Northwest

I’m a pretty serious football fan, and it’s nice to see that at least some games are being played. I hope I’m watching Boise State soon, as long as it can be done safely. We’ve punted our season tickets to 2021-2022, but we may try for some tickets on the fly yet this year.

You hear about women that buy a different pair of shoes every time they get a different outfit. And I’ve got buddies and their wives’ have closets full of shoes. Us guys may all roll our eye in disbelief and count our blessings that our wives aren’t like that BUT, are us outdoorsmen really any different?

There are a lot of different views of the Black Cliffs looking downriver from Lucky Peak Dam toward the Boise River Diversion Reservoir. The cliffs take on different looks in the heat of summer and cold of winter.

BOISE — The Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission has published a new trifold Public Access Brochure that gives 10 tips to outdoorsy people visiting the state’s rangelands. The commission announced in a press release the brochure provides information to help people navigate a variety of issues on 28 million acres of wild open spaces in Idaho.

As hunting season is getting into full swing I hope that you’re prepared. You’re practiced up with your bow, your rifle is sighted in and if you’re out of shape then you’ve been working out. But one minor detail that most people overlook which in a very short amount of time will become a big deal is if your knife is sharp or not. In all actuality it’s not that most hunters overlook this task, they just flat out don’t know how to sharpen a knife.

Alaska has some of the best fishing in the world. If you have never experienced it you are missing out.

Hunting season is here, and a question commonly asked is “where can I go hunting?” There’s a lot of good answers to that question in Idaho, starting with

There are many wonderful traditions in ornithology, events that take place annually and which participants look forward to every year. One of these is the “hawk watch.” A hawk watch is a population monitoring event that typically takes place in the fall when raptors are migrating south to their wintering areas.

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There are still several weeks of good camping left this season and some of the best spots will be undeveloped campsites along forest roads.

Idaho is a big state with a diverse mix of habitats, elevations and climates, and the state contains a variety of upland game birds. Upland bird populations can vary tremendously on an annual basis, and their health and numbers typically depend on favorable weather conditions, which are often very localized.

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I’m about ready to take my hummingbird feeders down and put my seed feeders back up. Many species are migrating out of the area for winter. I watched streams of violet-green swallows moving down valley a few days ago. Mountain birds are already showing up in my neighborhood, anticipating the cold and snow that isn’t all that far away at higher elevations.

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I titled this article Sighting In Your Rifle For Big Game Hunting but the same concept applies if you’re hunting with a bow or even a spear! Whatever method you choose, you need to sight in your choice of weapon PLUS become proficient. If not, at best you will miss and at worst you will wound an animal.

When summer crowds descend on our more popular river fisheries, solitude during your fishing excursions can be increasingly hard to find. Fortunately, for those willing to put in a little effort, there are still plenty of destinations available in Idaho that not only often offer solitude, but exceptional fishing, gorgeous scenery, and diverse target species which may not be found at lower elevations. These are our mountain lakes.

BOISE — The Bureau of Land Management announced it has begun construction to enhance access to Celebration Park and the Halverson Lakes trailhead, located 5 miles south of Melba along the Snake River, that will temporarily hamper vehicle access to the visitor center and trailhead from its eastern entrance off Victory Lane. The BLM is encouraging visitors to access the park and trailhead from its western entrance off Sinker Road.

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Wrens are one of my favorite groups of birds. They are small, cute, and like to hide from us. That makes them challenging. But they also have songs that explode from cover and tell us which species they are. You can listen to me, but you can’t see me.

Last article we talked about getting ready/scouting for doves. Now, we’re in full-swing dove hunting. I got out a couple of times this week and had a ball. I love dove hunting. As a kid it was the first hunt of the year. Mom would come get us out of school at noon and we’d go meet dad and his buddies. We’d hunt until dark and then go out to dinner. It was a big deal for us.

In August, the U.S. State Department relaxed their global travel alert from Level 4 (Do Not Travel) down to Level 3 (Avoid Travel). That’s a favorable trend, but mostly meaningless. Countries determine their own entrance requirements, of course, and most of those nations bordering Zambia remain closed to visitors. Ergo, my Zambia exit options remain limited.

FAIRFIELD — There have been a number of incidents lately where people have picked up expensive livestock guardian dogs — often large white Great Pyrenees dogs — thinking they are lost or have been abandoned, when in fact, they should be left alone to protect sheep herds, officials announced Monday in a press release.

MOSCOW, Idaho — University of Idaho announced that researchers there are leading a nearly $6 million National Science Foundation cooperative agreement, using large and complex data sets to improve prediction and response measures for tick-borne diseases.

