Wilderness first-aid class is important for active backcountry trekkers

If you're really active in the outdoors, especially in the backcountry and wilderness, it's important to think about first-aid. Intensive first-aid.

The American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid Class is scheduled Nov. 22 and 23 in Boise. It's a 16-hour course, which includes basic backcountry emergency response for most locations.

It's geared for hikers, skiers, hunters, scout leaders or anyone who finds themselves in a situation where EMS will be more than an hour away. A three-year certification is issued for the class.

More weird salmon news from the 2008 season

If you're a salmon geek like me, you pay attention to what's happening beyond Idaho. I consider 2008 one of the strangest in memory for salmon. There were records set for highs and lows.

But what really comes straight out of Bizzaro world is this factoid. There were only 1,700 chinook landed on the Oregon Coast by sport anglers, which does not include the Columbia River fisheries. There were more spring chinook caught on the Clearwater River this year than by the entire Oregon Coast sport fishery.

Overall, Idaho anglers landed about 10,800 chinook, not counting jacks.

Clearwater is running high

If you're headed to the Clearwater this weekend, be prepared for high flows. It's running at 23,000 cfs at Peck and 21,000 at Orofino.

My guess is there was snow in the high country followed by rainstorms. A "rain on snow" event leads to springlike flows in the fall.

The Selway is running at about 7 feet and the Lochsa about 5 feet. Those are flows normal to May or June, not November.

So if you're heading up to go steelheading, you're going to see some high water.

F&G: hunter orange recommended, but not mandatory

Every year Zimo and I get questions about whether Idaho requires hunter orange. It doesn't, and Zimo and I's informal survey of big game hunters has shown that most hunters prefer camoflauge. For the record, Zimo and I both wear orange while big game hunting.

Ethical Boise River steelhead angling

I got a polite letter today asking about why I would publicize the folks who wait for the steelhead truck to arrive and start fishing for them as soon as they hit the water.

In year's past, I've seen anglers literally casting at the feet of the F&G guys as they were releasing steelhead into the river.

I know folks get excited about steelhead. It's a lot of fun to catch one, and that's why F&G puts them in the river, so people can catch them.

But I don't think people should lose their sense of ethics, which is admittedly a big gray area.

Please send me your hunting photos

Hey gang, I am planning a mid-season hunting story for an upcoming Idaho Outdoors. My supply of good hunting photos is low, and I need your help.

If you have some good shots from this year or previous seasons, send them to me at rphillips@idahostatesman.com. I am looking for clean field shots, minimal or no gore. I am not interested in decapitated heads in the back of pickups. Big game or birds are both OK.

Hope your season is going well and you can help me out. You won't get paid, but you wil get your smiling mug in Idaho Outdoors, and that's a thrill money can't buy.

Steelhead anglers hit the Boise River

It didn't take long for the crowds to hit the Boise River Thursday.

Idaho Fish and Game brought in about 300 steelhead on Thursday and I counted at least 20 anglers alone at the ParkCenter Bridge.

I spotted anglers all up and down the river on my bicycle commute home on the Greenbelt. I didn't see any carrying fish to their trucks.

Fish and Game will bring two more truckloads the next two Thursday and maybe a fourth load if enough fish return to the trap at Hells Canyon. The steelies are trucked to Boise from the Hells Canyon area.

Ski swap is a big help if you have growing kids

The Annual Ski and Snowboard Swap, which is Nov. 7, 8 and 9 at Expo Idaho in Garden City, can be a tremendous help if you have growing kids and love skiing, snowboarding or Nordic skiing.

Back when my three kids were young, I'd always head for the swap. It's pretty tough keeping kids on the slopes when they are growing out of everything each year.

F&G: Help needed for another poaching case

A poached mule deer buck was discovered near Idaho City yesterday and Fish and Game is asking the public for information to bring the poacher to justice.

Conservation Officer Marshall Haynes came across the poached deer Tuesday morning along Granite Creek Road, just outside of Idaho City. “The buck was shot and left in the roadside ditch just after daylight,” Haynes said. Evidence was collected at the scene, but Haynes would like to visit with anyone who might have information regarding the case.

Is ski season around the corner?

Brundage reported more than seven inches of fresh snowfall overnight at the summit, on top of 2 inches from Sunday night. Brundage's base now measures 6 inches at the lodge and 9 inches at the summit.

"We need at least two more feet of snow in order to begin prepping the slopes for opening, but this is a great start," said Brundage spokesperson April Russell.

Bogus reported 3 inches Tuesday morning, and Tamarack and Sun Valley both showed snow on the mountain cameras, but had not updated their weather reports.

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