OUTSEE – There’s never been a better year to take in the annual Eagle Watch Week activities at Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Bald eagles have been gathering in record numbers in Wolf Lodge Bay to feast on spawning kokanee.
A Thursday survey tallied 237 eagles as BLM, Idaho Fish and Game and Audubon volunteers were getting ready for the annual Eagle Watch Week, set for Monday through Jan. 1.
Drive east from Coeur d’Alene on Interstate 90. Take Wolf Lodge Exit 22. Follow Highway 97 south to exhibits and spotting scopes at the Mineral Ridge boat ramp. Volunteers will offer information about the eagles 10 a.m.-3 p.m. each day through next Sunday.
Cruise boat tours geared to eagle watching will launch daily this week from The Coeur d’Alene Resort. Call (208) 765-4000.
Teacher fails lesson in hunter education
OUTCRY – Some of Washington’s volunteer hunter education instructors have been grumbling about new rules and a trend toward replacing instructor firearms in classrooms with guns that have disabled firing pins.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department might seem overbearing in this trend. But an eastern Idaho hunter education teacher upheld the agency’s concern last week.
The instructor brought a handgun and ammunition into the class as a teaching tool. Indeed, everyone learned a lesson when the gun discharged as a kid picked it up and pointed it at a mounted deer head.
Lesson No. 1: Treat every gun as though it’s loaded.
The instructor has been dismissed, and counseling was offered to the students.
Year starts busy with winter sports
OUTDO – Free-heel skiers and snowshoers have plenty of events to sample in the next two weeks. Among them:
Snowshoeing activities organized by Spokane Parks and Recreation include:
• Winter survival youth camp, Wednesday and Thursday, to learn snowshoeing and snow shelter building skills.
• Mount Spokane tour with transportation, Saturday.
• Women’s Mount Spokane tour, Jan. 1.
Nordic skiing lessons, Saturday and next Sunday, taught by Spokane Nordic junior team at Mount Spokane.
Idaho Ski-Snowshoe Free Day , Jan. 7 , at 18 Park N’Ski area across the state. Skiing and snowshoeing lessons at Farragut and Priest Lake state parks.
Winterfest at 49 Degrees North, Jan. 7-8, features more than a dozen activities, seminars and events. EPIC Hill Climb kicks it off on Jan. 7 followed by telemark and cross-country gear demos, free lessons, gate racing, avalanche seminars and evening nordic ski and snowshoe tours.
Jan. 8 includes a nordic ski race and paintball biathlon, plus tours.
Ferry County Rail Trail Ski Day, Jan. 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. based at trailhead north of Curlew.
Groomed trails as conditions allow, free ski lessons, gear and refreshments. Info: ferrycountytrail.com.
S-R Trapshoot starts Jan. 8
OUTGUN – The Spokesman-Review Inland Northwest Trapshoot will begin its 94th season on Jan. 8, with teams throughout the region competing weekly at their local clubs for the coveted “winter shoot” trophies.
The event, with open, women’s and youth categories, runs to Feb. 26.
See sign-up info at spokesman.com/outdoors.