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Outdoors

Things to do in Western Montana and Northern Idaho

Thursday 06/19/2014
OFF THE MARK: Encountering Cyclotourism
Updated: June 19, 2014 - 11:58 am

One of the things I love about summer in Northwest Montana is that you seem to meet interesting people every day.

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Friday 05/16/2014
Mack Days update — Week 9
Posted: May 16, 2014 - 5:30 am

The 2014 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event is in the final week of competition.

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Friday 05/09/2014
Mack Days update — Week 8
Posted: May 09, 2014 - 5:30 am

2014 Spring Mack Days on Flathead Lake will conclude May 18 after 10 straight days of lake trout fishing beginning on May 9. So far in the event there has been 24 days of fishing with a total of 21,471 lake trout entries turned in by 231 lake trout anglers.

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Friday 05/02/2014
Finding inspiration with outdoor writers
Posted: May 02, 2014 - 5:00 am

There’s no shortage of inspiration this time of year.

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Thursday 05/01/2014
Mack Days update — Week 7
Posted: May 01, 2014 - 2:26 pm

Mack Days anglers have completed the seventh weekend of the thirty four day spring fishing event.

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Saturday 04/26/2014
Mack Days update — Week 6
Posted: April 26, 2014 - 5:00 am

2014 Spring Mack Days anglers have completed their sixth weekend of lake trout fishing with a total of 15,075 lake trout entries being turned in by 199 of the 760 registered lake trout anglers.

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Friday 04/18/2014
Mack Days update — Week 5
Posted: April 18, 2014 - 6:30 am

Almost halfway through the 34-day 2014 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event, there is a large fish entry.

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Monday 04/14/2014
Mack Days update — Week 5
Posted: April 14, 2014 - 3:00 pm

Almost halfway through the 34-day 2014 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event,ß there is a large fish entry.

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Thursday 04/10/2014
Perch bite is on
Posted: April 10, 2014 - 4:45 am

It is that time again. The perch bite is on at the east side of Polson Bay on Flathead Lake. Miles Marchi and I made a foray out there April 3. Miles had a couple of real jumbos.

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Wednesday 04/02/2014
Mack Days update, Week 3
Posted: April 02, 2014 - 5:22 pm

The bucket almost wasn’t big enough for the four fish entries from Bob Christensen of Missoula. Friday, March 28 was the first of the three day competition for the largest Bucket of Fish during 2014 Spring Mack Days on Flathead Lake. Anglers mark or pick out what they believe is their four heaviest fish to be put in a bucket and a weight taken. Coming in at 28 pounds, 13 ounces, Christensen easily won the $200 prize and 10 points. The bucket lake trout have to measure in under 30 inches to qualify — that is the requirement for any of the lake trout that get entered for tickets unless it is an entry for the largest fish which has to measure over 36 inches and weigh over 24lbs ?— there have been no large fish entries. One lake trout of the winning bucket fish measured in at 29 and three-quarters inches — good day to catch one of that size.

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Wednesday 03/26/2014
Mack Days update, Week 2
Posted: March 26, 2014 - 5:21 pm

FLATHEAD LAKE — Spring Mack Days fishing boats were covered in ice for much of the second weekend of the 2014 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event.

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Wednesday 03/19/2014
Mack Days Update — Week 1
Posted: March 19, 2014 - 3:07 pm

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Thursday 03/13/2014
CSKT announces start of spring Mack Days
Posted: March 13, 2014 - 5:30 am

The 2014 Spring Mack Days will begin March 14. We are looking forward to a great spring event. Go to the www.mackdays.com website for information-fishing tips, entry forms, videos, boat safety, weather information, fish ID, etc., and updates during the event.

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Tuesday 02/25/2014
Walking on Water
Posted: February 25, 2014 - 6:00 am

PABLO RESERVOIR — Dick Zimmer and I got out of our vehicles and faced the gusting wind and blowing snow of February’s most recent storm on the dike at the east end of Pablo Reservoir.

