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Outdoors

Ice fishing season in full swing

Fishermen, On Jan. 23-24, my friend Steve Speckert and I made the trek to McGregor Lake to sample some early ice mackinaw fishing. We weren’t disappointed. Between the two of us, we figured we hooked and landed near 80 lakers. Even the smallest would be considered decent fish by most standards. Recent observations by several lake trout fishermen indicate that a mixture of green chartreuse glow and white glow seemed to be the most effective lure.   In light of this, we used these mixtures of Glo Grub heads and Tube Jigs along with mac flies also in the two colors and were happy with the results.    Also, I used a 1/2-ounce all-glow 2-inch tube jig. It was slow...


Formulas helpful when determining pasture value

A new grazing season is at our doorstep. Now is the time to be considering your pasture and rangeland values, whether you are grazing them yourself or leasing it out. We can predict the amount of grass a cow will eat in a day (cattle graze 3 percent of their body weight each day) and from this starting po...


Mack Days might be over Mack Days might be over

After a 12-year run, the twice-annual fishing event aimed at reducing Flathead Lake’s lake trout population and increasing the native bull and cutthroat trout populations may be coming to an end.  A statement on the Mack Days website reads, “The prospects for future contests will be deter...


Warm weather trend easier on ranchers Warm weather trend easier on ranchers

MISSION VALLEY — While the world didn’t end along with the Ancient Mayan calendar, the year 2012 brought with it some interesting weather patterns, to say the least.  According to the National Oceaonographic and Atmospheric Association, 2012 was the ninth warmest year on record since 1880...


Jocko River Trout Hatchery spawns 2,000 albino trout Jocko River Trout Hatchery spawns 2,000 albino trout

ARLEE — The Jocko River Trout Hatchery in Arlee got a colorful surprise in the spring of 2009 when it spawned roughly 250 albino trout — an interesting and rare occurrence. According to hatchery employee Ron Snyder, the Arlee strain of rainbow trout genetics was created in the 1950s. Since the...


Ice thick enough for fishing on some area lakes

Fishermen, I’ve been getting multiple calls from fishermen wanting to know the state of the ice locally. This is what I know as of yesterday when I intended to check out Kicking Horse Reservoir, Crow Reservoir, Turtle Lake and the East Bay of Polson Bay. I only made it as far as Kicking Horse and ...


Whitetail population up, wolf harvest down Whitetail population up, wolf harvest down

As the 2012 hunting season drew to a close, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials were hopeful that whitetail deer populations may be on the rise.  “We’re cautiously optimistic that the whitetail deer population is increasing again in our area of northwest Montana,” said FWP co...


Christmas tree cutting on national forest land a holiday treat Christmas tree cutting on national forest land a holiday treat

Western Montana’s abundant fir, spruce and pine trees in the Flathead and Lolo National Forests provide a great opportunity to cut your own Christmas tree this season. A short scenic drive, a sharp saw, some twine and a $5 permit are all that’s necessary. The permit is required for each tree t...


Polson’s bridge a fishing hot spot Polson’s bridge a fishing hot spot

Fishermen, I’ve become enamored with the fishing around the Armed Forces Memorial Bridge in Polson. The late spring, summer and early fall offer fishing for bait fish by the ton. The same abundant food source that draws the bait fish in warm conditions draws lake trout and whitefish in cold condit...


Experience wonder of winter at bison range Experience wonder of winter at bison range

MOEISE — Winter weather will soon do its best to keep us indoors where it is cozy and warm. But after the heat of the summer, the cold can invigorate and inspire us. Nothing beats fresh air, beautiful scenery, and great wildlife viewing to get everyone out of doors. Wildlife typically are more active d...


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