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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Safari Club holding benefit banquet in Spokane

HUNTING – The Inland Empire Chapter of Safari Club International will hold its 31st annual benefit dinner and auction Feb. 9 at the Mirabeau Park  Hotel in Spokane Valley.

More info: (509) 993-3098.

Sportsman’s issues topic of Safari Club Symposium in Spokane

HUNTING– A Sportsman’s Symposium focusing on hunting and fishing issues is set for 7 p.m. Thursday Aug. 16, at the North Central High School Auditorium, sponsored by the Inland Empire Chapter of Safari Club International.

Guest speakers include Nelson Freeman, SCI’s government affairs director in Washington, D.C., and Dick Leland, district director for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Topics Freeman plans to highlight in a town hall meeting format include:

  • Federal public lands policy, including the Forest Service planning rule, the roadless rule and Bureau of Land Management sport shooting policies.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policies limiting hunting on national wildlife refuges.
  • Hunter participation in national elections.

Info: www.inlandempiresci.org

Groups take sides on relaxing rules on motorized access to roadless areas

CONSERVATION — Opinions among wildlife conservationists regarding legislation that could allow more motor vehicle use in federal roadless areas. 

Which side do you take?

Hunting, fishing groups join environmentalists to fight federal legislation
Members of Trout Unlimited, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development are joining the National Wildlife Federation and other similar organizations to oppose House Resolution 1581, the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011, while Safari International and the National Rifle Association support the legislation.
—Durango Herald (Colorado News Connection); Dec. 31

Sportsmen donate netting to protect hatchery fish

FISHING — Spokane Fish Hatchery manager Ace Trump says $2,800 worth of new fish pond protective netting will be installed Tuesday to prevent herons, gulls, raccoons and other critters from taking a toll on the fish being raised for stocking in the region's lakes.

Money for the netting was donated by the Inland Empire Chapter of Safari Club International — a nice boost to a popular program provided by the cash-strapped Washington Fish and Wildlife Department.  

Several years ago, SCI also came to the rescue to fund and lead fish hatchery tours popular with many groups and schools in the Spokane region.

Helicopter pronghorn roundup caught on video

WILDLIFE — A helicopter's speedy pursuit and net capture of pronghorns in Nevada is captured on amateur video and posted on YouTube.  If you think helicopter net gunning is child's play, you need to watch this. 

Click here for one video showing the intensity of the helicoptering skills required. Listen for the two shots as the gutsy gunner — tethered by a cable out the door of the rocking ship — fires nets down on the speeing pronghorns.  The video above shows the netting done closer to the camera in the final frames.

On Sunday I ran a package of stories detailing the reintroduction of these unique critters to Washington.

The footage was shot by volunteers in Nevada during  the roundup of 100 pronghorns destined for the Jan. 15-16 re-introduction on the Yakama Indian Reservation in central Washington.

After the animals were netted, the volunteers raced out to untangle them and secure them so they wouldn't injure themselves before transport. The project was funded by Safari Club International.

Washington gets pronghorns from Nevada

WILDLIFE — Pronghorns are back in Washington.

After years of negotiations and miles of red tape, a herd of about 100 pronghorns (also known as antelope) from Nevada were released into Central Washington over the weekend,  according to a just-filed Northwest Sportsman online report.

 The sage-country speedsters were released Jan. 15 and 16 on the Yakama Indian Reservation by members of Safari Club International's Central Washington Chapter.

The project was sponsored by SCI with the cooperation of wildlife agencies from both states and the Yakamas.  Failing to get authority from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife over years of trying, SCK members said the tribe was receptive to bringing in pronghorns, which were extirpated from Washington in the 1800s.

The WDFW completed an Assessment of Pronghorn Habitat Potential In Eastern Washington in 2006, but it apparently has been removed from the agency's website.

  Fast Facts

From Naional Geographic and Rich Landers
NAME:  Pronghorn, a uniquely North American mammal. (Although often called "antelope," pronghorns are closely related to goats)
SIZE: Head and body, 3.25 to 5 feet; Tail, 3 to 4 inches
WEIGHT: 90 to 150 pounds
GROUP NAME: Band or herd
The pronghorn is the second fastest land mammal in the world, after the cheetah. It can attain speeds of 50-60 mph. However, unlike the cheetah, the pronghorn also has the marathoner's ability to throttle back to half speed and continue for many miles.

Pronghorn size relative to a 6-foot tall man:

Illustration: Antelope compared with adult man