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Thursday 02/13/2014
Hunter education classes announced
Posted: February 13, 2014 - 6:30 am

Hunter education classes have been scheduled for Somers, Ronan/Pablo, Polson, and Kila. All hunter education classes are free of charge. By state law, anyone born after January 1, 1985, must have completed the Hunter Education Course to buy a hunting license in Montana. To attend class and become certified, students must be at least 11 years old.

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Wednesday 12/11/2013
A fishing update from the Macman
Posted: December 11, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Fishermen:

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Thursday 12/05/2013
FWP looks for input on 2014 schedule
Posted: December 05, 2013 - 5:00 am

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking comment on fishing contests proposed for next year’s open water season.

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Deer harvest wraps up, wolf continues
Posted: December 05, 2013 - 5:00 am

At the six northwest Montana check stations, whitetail deer harvest finished ahead of last year’s totals as the season wrapped up on Sunday.

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Wednesday 12/04/2013
A fishing update from the Macman
Posted: December 04, 2013 - 2:24 pm

Fishermen:

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Wednesday 11/13/2013
Mack Days Update
Posted: November 13, 2013 - 5:08 pm

It is a race to the finish.  Fall Mack Days is in its final week and the numbers are stacking up.  A total of 11,766 lake trout have been entered in the event so far.  Anglers can fish straight through to the end of the event which is Sunday November 17th.  Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event.

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Wednesday 11/06/2013
Mack Days Update, Week 5
Posted: November 06, 2013 - 1:15 pm

The 2013 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event continues with a total of 10,061 lake trout entries.  The event continues through November 17th with the last 10 straight days of fishing beginning on Friday November 8th. Sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes-Mack Days are used as a tool to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake.  Native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout numbers have declined in numbers over the years from where their numbers historically once were.  Bull trout were once very abundant in the Flathead system.  Some travel up into high-mountain streams in the upper Flathead to spawn with a few that even make it into Canadian tributaries and others moving into Glacier Park streams and lakes.  They are an important part of tribal history and an important part of the history of Western Montana. Mack Days are sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

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The high road
Updated: October 06, 2013 - 1:01 pm

 

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Thursday 08/01/2013
Climate control
Updated: August 01, 2013 - 11:31 am

The sun beat down, making me sweat and warming my skin. As I sat in the early July heat, I sunk my hands into the refreshing white stuff below me— snow.

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Wednesday 07/17/2013
Hook, line and sinker
Posted: July 17, 2013 - 3:33 pm

It’s not uncommon to find 11-year-old Superior resident Jake Lapinski casting his line off of the bridge in Superior on a summer’s day alongside his mother Michelle.

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Saturday 07/13/2013
Where the wild things are
Updated: July 26, 2013 - 4:53 pm

It seemed to be an ill omen when, not even ten strokes into our two-person kayak voyage to Wild Horse Island, one end of my companion’s paddle broke off and sank into the shallows. From that point on, my friend Pete had to paddle “canoe style” for the remainder of our almost two-mile journey from the public boat launch to the shores of Wild Horse Island. Despite the hardship, the sunny day was still bright with the promise of adventure by the time we came ashore on the rocky shoal.

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Thursday 07/11/2013
Camp Bighorn training provides a rush
Posted: July 11, 2013 - 11:49 am

PLAINS – From kayaking, to rock climbing, and a high element ropes course, Camp Bighorn has it all. With the adrenaline churning activities available, training becomes an important part of the process, ensuring everyone’s safety.

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Thursday 06/27/2013
After the gold rush
Updated: June 27, 2013 - 2:41 pm

There is a legacy of mining running through Kevin Smith’s veins.

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Thursday 08/09/2012
Northfork Notebook
Posted: August 09, 2012 - 11:24 am

Definitely summer on the North Fork as temps soar, and, families can envision school in a couple of weeks ... where did the summer go?

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Bighorn Sheep in Sanders County
Posted: August 09, 2012 - 11:14 am

PLAINS-PARADISE - Herds of Bighorn Sheep are often sighted along Montana highway 200. Sheep numbers have fallen over the last decade due to sheep vs. vehicle accidents, but this herd of about 20 ensure the population around the Sanders County area is still going strong. Baby sheep are hidden within the herd in the photo above, and as the parents graze, the herd leader, usually a ram, keeps watch for predators and other dangers.

