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Outdoors blog archive for Jan. 2011

TUESDAY, JAN. 18, 2011

Today's CdA bald eagle count: 64

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Bald eagles are dispersing from their annual gathering to feast on kokanee at Lake Coeur d'Alene, but they're not gone by any means. Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, just returned from her weekly survey of the the lake's...

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Bird season ends in gale of excitement

UPLAND BIRD HUNTING -- Rain was splattering on the windshield and the wind was blowing so hard up the Snake River canyon on Monday morning it rocked the pickup after I shut down the engine. That wasn't a good sign for two guys and a...

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Pup sighting boosts Oregon wolf count

WILDLIFE -- Oregon's count of gray wolves is up to at least 21 in two packs after two previously unverified pups were documented recenty by air and on video. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say aerial surveys documented 16 wolves in the...

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Felt waders could get the boot in Oregon

FISHING -- Felt-soled wading shoes — long used to give stream anglers traction on slippery river bottoms — could be off store shelves in Oregon next year and banned statewide in 2013, a casualty in the war against invasive aquatic species, according to the Mail...

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MONDAY, JAN. 17, 2011

A stock trailer holds a portion of some 100 antelope after they were captured in Nevada and tagged before being transported to Central Washington where they were released Jan. 15 and 16 on the Yakama Indian Reservation. The project was sponsored by Safari Club International with the cooperation of wildlife agencies from both states and the Yakamas. (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...

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Paddler shares Hangman Creek scouting report

PADDLING -- Spokane paddler and guidebook author Dan Hansen couldn't find a scouting report for a stretch of Hangman Creek at high water, so he set out by foot on Sunday to find out for himself. Hansen hiked the 10-mile stretch from the Qualchan Historical...

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A fisher is lured to a bait in the Selkirk Mountains by Idaho Fish and Game Department researchers for this photo, made by a motion-activated remote camera.  (Idaho Fish and Game)

Fisher gives rare photo op

WILDLIFE -- Idaho Fish and Game Department researchers used bait and a motion-activated remote camera to photograph the fisher shown above. Seeing these critters in the Inland Northwest is very rare without taking such lengthy measures. These large, quick members of the weasel family are...

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2010 a record-book year for climate

CLIMATE CHANGE-- Last year was a climatological wonder, with figures indicating that 2010 was not only the wettest since record keeping began in 1860, but the year also tied with 2005 for the hottest, according to a story in The New York Times.

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SUNDAY, JAN. 16, 2011

A badger excavates a den on Jan. 15, 2009 at the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area near Wenas, WA!
 (Alan Bauer)

Critters carry on during winter

WILDLIFE -- While some ground-dwelling creatures snoose away the winter, others are up for everything from hunting to major construction projects. Badgers, the middle linebackers of the weasel family, aren't timid about winter when bare ground is available. Badgers normally eat ground squirrels, gophers and...

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Join the avalanche warning team

WINTER SPORTS -- Anyone winter snow traveler who sees avalanche activity in North Idaho or the adjoining areas of Washington and Montana can boost the safety of other snowgoers by reporting their observations to the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center in Sandpoint. "We would appreciate hearing...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 14, 2011

We survived another week

SURVIVAL -- It's been a rough week on the Outdoors beat, but I'm still holding my head high. How about you? Remember, the snow slopes are unstable as we head into the weekend. The ice is weakening on the lakes and the rivers are surging...

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Hunter haunted by local shooting comment 

OUTDOOR ETHICS -- During a public meeting Tuesday in Spokane attended mostly by hunters and anglers, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department Director Phil Anderson was asked why the state isn't more aggressive about killing wolves. Anderson explained the recent federal court ruling that returned the...

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Dining out in the duck blind

WATERFOWLING -- A friend told me today that his fingers were cramping shut after plucking waterfowl from a productive hunt. Been there, done that. Nowadays I tend to breast-out most of my waterfowl. A fun way to use duck legs is in the blind itself....

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Oregon to charge for wildlife area access

PUBLIC LANDS -- The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved an expanded permit program for state wildlife areas starting January 2012. The program will require either a $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual permit, and will be phased in over three years...

