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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Outdoors blog Rich Landers


Unstable snowpack triggers avalanche advisory

WINTER SPORTS -- Although weekly avalanche advisories won't begin until Dec. 17, Forests Service hydrologists with the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center issued an advisory this afternoon warning snow travelers of unstable snow conditions likely to last at least for a day or two. Read on…

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Peak Adventures OK'd to start skiing

SNOWCAT SKIING -- A North Idaho snowcat skiing operation has be issued a temporary permit to continue operating their backcountry ski business out of Cataldo, the owners told S-R reporter Becky Kramer Tuesday.Peak Adventures, as the company has for years, soon will take advantage of…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 30, 2010

Van Bennett drives the groomer at Fourth of July Pass for the Panhandle Nordic club while Geoff Harvey is helping to plan new trails. 
 (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

Panhandle nordic areas ready to groom

NORDIC SKIING -- Fourth of July Pass cross-country ski trails should be in shape for skiing by the end of this week, according to Geoff Harvey of the Panhandle Nordic Club.Forest Service crews were out clearing blowdowns off the trails Monday and a groomer should…

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Winter fishing opens with a whimper

FISHING -- The Spokane area's two winter fishing trout lakes open on Wednesday. The fish are there, but the conditions are iffy.The waters are Fourth of July Lake just south of Sprague and Hog Canyon Lake off I-90's Fishtrap exit.Fourth of July's east end has…

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Rammell caught dragging illegal elk 

Rex Rammell, Idaho Falls, is under investigation in the illegal killing of an elk following a confrontation with an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer. The officer was patrolling the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area east of Idaho Falls late this morning where a late…

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A trumpeter swan, likely the die-hard resident dubbed Solo, takes off across a pond at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge last April. (File / The Spokesman-Review)

Birders asked to help track Turnbull trumpeters

WATERFOWL -- Ice-up has ushered the trumpeter swans out of Turnbull National Wildlife refuge to where ever they go during winter.Solo, the geriatric patriarch of his growing trumpeter family, departed the refuge with his mate and this year's crop of five cygnets during Thanksgiving week,…

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Moose highlight Iller Creek hike 

WILDLIFE -- Early Sunday morning, Ken Mondal of Spokane took advantage of the fresh powder and for a snowshoe hikeup the East Ridge of Iller Creek to Big Rocks, an excellent public natural area west of the Dishman-Mica Road.Coming around a switchback on the new…

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MONDAY, NOV. 29, 2010

A whitetail buck fell dead in the background after battling a concrete lawn ornament in Wisconsin. (La Crosse Tribune)

Buck loses head-butt battle with lawn ornament

WILDLIFE -- Wisconsin whitetails apparently are willing to challenge any bull elk that come wandering into their turf during the rut.In an early November battle, a whitetail buck fought to the death with a 640-pound concrete elk lawn ornament. Both critters suffered serious damage.The La…

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Have we lost our sense of smelt?

FISHING -- Washington and Oregon on Tuesday closed the final remnants of commercial smelt season in the Columbia River, ending a century-long fishery that once tallied its harvest in the millions of pounds, according to Al Thomas of the Vancouver Columbian.The National Marine Fisheries Service…

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SUNDAY, NOV. 28, 2010

This anonymously received e-mail photo features three white-tailed deer during breeding season. (Anonymous)

Rutting deer not for prudish blog viewers 

WILDLIFE -- I'm posting this anonymously received photo showing a ménage à trois of white-tailed deer purely in the interest of natural science.Perhaps it demonstrates the natural intensity of the rut, or it's just two bucks with an unnatural tendency to make love rather than…

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Ski season starts with a POW 

SKIING -- "Wasted" is the most common term I'm hearing from downhill skiers as they wind down their holiday weekend begining to the 2010-2011 ski season.The powder was knee deep and light as instant mashed potatoes before adding water at most resort in the region.…

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SATURDAY, NOV. 27, 2010

THURSDAY, NOV. 25, 2010

Westslope Fly Shop opened Nov. 20, 2010, in at Riverwalk, 1003 E. Trent Ave. (Westslope Fly Shop)

Spokane has new fly fishing shop

FISHING -- Jesse Clark and his son, John Clark, just opened a new fly fishing shop in the Riverwalk building at1003 E. Trent. Westslope Fly Shop is located next to Northern Lights Brewery."We are pretty proud of the store we designed and built all of…

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A pair of common loons produced one chick in their first nesting effort at Long Lake in 2009. The female loon was back on a nest in May 2010 before Fish and Wildlife Department officials reported that she had been shot around May 9. Photo by Daniel Poleschook Jr. (Photo by Daniel Poleschook Jr.)

Lead tackle restrictions to be considered 

FISHING – Restrictions on use of lead fishing tackle at 13 lakes with nesting loons will be considered by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission when it meets Dec. 2-4 in Olympia.The lead issue is on the agenda for Dec. 4.Studies have shown that loons…

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 24, 2010

Bald eagles are gathering at Lake Coeur d'Alene to feast on spawning kokanee

Bald eagles gathering at Lake CdA

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- The annual gathering of bald eagles in the Wolf Lodge Bay area of Lake Coeur d'Alene is underway. S-R staffers saw four at Higgens Point as they drove by on I-90 today. Dozens more probably went unnoticed. The numbers will build, usually…

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Nordic ski areas are opening groomed trails around the Inland Northwest. (Rich Landers)

Skiers making tracks at nordic areas

NORDIC SKIING -- Cross-country skiers aren’t being left out in the cold as early snowfall covers trails and allows downhill ski resorts to open. Here’s the latest report:Mount Spokane: The temperature was minus 10 degrees this morning when the state park rangers show up at…

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Angler shares salmon with orca

FISHING -- When a pod of killer whales zeroes in on the same school of fish as the British Columbia sportfishing fleet, it's a head-to-head competition to see who's the best fisherman.This video has been going around for a while, but it's cool to watch.…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 23, 2010

Schweitzer Mountain's crew was making snow anglers this week as they prepared the slopes to open on Friday.

Skiing update: Some areas open Thursday

SKIING -- As ski areas scramble to respond to the sudden onslaught of winter and more than a foot of fresh powder, some are revising their previously annouced schedules.49 Degrees North and Lookout Pass will reopen on Thursday.Mt. Spokane and Silver Mountain will open Friday.Schweitzer…

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Habitat destruction, compounded by the recent energy boom in Wyoming, have put more pressure on sage grouse and their struggle to keep their home on the range. (Wyoming Game and Fish)

Sage grouse habitat map released

WILDLIFE -- A breeding bird density map for the greater sage-grouse released today by the Department of Interior could be a step in controling development to help keep the prairie bird off the Endangered Species list.The map identifies important areas having high density occurrences of…

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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