Ask Zimo: Don’t quit hiking because hunting season is starting

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comAugust 29, 2013 

Q: I am planning a hiking trip for the first week in October. I was thinking of staying at Redfish Lake and hiking in the Sawtooths.

Then I remembered it’s hunting season. What are your thoughts about my plan?

KATHY CALLAHAN, email

A: You shouldn’t have any problems hiking in the Sawtooths in October, except maybe for an early snow shower.

The trail leading out of Redfish Lake always has a fair number of hikers and backpackers, so you’ll have company.

I really don’t think a trail in that section of the Sawtooths should have that many hunters. A majority of hunters will be in areas where they have more road access.

Still, you should take some precautions when hiking during hunting season:

• Wear brightly colored clothing. Blaze orange is preferred. Browns, grays and white are no-nos.

• Put an orange collar on your dog.

• Stay on well-used trails and don’t go bushwhacking.

• Avoid hiking in low light, like at dawn or dusk.

• If you hear shots nearby, make yourself known. Be visible and out in the open so you will be seen easily. Let hunters know you are in the area. You can simply yell, “Hikers on trail!”

STOCKING THE BOISE RIVER

Q: Where exactly do they drop the fish when they stock the Boise River?

JEFF J., email

A: You can bet that any of the bridges on the Boise River in town are places where Idaho Fish and Game stocks trout.

Barber Park and the areas around the West ParkCenter, Americana and Glenwood bridges are sure-fire bets.

Normally, we don’t give details about exactly where people should fish in a certain body of water, but in this case, anglers need to catch more of the Boise River’s stocked trout.

“We raise those fish for people to catch,” said Evin Oneale, a spokesman for Fish and Game’s Southwest Region.

Still, the trout aren’t that easy to catch, even though upward of 6,000 trout can be released in the river each month.

The problem is they have plenty of room to spread out, and there are a lot of places along the river where anglers can’t get to because of brush and inaccessible banks.

By the way, the special regulations section (two trout, none under 14 inches) is from the footbridge near ParkCenter Pond upstream about 2 miles to where Loggers Creek is diverted from the river. (Loggers Creek is diverted from the river near the first diversion downstream from Barber Park.) Fish and Game doesn’t typically stock trout in that section.

Another way to scope out fishing spots is to get on your bike and cruise the Greenbelt looking for where the anglers are fishing.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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