at that time and place. Skiing and riding have a rich history in the Inland Northwest. And every season brings something new at every mountain. Here’s everything you need to know, until you find out more for yourself, starting with your closest choice:

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Weekly hunting and fishing report

Fly Fishing Silver Bow Fly Shop guides Bo Brand and Mark Poirier were on the Grande Ronde on Friday and said there’s plenty of open water to fish. Brand suggests fishing a stone/egg or small attractor nymph under an indicator and dredging slow water with a marabou pattern and a really slow swing near the bottom.

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Bill Jennings: Banff offers bountiful cornucopia of skiing prep for SSRA

Mark Burandt celebrated Thanksgiving in Spokane with his family more than a week before the rest of us. Burandt, who has been coaching ski racers at Mount Spokane for 25 years, will be feasting today in Banff, Alberta with his other family, the Spokane Ski Racing Association (SSRA). Every year during Thanksgiving week, Burandt, head coach of the alpine team, and Chuck Holcomb, Executive Director of SSRA, travel north with an entourage of young athletes, parents and siblings to spend seven days training for the first time of the season on real mountain snow.

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

Outdoors blog

Tribe releases 10K net pen trout in Rufus Woods

FISHING -- The Colville Tribe released 10,000 triploid rainbow trout weighing about 2 pounds each in Lake Rufus Woods on Thursday, making the reservoir between Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee ...

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