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Water Daze
Updated: August 09, 2012 - 11:19 am

POLSON — The water frothed and churned as something approached the shore. Soon, a dark figure rose from the depths of the lake as a crowd looked on in astonishment, making sure to snap pictures.

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Wednesday 08/01/2012
4H Horse
Posted: August 01, 2012 - 4:08 pm

4h-ers and Rodeo Enthusiasts come out for the Lake County Fair Aug 3-4.

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4H Horse
Posted: August 01, 2012 - 4:11 pm

Children of all ages around Lake County Participate in the August Fairs and Rodeos.

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4H Horses
Posted: August 01, 2012 - 4:12 pm

Events all over the county draw spectators and participants.

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Monday 07/09/2012
Thompson Falls
Posted: July 09, 2012 - 2:53 pm

THOMPSON FALLS - The gem of a town is a popular summer tourist destination, and deems itself "home of Western hospitality." Locals and tourists alike enjoy the postcard-like scenery, as well as the outdoor activities available, such as fishing, kayaking, hiking, biking and sight-seeing the historical aspects of the town. 18th century explorer David Thompson initially navigated and charted the area, and places where Thompson left his mark or influence can still be viewed today. Thompson Falls is a place that is proud of its heritage, and encourages visitors to soak up all the education, beauty and wonder their town offers. Located on Montana highway 200, just 60 miles from the Idaho border.

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Sunday 07/08/2012
Cherry growers experiment with what’s next
Updated: July 09, 2012 - 1:47 pm

EAST SHORE — Depending on the time of year, a tour around Flathead Lake’s cherry orchards can show trees in full bloom, heavy with fruit, lit up with fall colors or naked with dormancy.

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Saturday 07/07/2012
Don’t combine bears and barbecues
Updated: July 09, 2012 - 1:46 pm

FLATHEAD RESERVATION — Long, hot summer days are perfect for backyard barbecue grilling, but the Tribal Wildlife Management Program would like to remind residents to keep bear attractants contained.

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Friday 07/06/2012
Mussels found on two boats in Montana
Updated: July 09, 2012 - 1:46 pm

MONTANA — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials reported June 29 that so far this season two boats carrying signs of quagga mussels have been identified at aquatic invasive species inspection stations in Montana.

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Friday 06/15/2012
Mission Valley Birding
Posted: June 15, 2012 - 1:45 pm

A short-eared owl takes to the skies over a field near Charlo.

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Baby Bear
Posted: June 15, 2012 - 1:39 pm

Baby Black Bear in a tree June 2012

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Mama Bear
Posted: June 15, 2012 - 1:38 pm

Seen June 12

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Wednesday 06/13/2012
The Gyro Days Carnival
Updated: June 14, 2012 - 8:28 am

The Wallace Gyros first started taking bets on the big, multicolored leather ball they'd drop in Lead Creek in 1942 to raise some money to send cigarettes and canned food to the local boys fighting in World War II.

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Northfork Notebook
Posted: June 13, 2012 - 12:37 pm

Do you remember the record high temps we had about three or four weeks ago? Well, that may have been our spring ... and early summer! I turned on the Weather Channel and saw a 26 degree reading at midday, the North Fork is runnin’ higher, and off color with wood debris once again makin’ its way downriver. Then there’s the South Fork that drains the urban areas of the Silver Valley, depositing lotsa rain water from the storm drains, runoff; consequently, a person standin’ at the confluence below Enaville can many times see a definite “line” between the two waters before they mix. River levels have once again “spiked” upwards on the Cd’A River system as well as the St. Joe. This Saturday is free fishin’ day in Idaho, and, with a li’l help from Mother Nature, we would expect many kids and families, fishin’ poles in hand, on local rivers as well as the catch-and-take ponds located throughout the area.

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Thursday 06/07/2012
Osburn's Gene Day Pond
Posted: June 07, 2012 - 3:54 pm

OSBURN — The Shoshone County Sportsmen's Association and numerous Idaho and Shoshone County agencies have developed a joint work plan to rehabilitate Osburn's Gene Day Pond into a fun fishing destination for families from the Silver Valley and elsewhere.

