190829-yh-sports-out-phillips-1.jpg

Dove hunting season begins Sunday. The Yakima Valley attracts dove hunters from around the state, but they may find the hunting to be a bit tougher this year as dove numbers seem to be down.

Commission to consider new hunting/fishing license

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider a new proposed combination fishing and hunting license at its regular meeting this Friday and Saturday in Winthrop.

The proposal would create a Get Outdoors license that would allow users to fish in various waterways and hunt for deer, elk, bear, cougar, small game, migratory birds, and turkeys. If approved, the license would cost $235.18 including fees and would be available beginning Dec. 1 for the 2020 license year, which runs from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.

Other items on the meeting agenda include proposed regulations for aquatic invasive species, as well as a briefing on the state’s policy for hunting ducks on flooding standing crops, known as “corn ponds.” For more information, including the link to a livestream of the meeting, go to wdfw.wa.gov.

BIRD ALERT

A group of enthusiastic birders joined a Yakima Valley Audubon Society hike to Sheep Lake above Chinook Pass. They heard sooty grouse hooting on the way in and out. They noted three pine grosbeaks, an uncommon boreal finch in Yakima County, and ended the day with 22 species. Other highlights included sharp-shinned hawk, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, Canada jay, Steller’s jay, Clark’s nutcracker, both mountain and chestnut-backed Chickadee, golden-crowned kinglet, brown creeper, varied thrush, evening grosbeak, Cassin’s finch, pine siskin, chipping sparrow, dark-eyed Junco and golden-crowned sparrow.

Yakima Valley Audubon sponsored field trips are fun and educational and everyone is encouraged to come along — Audubon members and non-members, novice and experienced birders alike. Field trips are a great way to get acquainted with other birders, to learn more about the places to go birding in our area and to learn more about birds and birding.

A local birder found that Wenas Lake is still a hot spot for fall migrants, as well as local regulars, as he tallied a very respectable 47 species. Highlights included Baird’s sandpiper, least sandpiper, western sandpiper, long-billed dowitcher, Wilson’s snipe, spotted sandpiper, Cooper’s hawk, belted kingfisher, hairy woodpecker, Say’s phoebe, horned lark, Bewick’s wren, cedar waxwing, American pipit, savannah sparrow, Lincoln’s sparrow and yellow warbler. At one point he noted more than 250 violet-green swallows over the lake.

Email your bird sightings to kdturley@embarqmail.com and be sure to like us on our Facebook page or visit our website at yakimaaudubon.org.

ON THE CALENDARFRIDAY: Kids ages five through 12 are invited to the Yakima Area Arboretum for a “Life in the Trees” themed Kids Nature Night, where participants will learn about how some plants and animals adapt to death-defying heights, the different forest layers and what kind of life can be found there, and paint their own tree with inhabitants. The event goes from 5-9 p.m. at a cost of $33 per child and $18 for each additional child. Pizza, snacks and lemonade will be provided. For more information and to register, go to ahtrees.org.

SATURDAY: The Yakima Greenway will offer opportunities for volunteers to paint, pull weeds, pick up litter and more at its monthly Second Saturday event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sarg Hubbard Park. Bring gloves and dress accordingly. Other supplies will be provided. For more information go to the Greenway’s Facebook page.

SATURDAY: Support the troops at the Yakima Training Center at The Selah Base Race, with packet pickup beginning at 7 a.m. followed by a half marathon at 8 a.m. and a 5K at 8:15.

Both races start and finish at Carlon Park and entry fees are $55 for youth (ages 5-18) and $60 for adults running the half marathon, and $35/$40 for the 5K with a $5 increase on race day. For more information, go to selahwa.gov/selahbaserace or call 509-698-7301.

SUNDAY: The Cowiche Canyon Conservancy will host its annual Music and Monarchs event, featuring Australian guitarist and didgeridoo player Blake Noble, beginning at 2 p.m. at Cowiche Canyon Brewing. The butterflies will be released at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at cowichecanyon.org. Kids 12 and under get in free.

GETTING OUTDOORS

THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will go on two different hikes this week. The first is a three-mile hike with 500 feet of elevation gain to Candy Mountain with a stop at Country Mercantile off Dallas Road for an ice cream treat afterwards. Call Linda at 509-965-4275 or Libby at 509-837-3609 for meeting time and place. The second is an evening hike around the Naches Peak Loop, about 3.2 miles with 600 feet of elevation gain. It will begin at the Chinook Pass trailhead along the east side of Naches Peak following the PCT before continuing along the Naches Peak Trail to watch the moon rise on Mt. Rainier at 6:20, then finally back down the trail to Chinook Pass. Call Bob at 509-457-2014 for meeting time and place.

FRIDAY: The Cascadians will paddle six to eight miles during a full day on one of Eastern Washington’s lakes or a section of the Columbia River. Participants must possess their own boat and gear, and personal flotation devices are required. Contact Kim Hull at 509-853-8698 for details regarding vehicle arrangements and departure time/place.

MONDAY: Yakima Basin Velo hosts its Mellow Monday ride that starts at 5:30 p.m. at Wide Hollow Elementary School and goes for 20 miles on relatively flat roads at an often brisk pace with several stops to regroup before finishing back at the school.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits will go on two hikes due to the size limits of 12 people per hike. One group will hike 10 miles with 3,373 feet of elevation gain to Goat Peak in the American Ridge area, Trail 959 via Forest Road 1800 (Bumping Lake Road), Green Trails maps 271 and 272. Call Dean Hata at 509-388-6375 to reserve a spot. The other group will hike 8.5 miles with 2,000 feet of elevation gain to Summerland, Green Trails map 270, with departure at 7:30 a.m. Email Ingrid Albrecht at ialbrecht108@gmail.com to reserve a spot. Both groups will depart at 6:30 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot or Bi-Mart if Chesterley is closed. Drivers going to Goat Peak need a Northwest Forest Pass and drivers going to Mount Rainier need a Northwest Forest Pass, a Senior Pass or to pay the National Park entrance fee.

ALSO TUESDAY: The Cascadian Trekkers will hike 16 miles with 3,000 feet of elevation gain to Tuck and Robin Lakes near Stevens Pass. Departure will be at 6:30 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot or 7 a.m. from the Love’s Truck Stop at the I-90 West interchange in Ellensburg. Call Ruth Ann Stacy at 509-925-4536 or Mark Kushner at 509-969-2431 with any questions.

ALSO TUESDAY: Bearded Monkey Cycling and Fitness will host its weekly road rides with various distances and paces for different skill levels. Meet at the store at 6 p.m. and be ready to roll out at 6:15 to ride until around 7.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 19: The Pathfinders hike four to five miles round trip with 500 to 600 feet of elevation gain to Fife’s Ridge. After driving from the back side of the ridge to the trailhead, there will be a moderate 300 feet of gain to the ridge top and great views, followed by a gradual rise as the hike continues west. There’s an option to hike less, sit and enjoy the view while waiting for the rest to return. Call Carol at 509-833-7989 for meeting time and place.

Reach Luke Thompson at luthompson@yakimaherald.com and on Twitter: @luketscribe