Katy and I just put a Honda BF2.3 motor on our Jon boat, ditched the trolling motor and are zipping around the lake slaughtering the crappie. I may have crappie addiction issues. This year the fishing is unbelievable although it was a lot slower this past Saturday. We only caught 50 in three and a half hours. I flew home Friday night, had plane troubles and was late getting in. As we were going to bed, Katy said she wanted to go crappie fishing the next day. I‘m a lucky guy.

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The No. 1 cause of bird population declines across the planet is habitat loss. Humans remove and degrade native vegetation for many reasons, including for agricultural crops, housing, businesses, transportation, mining, logging, grazing, and on and on. Many of the impacts we have on the natural world are difficult or complex to moderate or mitigate. But habitat loss is one thing many of us can help offset. Make your yard bird friendly.

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When I arrived at Lucky Peak Reservoir a week ago today (Wednesday), I was shocked to see the reservoir water level down 10 feet. Normally I launch at Barclay Bay in summer but changed my mind and headed for nearby Turner Gulch. Both ramps are at Lucky Peak Dam.

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BOISE — The Bureau of Land Management Boise District announced in a press release that it will host a call-in 4-H trained wild horse adoption on Aug. 30 from 1-2 p.m., accepting bids via phone or text. There are seven wild horse yearlings, born in the Bruneau Off-Range Wild Horse Corrals, that will be available.

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As I write this column in mid-August 2020, I can safely say that, although 2020 has been a disaster in many ways due to COVID-19, it has been one of the nicest summers in a long time otherwise. It has been gently humid and not too hot. But mainly, there have been no serious forest fires and resulting smoke clogging the valley for weeks on end. By the time this column appears, it may be a different story. I hope not. (Editor’s note: Terry sent this column in on Aug. 19, before our current orange air quality alert.)

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I decided years ago that the people who get a bull or buck every year scout. And I don’t mean a little. They scout a lot. And therein lies the problem for most of us. The ones who don’t scout enough usually fall into two categories.

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The Steller’s Jay swooped into camp and started squawking, interrupting a quiet morning enjoying that first sip of coffee in the western Idaho mountains.

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Personnel from Fish and Game’s McCall and Nampa Hatcheries will be releasing more than 9,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during September.

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Deer and elk hunters should see plenty of game in Idaho during fall hunts as mild winters have helped rebound mule deer herds hit hard in recent years, and Idaho's elk herds continue to soar and harvests have come roaring back over the last six years.

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After pulling his cows off an allotment in the Indian Creek Fire zone late last week, a local rancher realized one calf was unaccounted for. Unable to go back and look for it, he notified fire officials, who spread the word. After spending two nights alone on the range, a crew found the calf Sunday and delivered it to Incident Fire Operations trainee Russell Hamilton of Spokane. Hamilton then escorted the calf outside the fire zone to be reunited with its mother. — Vale BLM

Used to I’d catch crappie until the end of May. The last four or five years I’m still catching them up until I start bow hunting which is nearly September. I don’t know what has changed. But who cares, the bite is real!

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BOISE — After Talus inventors and co-owners Will and Dan Sunderland of Boise both broke the talus bones in their ankles in unrelated incidents within a year, they were determined to overcome their injuries and continue exploring rugged terrain “above the tree lines,” they said in a press release. They set out to design an ultra-compact camper.

I’m not a flower kind of guy. I’m more into shoot it, skin it, eat it type of stuff. In fact, I just got done filleting the crappie that Katy and I caught last night and am going to run to the store as soon as I hit the last letter on this article and buy ingredients to make fish tacos tonight for the fam. Right now we’re into frying them in Panko and I just got a new skillet from Merten & Storck that I’m going to test out frying them in. Drizzle Sweet Baby Ray’s Secret Sauce on them and they’re to die for.

Late summer can be an odd season for anglers because sometimes it feels like fishing season is winding down, but in many parts of Idaho, summer-like weather typically lasts through September and into October. That means lots of time remains for fishing, and if you’ve been postponing a fishing trip, or learning the sport, you’ve still got time.

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Early fall is the most challenging season for those who want to identify birds. A lot of birds are simply hard to peg. This is the result of a variety of factors.

I know that I’m totally blessed and get to do a lot of cool stuff but, my most favorite trip every year is backpacking with my daughter, Kolby. It’s the best daddy/daughter time in the world. No TV, no cell phones, no internet, no nada. Just me and her. We get to talk about everything under the sun with no interruptions. When I take time to hear her insights it amazes me as to how smart and perceptive that she is. I’d never have a chance to see this side of her if we didn’t withdraw from the busyness of the world.