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Summers in the Silver Valley
Posted: June 07, 2012 - 3:40 pm

Summers in the Silver Valley are an opportunity for outdoor adventures unique to Shoshone County. While the bike trails offer scenic views through the mountain ranges, tourists visiting the area can also find excitement flying through the air or exploring the caves below. Today, we continue our series on the many summer attractions in the Valley.

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Friday 06/01/2012
“Route of the Hiawatha”
Updated: June 01, 2012 - 1:16 pm

Lookout Pass home of the Route of the Hiawatha” Mountain Bicycle Trail

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Wednesday 05/30/2012
Northfork Notebook
Posted: May 30, 2012 - 4:49 pm

Memorial Day weekend is upon us already! And the weather guessers are givin' the nod for temps in the low 60s, but with a little or no rain! Folks play in the sun, play in the snow, but rain is a different story altogether. Plenty of ceremonies at cemeteries throughout the area, check the News-Press as well as the Cd'A Press on Sunday. The big event on the tube and radio will be the Indy 500 … again, check the paper for the time.

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Tuesday 05/29/2012
Cold Water Dangers
Updated: June 01, 2012 - 12:27 pm

Early season anglers face cold water dangers

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Monday 05/21/2012
Was It Nessie?
Updated: June 01, 2012 - 12:15 pm

FINLEY POINT — After a prolonged absence of Flathead Nessie sightings, the lake’s elusive monster may be out there after all. That’s what Pam Moriarty, her daughter Laura Barthrop and Justin Lagemann are wondering after the trio viewed a strange object swimming against the current about 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 12.

From the picture windows in Pam cliff top home on the northwest end of Finley Point, they watched for about five minutes as it swam northeasterly away from shore toward the main part of the lake. They were so surprised that Pam briefly forgot her camera was nearby. She rushed to retrieve it and managed to snap a picture, but it was too far away to identify.

Lagemann estimated the object was about 40 or 50 yards off shore when they first noticed it. They watched through binoculars and afterward he sketched how it appeared to him. He thought the critter was at least 25 feet long. The head was not showing as it moved away, but it had a “whale-like tail” and “spiked dorsal fins.”

Lagemann had lived in Florida and had seen many types of unusual aquatic animals – manta rays, alligators, crocodiles and more. He couldn’t tell what this was though.

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Friday 05/18/2012
Among Other Things: Numerous business changes since '67
Updated: May 18, 2012 - 11:58 am

Sharon Fulton brought in a copy of the Flathead Courier's 1967 "Guide to Outdoor Fun," the predecessor to the Vacation Guide. The cover was a full-page cartoon map of the Flathead Lake area "drawn deliberately by Maynard Nixon" and copyrighted in 1953. Among the cartoons were a couple boaters pouring paint in Blue Bay and Yellow Bay; a fellow peering through a telescope from the Jette lookout tower above Jette Lake; another guy painting an outline of the state of Montana green; a couple dancing bears at Bear Dance; a boater chopping wood at Woods Bay; a muscular arm denoting Big Arm; a fellow pumping a pail of water marking the location of the Irrigation Project's pumping plant on the river; a bull trout with horns leaping out of Polson Bay; and Polson marked by New York type skyscrapers. And, of course, there was a lengthy sketch of the Flathead Lake monster! It takes a while to observe and appreciate Nixon's drawing talent and humor.

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North Fork Notebook
Posted: May 18, 2012 - 10:31 am

Looks like we may have turned the corner on freezing temps at night, but, if you’re ol’ school there’s still snow on the Alhambra Slide above Kellogg and old timers as a rule never planted their gardens before its rock is bare. Anyway, this weekend looks to be rainless, jus’ right for the Shriners Benefit ATV Ride in Smelterville Saturday. Organizers could have 800-1,000 four wheelers and side-by-sides in what is the largest ATV ride in the area. Next Tuesday, May 22, Hospice of North Idaho will hold a non-denominational memorial service at St. Pius in CD’A at 5:30 pm. Hospice assisted many Silver Valley persons and their families in their waning days, to include Rose Mary, Ralph Dune, and many others. There will be a reception to follow.

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