OUTFILE – Fines and incentives have boosted hunter compliance with mandatory reporting programs to help states manage game populations. The requirement – managed differently in Idaho, Washington and Oregon – applies to hunters whether they were successful or not, or even if they didn’t get out to hunt.
HUNTING – A pronghorn killed by a New Mexico hunter was certified this month by the Boone & Crockett Club as the world record. Mike Gallo shot the pronghorn in Socorro County, New Mexico, in September 2013. Its official score is 96 4/8 points.
Whitewater enthusiasts are expecting a warm welcome from Washington’s Tieton River along US 12 west of Yakima this weekend. A large gathering of rafters and kayakers – private and commercial – is gearing up from across the region to take advantage of the annual “flip-flop.”
Anyone can move a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard over the water, but precious few have savored the joy of paddling efficiently. When you see paddlers zigzagging up the Thorofare to Upper Priest Lake, bumping into logs and frittering away calories, they probably don’t have a clue that there’s a better way.
Brad Harrison anxiously stares downward some 25 feet to the shallow lake water below, catching his breath and gathering the courage and focus necessary to make his next jump a success. And even though he’s made this leap of faith many, many times, he never rushes it. He knows that one slip, one brief lapse in concentration, will lead to disaster – or worse yet, death.
Tony A. Tubbs, an immigrant from Germany, came to North Idaho in 1882 and filed a claim that included a large portion of what is now Tubbs Hill. The hill consists of 135 acres of publicly owned land. Tubbs Hill was obtained through four separate purchases that spanned a period of over 40 years. The first 33 acres were purchased in 1936 for $19,000. It was not until 1969 that the second purchase was made for 34 additional acres. At that time, Tubbs Hill was dedicated to the people forever. In 1974, 34 more acres were purchased and yet another 34 acres were added in 1977.
Genevieve Kienbaum, 10, glided through the slalom course with an easy grace that would make most grownups envious. She’s the youngest of Liberty Lake’s waterskiing Kienbaums, a family that competes on a national level. The kids were getting in some practice shortly after returning from the 2014 U.S. Western Regional Waterski Championships July 24-26 in Winsor, Colorado. Nearly every Kienbaum brought back hardware from the tournament except for the patriarch. Paul, 52, wore a walking boot after tearing ankle ligaments in a crash at an event in Seattle earlier this summer. He oversees a stable of athletes including his wife Juli, 50, and five of their six children (the oldest is busy with motherhood and nursing school). Together they travel the country, pursuing the art of whipping around buoys at highway speeds clutching the end of a rope.
The boat has a price tag bigger than most houses. It’s handmade, computerized and powered by a 550-horse Corvette engine that launches the 25-foot hull, loaded with 3,000 pounds of ballast, from a dead stop to the ideal, preprogrammed speed in just a few seconds. That’s one of the perks enjoyed by Ricky Krieger, a professional wakeboarder who honed his flying feats of derring-do growing up on the shores of Long Lake. Going for a ride with Krieger is like having a front-row seat at an outrageous aerial circus. The boat leaves an exaggerated wake that forms a huge kicker, sending him high in the air. Krieger defies gravity with eye-popping spins, twists, corks and inverted grabs. Somehow, the tricks end with a flawless landing and a megawatt smile on his face.
OUTRESPOND – The benefits of living near an Air Force base with skilled helicopter rescue pilots and medics have paid off for Inland Northwest travelers and recreationists many times in all four seasons. Most recently, the airmen from the 36th Rescue Flight, answered two calls in a one-weekend blitz to help a hiker as well as a Spokane Valley rafter.
Postponed by a late storm and flooding, the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is expected to be open to vehicle travel by this weekend, allowing access to Logan Pass. While most snow removal efforts are being completed and snow above the road is being monitored and removed, road crews continue to sweep debris from the Going-to-the-Sun Road, install removable guard rails and road signage, and prepare the Logan Pass Visitor Center area for opening.
Two female grizzly bears have been transplanted from the Whitefish Range to the Spar Lake area of the Cabinet Mountains as part of an ongoing effort to boost the struggling Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bear population. The 2-year-old siblings were captured in the Deadhorse Creek drainage on the Flathead National Forest, fitted with GPS collars and moved Friday to the West Cabinets and a drainage with a hiking trail to Spar Lake near the Montana-Idaho border.
OUTGOING – The Inland Northwest Trails Coalition has rounded up a dozen local leaders in trails-related efforts for the annual “State of the Trails” presentations Thursday starting at 5:30 p.m. at Mountain Gear Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield Ave. “Every year the coalition invites land managers to give a report on what is happening with our hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, biking, kayaking, canoeing outdoor adventure areas,” said Lunell Haught, INTC coordinator. “We all come together in one big meeting so that you do not need to go to 10 different meetings to find out the latest news.”
Readers of this column know I am more adept with a kayak paddle than a throttle lever. But an event this winter in Florida gave me a chance to demo a new watercraft from Sea-Doo. Beyond some serious fun ripping around in turquoise waters, the demo changed my perspective on the activity in a bigger sense. In short, personal watercrafts have evolved hugely since I was younger.
FISHING – The Spokane River could get “water rights” to maintain minimum flows that would be especially beneficial to fish under a proposal that will be discussed in Spokane this week. In an effort to protect and preserve water levels in the Spokane River, the Washington Department of Ecology is proposing a preliminary draft rule for the main stem of the river in Spokane County and a small portion of Stevens County.
OUTSTANDING – Spokane sportsmen lost one of their most enduring worker bees with the recent death of Mike Coyle. For decades he led efforts to put a smiling face and a handshake on the good things sportsmen do with their money and volunteer energy.
It takes a village to maintain wildlife in a developing world – especially the far-flung migrants that span the continent each year. Reardan Audubon Lake Wildlife Area is a model of what a group effort can accomplish.