Northwest

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The sun was sinking and the first day’s riding in Mexico was winding down. Along a narrow stretch of tree-lined country road, I spotted a gate made from barbed-wire and sticks. There, I pulled the motorcycle off the road and into hiding, then strung up a hammock. I climbed in and reflected on the sights of the day. Somewhere in that blissful daydreaming, I drifted off into the night.

Trout fishing is in full swing with thousands and thousands of pan-sized rainbow trout being stocked throughout Oregon and Idaho, and what better way to enjoy all those fish than on the summer grill.

“Wait, you want an ebike, isn’t that sort of of cheating? I mean, really, don’t you ride your bike for exercise?” exclaimed one friend when I shared my interest in electric assist bikes. Another added, “Those bikes go so fast; they scare me, and so does their price.”

The Southwestern Idaho Birders Association will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday. Mike Kochert will present: “Fifty Years of Studying Golden Eagles in Southwestern Idaho: What Have We Learned?”

I remember as a kid giving a 2-inch tall porcelain skunk to my dad and telling him I wanted to give him something but I didn’t want to spend much. It cost 25 cents. I wasn’t very smart or tactful I guess?

June will be a busy month for personnel from Fish and Game’s McCall and Nampa Hatcheries as they will be releasing more than 97,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations.

This is the time of the year coyotes are caring for their young and guarding the area around their dens. It’s a time when dog owners need to keep a close watch on their pets and be aware of their surroundings. A pet dog was bitten by a coyote recently while its owner was hiking at the intersection of Crestline and Redcliffs trails in the Boise Foothills. The dog is OK and making a full recovery after suffering a nasty looking puncture wound.

“Don’t be an a$$, don’t litter,” says the sign attached to the side of Smokey, a 1-year-old burrow/donkey owned by the Runswick family. For the last few weeks, 13-year-old Skylar and her mother, Deida, have been taking this family pet out in their surrounding neighborhoods in Hailey to help pick up trash on the side of the road.

They say necessity is the mother of all inventions, and I wholeheartedly believe that and think that it is a wise saying. But I also think if you show up everyday sometimes the light bulb just clicks. Or maybe it’s just that since you are participating you just happen to inadvertently try some weird new twist and it works.

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Idaho’s Free Fishing Day is June 8, and it’s a chance for residents and non-residents to try out fishing without purchasing a fishing license.

The Idaho Conservation League wrapped up its 34th annual Wild Idaho! conference at Redfish Lake Lodge over the May 18, 19 weekend with two senior members of Idaho’s congressional delegation sharing their thoughts on ongoing conservation efforts, said a press release about the event.

Memorial Day is coming up. If you are like me, you are ready to get outdoors. Memorial Day weekend is the traditional opening day for trout fishing. I was hoping to check out some high alpine lakes to see if the fish are biting. But there is still a little too much snow in the high country. Many of the roads above 6,000 feet are snowed in. Lower elevation hikes are snow free and make a great alternative. A couple of my of my favorites are Rapid River trail just this side of Riggins north of New Meadows and Goose Creek Falls between New Meadows and McCall.

Pintail Point, a piece of private property along Henrys Lake, has enrolled in Idaho Fish and Games’ Access Yes! program. Access Yes! is a program designed to improve access to private land or through private land to public land by compensating willing landowners who provide access. The Pintail Point property was enrolled by the owners for a five year period and grants public access to 296 yards of lakeshore.

Saturday, June 8th is Free Fishing Day, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game invites veteran and novice anglers of all ages, residents and nonresidents alike, to celebrate the day by fishing anywhere in Idaho without a license. Though fishing license requirements are suspended for this special day, all other rules, such as limits or tackle restrictions, remain in effect, according to a press release about the event.

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To see a sandhill crane grazing on a sagebrush ridge near Jordan Craters in Oregon was really wild. Up in the dry sagebrush? You’d think you’d see them this time of the year along desert creek meadows, potholes or near reservoirs. That’s the really neat thing about exploring the high desert of Southeast Oregon and Southwest Idaho this time of the year. Wildlife is abundant in the lush desert and migrating birds can be seen in lots of places.

After a snow-intensive winter season, most Idahoans are ready to move on to summer. But this winter season proved to be a lucrative one for Idaho’s biggest ski resorts — Bogus Basin, Tamarack, Brundage and Sun Valley. Read on to learn more of what made this season so great, statistics on skier days and number of snow inches, and what new elements did or will make each resort’s ski season the best.

The Snake River’s smallmouth bass population attracts a lot of anglers, and spring is often when they find the largest fish. Many anglers know the large fish are often females that are in the shallows during spawning season, and some of those bass move into the Snake River’s tributaries to spawn. Some anglers wonder whether targeting those fish limits the population.

CORVALLIS, Oregon — As the gardening season gets started in earnest, you may want to think about how you can be kinder on the environment — and your wallet, too.

Horsethief Reservoir campgrounds will open to visitors today, Wednesday, May 15. There is no reservation system at Horsethief; all camp sites are available on a first come, first served basis.

Our old buddy Jack Sweet told Katy and me that morel mushrooms are the second-best fungi in the world, second only to the truffle in England. I have never tasted a truffle but morels are the best food in the world that I’ve ever tasted. If you haven’t ever picked them then you’re missing out on the best food the outdoors has to offer.

Personnel from Fish and Game’s McCall and Nampa hatcheries will be releasing more than 70,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during May. The number of trout actually released may be altered by weather, water conditions, equipment problems or schedule changes. If delays occur, trout will be stocked when conditions become favorable.

There will be a Southwestern Idaho Birders Association presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9 at the Deer Flat NWR Visitor Center at 13751 Upper Embankment Road in Nampa, according to a press release about the event.

The ski resorts just barely closed and this year’s whitewater season is right around the corner and it might be one of the best ever.

I might as well cut and paste this paragraph and use it all spring. Spring time in Idaho is magical. We have ground squirrel hunting going on, turkey hunting, bear hunting, mushroom hunting and crappie fishing. You can wear yourself out, can’t you? So I’m running myself ragged right now.

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The Pacific Northwest is home to nearly 30 species of bumble bees, and many of them face an uncertain future. As part of the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas Project, Idaho Fish and Game and its conservation partners are collecting field observations of bumble bees. The goal is to map bumble bee populations in the Pacific Northwest, but they can’t do it alone.

Baker City, ore. — The Bureau of Land Management’s National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center will be connecting kids to public lands and America’s natural and cultural heritage with a variety of programs and activities in May. According to a press release, some of the special May programs include:

On sunny, warm days like we had last week, I almost feel like I’m experiencing spring for the first time.

Over 100 volunteers completed service projects to improve the Lake Lowell Unit of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, April 20 participating in this year’s Earth Day Work Day, it was reported in a press release.

McCall – While the Payette National Forest will be conducting multiple prescribed fires this spring, an on-line map is available for the public to see details of all burns throughout Southwest Idaho. For many years, land management agencies have been producing a hard copy of burn plans for the public, but this year these plans are available on line at: http://bit.ly/RxFireSWIdaho

The Idaho Fish and Game Morrison Knudsen Nature Center’s annual Spring Wildlife Celebration is Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — and the public is invited, according to a press release. This family-friendly event costs $3 per person, ages three and over, and includes fun, hands-on activities geared toward youth.

McCall — The Payette National Forest is announcing guidelines for wild mushroom picking this year in the forest. Following last summer’s wildfires, morel (more-ELL) mushrooms are anticipated to appear in burned areas of the forests, said a press release. Use caution in recently burned areas due to stump holes, snags, and loose soil or rocks, the release said.