Start thinking about muddy trails

Many of the Boise Foothills trails have clay soils and when it rains you've got a sticky mess.

Last night's rain should make us all think about muddy trails. I checked out one of my favorite trails last night and saw foot prints, dog tracks and mountain bike tracks in the mud and decided not to hike it.

The combination of higher soil moisture, shorter days and lower air temperatures in fall, winter and spring keep trails wet and muddy.

Big ditto from me about dubious 'record' elk

I ran a story last month about a Washington man who paid big bucks to bag the likely state record bull elk for Washington.

Now it appears an Idaho man has done the same for a potential world record elk.

Rich Landers of The Spokesman Review sent over this story:

The pending world record elk, shot in Utah in September, is raising
eyebrows for its huge size as well as concerns for the direction of
trophy hunting.

Known as the "spider bull," the elk taken in Utah's Monroe Mountain unit
- one of the state's most coveted trophy units - had a green score of

Shot at the buzzer

My deer season is over, and it had a happy ending - for me, at least.

A four-point buck probably feels otherwise, but he's not talking. After tonight, he will be cut into dinner-sized portions and entombed in plastic wrap and freezer paper.

My buddy, Dave Heimer, and I started hiking about an hour before daylight on Friday to hunt one of his "ace-in-the-hole" spots. He had taken a forky out of there a week earlier, so I figured we would at least see some deer.

Duck in Orange Sauce

Last week I asked for some recipes for buffleheads. I didn't get any suggestions, except make 'em into jerky.

Buffleheads are diving ducks and can be strong tasting. Most hunter don't shoot them or have them smoked or made into jerky.

Well, my wife took up the challenge to prepare the buffleheads I got while hunting the Snake River a couple of weekends ago. It was delicious. The duck was tender and tasty. There was no way to tell the difference from buffleheads and mallards, or for that matter, farm-raised duck.

Here's the recipe:

JULIE'S DUCK IN ORANGE SAUCE

Fall photography at its best

If you haven't checked out the Boise River and the Greenbelt lately, hurry.

Hope yesterday's wind didn't knock down a lot of the leaves. I've been biking the Greenbelt this week and the river, reflections and fall colors are beautiful.

The best time to take photos is between 8:30 and 9 a.m. (change that with the time change starting Sunday).

The yellow leaves carpeting the Greenbelt path make for a dynamite photo. The reflections of the trees in the river on the opposite bank make for a stunning photo, especially if a ducks or geese wander into the shot.

Notes on the final day of deer hunting

We hunted the Arrowrock area on the last day of deer season and it was pretty slow. We gave it our best shot and hiked some steep terrain.

It was fairly crowded. Every draw had hunters in it. We finally found one that was open and it was one mean steep climb to the top where we stalked the open slopes and thick draws hoping to bust out a buck. It didn't happen.

It didn't happen for other hunters, either. Most of the other hunters I talked with all said hunting was slow and that this season was pretty bad. Some saw a few does, but that was about it.

Bogus Basin's yurt will be pretty popular

Bogus Basin has a yurt that it will be renting this winter.

The yurt will offer a bit of soft winter camping for families. Reservations are not available yet, but may be in early November.

The yurt will be accessible by snowshoeing or skiing on the ski area's Nordic trail In non-snow months, it will be accessible by a 300-yard walk.

Hunting and ATVs

When it comes to hunting or other types of recreation, I'm mostly a non-motorized person. I like hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and paddling.

But this deer season I had an opportunity to use an ATV. It opened up a new world of thinking for me on the use of four-wheelers.

We hunted an area way back in the middle of nowhere. There was no way of getting back nine miles off the pavement on foot just to get to the canyon that we wanted to bushwhack.

Foothills hiking is at its best

The weather is perfect. The trails are perfect. What more can you ask for?

I took a hike last evening on the trails near Table Rock. What a beautiful view of the changing colors across Boise and the valley.

It's definitely prime time for fall hiking. It's also a good time to get in a hike after work while we still have plenty of light in the evening. This weekend is the time change and there won't be much time for hiking in the evening because it's going to get darker earlier.

The story of bighorns dying in Hells Canyon and the Wallowas

Bighorn sheep are dying of pneumonia in Hells Canyon and Oregon's Wallowas and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists are in a rush to save a majestic population of wildlife.

Oregon Field Guide, an outdoors TV program by Oregon Public Broadcasting, had a show on Sunday night about the fight to save the bighorns. The problem is that lambs are succumbing to the disease and if you don't have lambs, the population takes a dive.

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