Field reports: First elk hunt set at Turnbull
HUNTING – For the first time, big-game hunting is scheduled to occur on Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge this fall.
Hunters can apply for one bull elk permit and 48 antlerless elk permits, according to the 2010 Washington hunting regulations pamphlet published last week.
Antlerless elk hunters will be spread out from Oct. 2 through Dec. 31 in shorter seasons for muzzleloaders, modern firearms hunters, disabled and master hunters.
Rules for hunting on the refuge will be much more restrictive than for hunting outside its boundaries.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists have been working for years to approve refuge hunting to reduce the impact of elk on wildlife habitat, especially aspens.
Elk have learned to take sanctuary on the refuge while seasons are going on outside.
Gun sales down but still high
SHOOTING – The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported 1,300,100 checks in March, ranking the month the second-highest March for most NICS checks. It was the fifth-highest month since checks have been required.
The checks have been required since 1998 before people can purchase firearms.
The number of checks is a 3.3 percent decrease from checks conducted in March 2009 – the early stage of an ongoing surge in firearms and ammunition sales.
However, the March 2010 number is an increase of 24.9 percent over checks in March 2008, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The total number of background checks reported since the beginning of NICS is 113,680,372.
Clearwater forest seeks camp hosts
NATIONAL FORESTS – The North Fork Ranger District of the Clearwater National Forest is still accepting applications for campground hosts at the Kelly Forks and Washington Creek campgrounds.
North Fork District Ranger Doug Gober said he’s looking for energetic folks who enjoy being outdoors and interacting with the public.
“Our campground hosts are often the first Forest Service face the public sees when reaching our campgrounds,” he said.
Along with providing information to the public, hosts are responsible for maintenance duties between Memorial Day and Labor Day, usually on a Thursday-Monday schedule.
Hosts are provided with a camp site and daily stipend and are reimbursed mileage for a weekly trip to purchase personal supplies.
Contact: Adam McClory, (208) 875-1734.
Land Trust offers nature photo outings
CONSERVATION – Six area photographers will be conducting one-day nature photography seminars May 5-June 5 on lands preserved through The Inland Northwest Land Trust.