Still searching for a buck

Declaring an end to amnesty for forkies didn't improve my success rate for deer hunting, but my buddy, Dan Thalman, did get a spike over the weekend.

Once again we hunted hard in Unit 39, and between the two of us saw a grand total of three deer and one cow elk.

When I went through the Idaho 21 check station on Sunday evening, I heard hunting was again slow over the weekend.

Chukars are far and few

You never want to believe the statistics before the hunting season.

Idaho Fish and Game reported way back in late summer that chukar numbers in Idaho's most reliable hot spots are low again this year.

The figures are right. I hunted my favorite canyon along the Salmon River near Riggins last week and didn't see a chukar. Normally I can bust some pretty big groups.

Not this fall. I heard a few beckon me in the morning but never did see them.

Notes on a Sunday morning duck hunt

It's not great but it seems to be getting better for us hunting along the Snake River.

Here are some notes I took while in the blind Sunday morning:

- This morning we saw larger flights of ducks heading for Lake Lowell from the Snake River. They were high and not interested in coming down.

- We also saw more variety in the ducks flying around. We had wigeons, buffleheads, mallards and teal working the decoys. A few actually cupped their wings and came in.

Steelhead fishing has its ups and downs

Steelheading on the Salmon River near Riggins this past week was pretty darn slow.

We managed to land one keeper on a blue and silver plug and had a great camp dinner but that was it. Earlier in the week I hooked a wild steelhead on a purple Hot Shot.

Steelhead fishing is up and down like the stock market. Well, maybe not that bad. The week before we arrived on the Salmon, fishing was excellent. As soon as we got there last Sunday night, it took a dive. One guide said Zimowsky's on the river and steelheading goes bust.

Early Halloween party for kids

Ghosts and Ghouls are invited to Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge at Lake Lowell for some spooky fun at Creepy Critter Encounters on Saturday. Spooking starts at 6 p.m. and continues into the night until 8 p.m. Join wild creatures on this moonlit night for a slightly scary adventure.

There will be activities for kids of all ages. You can create your own trick or treat bag or mask or meet critters on a spooky hike. Stay until dark to call in owls and howl for coyotes. Dress up as your favorite animal and compete for best costume prize. Bring a flashlight just in case.

Deer hunt, part one

I am back in the office. I hunted about half of last week and headed to Riggins for the rest to do some steelhead fishing.

I can honestly say I hunted hard four solid days, starting in a snowstorm and temperatures in the teens to clear skies and t-shirt weather. I saw two small bucks, both of which my buddy, Dan, and I passed on.

It may have been a mistake if we want venison in the freezer this winter. Frankly, after part one of the hunt, I was surprised how few deer we saw.

Just some things to do


I hiked a trail near Table Rock Thursday and it was pretty dry. Usually this time of the year we could have muddy trails.

So, take advantage of the weather. This weekend might be a good one to get in a good hike in the Foothills. Views of the city are starting to get magnificent with colors just starting to turn along the Boise Greenbelt.

Temperatures should be perfect for a hike.

Good hiking.


Poaching incident is disgusting

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is investigating the killing of 46 geese in southeast Idaho.

Forty-six geese! Unbelievable. Somebody apparently shot the geese Oct. 4 and dumped them in three dumpsters in the city park in Soda Springs.

Officials suspect the geese were shot over decoys in grain fields or from boats on or around Blackfoot Reservoir. The exact location is unknown. Officials suspect several people were involved.

This is one of the most terrible poaching incidents that I remember in several years. What a waste. Officers said the geese were unsalvageable.

Synthetic vs. wool long johns

What's the record for wearing a pair of long johns?

I guess some miner back in the hay days of Idaho City and Atlanta must have the record, like all winter long until the spring bath.

Anyway, when merino wool started becoming the rage, the big thing was that you could wear this stuff a lot longer than synthetic materials without having the B.O.

OK, if you don't want to read about B.O., go on to the next blog.

This isn't something you really want to test out among friends and relatives. I finally did.

Shooting hours have a purpose

Shooting hours weren't made to mess up your hunt. They do have a purpose and that's safety and the protection of wildlife.

A hunter wrote in Monday morning that he had a discouraging deer hunt because some hunters started shooting before the legal time on opening day. Shooting hours for big game hunting are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

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