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Field Reports: Youth get shot at Turnbull ducks

Sun., July 11, 2010

HUNTING – A two-day youth waterfowl hunt is scheduled at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge this fall during the first season in which limited hunting will occur on the refuge since it was established in 1937.

The two-day youth hunt will run concurrently with the state youth waterfowl season, usually the last weekend in September.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will restrict the young hunters under 16 to about eight hunting sites, depending on water levels.

Two youth hunters accompanied by one or two non-hunting adults will be allowed at each site.

Hunters will be selected in a random drawing. Applications will be accepted Aug. 1-15 at the refuge or by mail. Friends or siblings can apply on the same application.

Apply on a standard U.S. Postal Service postcard. Include the youth’s full name, address and telephone number.

Mail postcards to Refuge Manager, Turnbull NWR, 26010 South Smith Road, Cheney, WA, 99004.

Info: 235-4723; Web.

- Rich Landers

Steelhead making another big run

FISHING – It’s not too early to start thinking about steelheading in the Snake River and its tributaries.

With last year’s record run still etched in the memories of many anglers, the numbers moving up the Columbia and into the Snake are even higher so far this summer.

About 13,000 steelhead already have come up the Columbia and Snake rivers and climbed over Lower Granite Dam.

If you still need therapy for the thrashing last year’s run gave your casting arm, consider this:

• The steelhead count over Lower Granite on Wednesday was 1,103 fish compared with 461 on the same date last year. The five-year average for that date is 314.

• The steelhead count over Bonneville Dam on the Columbia was 21,079 on Wednesday compared with 9,043 in 2009.

Record daily numbers of steelhead were moving over Bonneville last week, but biologists say it’s too early to tell whether it’s a matter of early upstream movements or whether a new record run is under way.

- Rich Landers

Bonus-point option fails in Idaho

HUNTING – The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has voted down a hotly debated proposal that would have allowed hunters to pay a fee and get bonus points for better odds in big-game hunting permit drawings.

At the commission meeting Thursday in Kellogg, some hunters criticized the proposals for being too heavily geared to raising money.

- Rich Landers

Big-game poaching a costly decision

WILDLIFE – Maybe Zachery Beckvold’s conviction will convince potential moose poachers to hold off on pulling the trigger.

The 19-year-old Lewiston man recently was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to pay $10,250 in restitution. His hunting license has been revoked for an indeterminate period.

In another poaching case, an ex-wife sweetened the divorce settlement by putting her former husband in the slammer.

Alan Sweet and Brent Mercado, both of Western Washington, were convicted recently for illegally killing a bighorn sheep in Montana after Sweet’s ex offered authorities hero photos of Sweet holding the dead ram.

- Rich Landers

Rule ousts bikers from Rapid River

CYCLING – Mountain bikers are fighting the potential loss of a section of trail along Rapid River near Riggins, Idaho, that’s been open for decades because of a regulatory oversight.

The Nez Perce National Forest is likely to close the bottom four miles of the trail to mechanized travel.

The trail is especially popular with hikers and mountain bikers in spring.

- Lewiston Tribune

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