Out & About

Biologist watch for lousy deer

OUTBREAK – A mule deer found dead this spring near Riggins was infested with Bovicola tibialis, an exotic louse not previously reported in Idaho.

Infestations of native lice are not uncommon on deer and elk, Idaho Fish and Game officials say. But the exotic lice, possibly imported with exotic fallow deer, have been associated with hair-loss syndrome and ailing deer in Washington and Oregon in 2007 and 2008.

Some population declines have been recorded in Washington.

Infested deer tend to chew off the tips of their outer hair, exposing the under hair, which is much lighter and can make the animals appear white.

Locals invent bike rod rack

OUTFISH – Anglers can put the pedal to the metalheads, save some gas, exercise their legs and catch hard-to-reach fish by mounting a new locally-made product on their bicycles.

The Bike Fisherman rod holders, invented last summer by Pete and Marlana Hall of Liberty Lake, weigh less than a pound and carry two rods. Cost: $20.

Bikes provide access to secluded fishing holes along the Centennial Trail and Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, and pedaling makes a complete recreational outing to some of the area lakes.

“I just throw some tackle in a small backpack and away I go,” Marlana said.

Details and purchase: www.bikefisherman.com/

Bark beetles a burning issue

OUTBREAK – State and federal fire managers are nervously watching the number of trees killed by pine-bark beetles grow.

The tiny bugs have killed trees on 7 million acres from Colorado to Canada. Forest Service officials predict that over the next 15 years dead and dying forests will cover 22 million acres in the West.

Grim as it sounds, ecologists point out this is how forests have naturally evolved.

He said it

“I thought about food, beer, coffee, level ground and sunshine.”

- Jason Schilling, 33, of Corvallis, Ore., who stayed behind after a helicopter crew rescued his climbing partner this month. Weather closed in, leaving Schilling to wait four nights in a small cave on a rock face of 8,031-foot Mount Terror east of Mount Baker before the crew could return. As an addendum, he said he also thought about his girlfriend.

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