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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Out & About: Guided snowshoe hikes offered in region

OUTGROUPS – Guided snowshoeing hikes as close to town as Newman Lake and Mount Spokane and as far as Sherman Pass are being offered this season through Spokane Parks and Recreation Department.

The treks are geared for a range of abilities and most include van transportation. Parks and Rec also provides the equipment and basic instruction.

Some tours are scheduled during the day; others are at night by the light of the moon and headlamps.

A few tours pair a hike with dinner on Mount Spokane. There’s an option for snowshoeing and wine tasting, plus treks for women only.

The first trek of the season is under the moonlight starting on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Mount Spokane, with van pickup at Yoke’s on Market Street. Using the vans, newbies to the sport don’t have to worry about having a Washington Sno-Park permit on their personal vehicles, although they’ll want to get one after they get hooked on the sport.

Two snowshoers who’ve left tracks all over Mount Spokane over the years will be leading some of the Parks and Rec hikes this winter to introduce beginners to routes on the mountain.

Chris Currie, author of “Mt. Spokane: A User’s Guide,” and Holly Weiler, both representing the Friends of Mount Spokane State Park, will lead several tours, including the first daytime tour of the season on Sunday.

Participation in the trips is reserved through the Spokane Parks and Rec online at bit.ly/1moGuVu or call (509) 625-6200. Costs start at $29.

In addition to the Parks and Rec tours, Weiler and Currie also have scheduled the annual free “First Day” snowshoe hike on Jan. 1 at 10 a.m. from Mount Spokane State Park’s snowmobile-snowshoe parking lot.

Timely tips revealed

for cooking game

OUTDINE – Some lucky hunters have deer, elk or other game in the freezer now that big-game seasons are winding down. Now the pressure is on to make it taste good for dinner.

John Motoviloff, 49, a Wisconsin hunter, fisher, forager and author of two cookbooks is an expert at preparing meals from wild-sourced plants and animals.

Motoviloff breaks down wild game cooking into six “F’s.”

Fat is lower on wild game than on domestic animals, making it important to not overcook wild game and to use measures such as basting and marinating to help keep moisture in the meat.

Flavor of wild game is extraordinary. To let the taste shine, make sure the meat has been handled well in the field and stored properly.

Freezing fish and game requires removing air from the package to prevent freezer burn.

Flame, or temperature, of recipes must be carefully considered. If a standard recipe for domestic meat calls for 350 degrees, you might reduces it to 225 with wild game. The exception is if searing or grilling, then he still hits it with high heat for a short amount of time.

Fruit is an excellent accompaniment to wild fish and game both in recipes and as a side dish. Examples include homemade apple sauce and cranberry relish, or fruit cobbler for dessert.

Friends are the finishing touch.

“Gathering with friends and family really completes the circle,” Motoviloff said. “And there’s probably no better way to interest people in hunting and fishing than by sharing the fruits of your trips afield.”

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