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 Elk cross the Gardner River near Mammoth in Montana in Yellowstone National Park last April.  (Associated Press)

Yellowstone elk numbers drop suddenly

WILDLIFE -- The Yellowstone National Park elk herd, the most observed and photographed elk in the country, declined by an astonishing 24 percent in December. The annual aerial survey counted 4,635 elk last month, compared to 6,070 elk counted at the same time last year....

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Joe Hagengruber, 10, of Helena poses with shovelnose sturgeon. Joe loves fishing and has set a goal of catching all 86 fish species found in Montana. (Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)

Kid inspires with his zest for fishing

FISHING -- Out of Montana comes a rare story of a youngster whose life revolves around something as age-old as fishing. Joe Hagengruber, a 10-year-old from Helena -- an angler who lets his fishing rod do most of the talking --means every word when he...

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Conservation a priority on some BLM lands

PUBLIC LANDS --Conservation got an edge in management considerations on a portion of western Bureau of Land Management areas under an order signed late last year by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Salazar's order clarifies that the Bureau of Land Management should treat conservation as a...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 13, 2011

Avalanche danger rated high region-wide

WINTER SPORTS -- Joining the Idaho Panhandle's warning posted on Wednesday, the Washington State Avalanche Center is warning of a high avalanche danger today in the Washington Olympics, Cascades and the Mount Hood area of Oregon. The center says winds and rains could weaken layers...

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Austin Andersen, 13, left, and Micah Smith, 14, use their cell phones to document a large Nordic speedboat powered by twin Chrysler Viper engines at the Spokane Boat Show Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010 at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. Hundreds of boats, from kayaks to large cruisers, are on display, along with accessories like skis, fishing tackle and boat docks.   (Jesse Tinsley)

RVer's kick off outdoor show season

The boat, RV and sportsmen’s show season is under way, giving outdoor enthusiasts a chance to see the latest products from manufacturers and learn sporting techniques at seminars. Two notable shows won’t be in area the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area lineup this year: The Outdoor Sports...

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Angler do-it-yourself on Yakima River

FLY FISHING -- Jeff Mayor knows the advantages of fishing with guides, especially in a drift boat on unfamiliar stretches of river. But he and two buddies had a great time recently fishing on their own in a rented drift boat on the Yakima River....

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 12, 2011

Muddy water in Hangman Creek generally is a signal to kayakers, canoests and rafters that the stream is in rare good form for paddling. (Rich Landers)

River runners rev up to soggy forecast

PADDLING -- The rain-on-snow event that's making Inland Northwest roads and landscapes a mess is an opportunity to behold for paddlers and rafters. E-mails were buzzing today with the possibility of a rare opportunity this weekend to run boatable flows down Hangman Creek and the...

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Avalanche bulletin: Danger rated high

WINTER SPORTS -- The Idaho Panhandle National Forests has issued a warning that avalanche danger is rated as high in many areas as a storm and changing weather conditions engulf the Inland Northwest. Mountain visitors are urged to check weather and avalanche reports, and use...

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National parks waive entrance fees

PUBLIC LANDS -- National parks will be waiving entrance fees this weekend as an incentive for families to enjoy the outdoors and national heritage. The parks will be waiving fees for a total of 17 days in 2011, including National Park Week (April 16-24), the...

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Sarah Palin sits next her husband Todd's boat in Dillingham, Alaska, in July 2010 as part of a documentary for the TLC channel.  (Associated Press)

Palin's Alaska ending despite its cable success

OUTDOORS TV -- "Sarah Palin's Alaska" concluded Sunday with the final episode of the eight-part documentary series showing the former governor and her family having assorted adventures in their home state. The show appeared ripe for a second season on the TLC channel after attracting...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 11, 2011

Canadian Ski Marathon weeds out weenies

NORDIC SKIING -- You don't have to leave North America to participate in one of the longest, toughest nordic skiing events on the planet, but it might help to brush up on your French. The annual Canadian Ski Marathon involves skiing 100 miles over two...

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Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.

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Blog Archives

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