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Outdoors & Rec

Union girl sets Oregon record

Kailee Smith of Union poses with her whitetail deer that set a new Oregon archery record.

Most 10 year olds prefer to watch Saturday morning cartoons, but Kailey Smith wasn’t like most kids her age. She would get up at 4:30 a.m. and go hunting with her uncle.

“She’s always had a passion for the outdoors,” Terry Blankenship said. “Kailey started off just taking pictures of the animals when she went out. She was always excited to go out to the woods.”

Fishing Report for November 29, 2013

Here is the weekly fishing report for selected areas in and around Southeast Oregon, provided by fisheries biologists for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Dove invasion

Gavin Young, from La Grande, admires a brace of Eurasian collared doves. Similar in taste to squab that is served in fine restaurants worldwide, the doves can now be hunted year-round and with no limit. Of course, it’s more humane to harvest the birds in fall or winter when they are not raising young. (JIM WARD photo)

Northeast Oregon residents may not realize it, but aliens are lurking in their neighborhoods. They have beady-red eyes, dome-shaped heads and sharp claws. Even their name, Streptopelia decaocto, sounds like something from the roll call at Area 51. But, before you call Homeland Security, I’m simply referring to a rather benign little creature called the Eurasian collared dove.

Some Oregon deer, elk hunters face reporting penalty

MEDFORD — Nearly 34,000 hunters face a $25 penalty for failing to tell the state of Oregon how they did on their 2012 deer and elk hunts.

Fishing Report for November 22, 2013

Here is the weekly fishing report for selected areas in and around Southeast Oregon, provided by fisheries biologists for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Population Boom

Observer file The Zumwalt Prairie is home to 3,500 head of elk. The population has grown from 500 head of elk to the large number of today over 13 years.

The Nature Conservancy manages growing elk numbers on the Zumwalt Prairie 

ENTERPRISE — Over the last 13 years the elk population on the Zumwalt Prairie has ballooned from 500 head to 3,500. For the managers of The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve, keeping elk in balance with the rest of the ecosystem is a multi-level task.

Fishing Report for November 15, 2013

Fishing Report for November 15, 2013

Hunting Report for November 15, 2013

Hunting Report for November 15, 2013

Counting Fish

Jim Harbeck and Eric Showdell of the Nez Perce Tribe steady a bar as Montana Pagano pounds in a “duck bill” into the bed of Crazy Man Creek. Each passive integrated transponder needs eight duck bills to stabilize it. (KATY NESBITT/WesCom News Service)

Nez Perce Fisheries expands its research into Crazy Man Creek by insterting a new transponder 

IMNAHA — When it comes to fish recovery, being counted matters. This month Nez Perce Tribe Fisheries added one more instrument to the Imnaha River basin to see how many steelhead are making it to the upper tributaries to spawn in the spring. 

Strange sighting

A Red-bellied woodpecker takes flight from a telephone pole in La Grande. Birders from all over Oregon came to see the first documented sighting of the 9-inch bird in the state Oct. 31. (TRENT BRAY photo)

Local birders get to see first sighting of the Red-bellied woodpecker in Oregon 

If you sight it, they will come. 

That’s what Russ Morgan, a wildlife biologist for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, found out this Halloween.

Wallowa-Whitman burns benefit elk population

In 2012, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife counted 2,867 head of elk on the Zumwalt Prairie and 2,376 in the adjacent national forest. (PATRICIA JOHNSON photo)

Fall prescribed burns in Wallowa helping improve elk habitiat 

JOSEPH — There’s more to prescribed fire than meets the eye. During a fall burn in northern Wallowa County last month, improving elk habitat was one of the targets, with some help from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Love, it is in the air

Shorter days in the fall stimulate the buck to prepare for the upcoming rut. When researchers put male deer in a windowless building, they discovered that, by condensing a year’s light cycle into six months with light timers, they could force the bucks into two rut cycles, whereby they grew two sets of antlers in one year. (JIM WARD photo)

Mule deer rut peaks in November, sending bucks into a frenzy 

For your average male Homo sapien to become smitten by the love bug, he’ll pick up on subtle cues from members of the opposite sex. 

Curves in all the right places, a little lipstick here and a little mascara there, will all heighten his arousal. 

Preparing the slopes

Anthony Lakes Ski Resort General Manager Peter Johnson said that prices for the 2013-14 season will remain the same as last season. (WesCom file)

Anthony Lakes Ski Resort gears up for another season 

Alice Trindle can discuss in detail the tangible things that make Anthony Lakes Ski Area special.

Cougar numbers leveling off

State officials estimate there are about 5,700 cougars in Oregon today, compared with an estimated 3,000 before the dog ban was enacted in 1994. (Courtesy photo)

For a stealthy animal, the cougar used to make quite a racket in Northeastern Oregon. In the public arena, anyway. Then the wolves came.

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