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Field reports: Grouse hunter, dog, encounter wolf pack

HUNTING – Minnesota hunter Justin Bailey was hunting ruffed grouse on Tuesday when a wolf chased his hunting dog out of the woods.

“He was coming at me 100 miles per hour, and right behind him was a wolf, biting at his heels,” Bailey, 33, told outdoor writer Sam Cook of the Duluth News Tribune. “They probably passed 5 or 6 feet from us.”

After sending his dog into the woods to look for a grouse, Bailey was standing at the edge of the road with his son, 3, and nephew, 5.

The wolf chased the dog, Henry, a 1-year-old German wire-haired pointer, back to Bailey’s pickup in the road, nipping at the dog’s legs. The dog had the remarkable instinct to jump in the vehicle’s open window. leaving the wolf to do a quick lap around the truck.

Two more wolves came out of the woods at the edge of the road. Three more came out about 100 yards down the road.

“I was yelling at the one that went around the truck,” Bailey said. “He wasn’t very timid, that’s for sure. He was 15 feet away and turned around and watched me put the kids in the truck.”

During the encounter, Bailey fired one round from his 20-gauge shotgun into the air in an effort to scare off the wolves. “They didn’t even flinch,” he said.

“The boys thought it was the coolest experience in the north woods,” Bailey said. “But it makes me not want to bring my dog in the woods anymore.”

The dog, which wasn’t injured, refused to leave the truck, he said. “I couldn’t get him out of the truck the rest of the day.”

Online reports needed for moose survey

WILDLIFE – Researchers in a five-year study of moose in Eastern Washington are asking the public to report any moose they see to help get more data on their preferred habitat.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists are especially interested in reports from people who spend time in natural areas of Okanogan, Ferry Stevens, Pend Oreille and Spokane counties through Nov. 30.

Autumn provides the best information to better understand moose status, productivity and population trends, they say in a release.

“To obtain accurate data, we need more dedicated participants who will not only submit a report when they see a moose, but also report hours afield when they do not see any moose,” the release says.

Participate in the survey online at wdfw.wa.gov/viewing/moose.

Incidentally, Spokane has been selected for the 52nd annual North American Moose Conference, May 14-18 at the Double Tree Downtown. The focus of the conference will be “Moose feeling the heat: maintaining populations facing multiple stressors.”

Long-distance hikers program in CdA

TRAILS – Three “triple crown” hikers and one “double-triple crowner” will be among the presenters at the Fall Hikers Fest on Oct. 14 at Lake City Church, 6000 N. Ramsey Rd. in Coeur d’Alene.

Achieving a triple crown distinction requires thru-hiking the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide and the Appalachian trails.

The accomplished hikers also will detail their preparations and insights on hiking the Florida National Scenic Trail, and routes in Patagonia and Israel.

Cost, including lunch, is $20 for the event that runs from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Register online: aldhawest.org

Info: Donna Walker, (509) 270-3472.

Annual work party at Turnbull

WILDLIFE – Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Spokane Audubon Society and Friends of Turnbull will host a community work party on Oct. 14 as part of an ongoing effort to restore native riparian habitat to benefit birds and other wildlife species.

“We have hundreds of native saplings to plant and fencing to erect to protect the trees from deer, elk and moose browsing,” said Sandy Rancourt of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Planting time is 9 a.m.-noon followed by a potluck lunch.

Sign up: (509) 235-4723 ext. 228.

Geology presentation on Columbia Gorge

GEOLOGY – “Columbia Gorge Geology and the Ice Age Floods: 50 million years of geologic tumult,” is the name of a free lecture on Friday at 7 p.m. at The Lair, Building 6, Spokane Community College.

Lloyd DeKay, president of the Columbia River Gorge Ice Age Floods Institute Chapter, will discuss the current stunning beauty of the Columbia River Gorge region that belies its geologic history of volcanic arc eruptions, massive fissure eruptions of flood basalts, more arc volcanism, catastrophic sediment-saturated Ice Age Floods, huge landslides, and massive earthquakes.