Catch Big Smiles at Kids Fishing Day May 10

By Brian Brinkerhoff

Outdoors Correspondent

Volunteers can catch more than fish on Kids Fishing Day, scheduled May 10 at Salem Pond in Salem. Some of the biggest smiles of the year will reward those who take time off work to help special needs youth and adults during this event. Sarah Flinders, with the Uinta National Forest, reported that more than 850 participants will attend this year and volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m..

Eyes will brighten as their anticipation builds in the shade of this beautiful park setting. Volunteering requires attending to the participant's needs, helping with their tackle, and watching their rods for elusive rainbow trout. Smokey Bear, the Jazz Bear and many volunteers will spend a day in the sun to help participants enjoy this outdoor experience and catch a trout from this quiet water.

Event coordinators would prefer to have one volunteer for each child with disabilities, generating a quality experience for those who rarely get outside. Many children anticipate this event for several months and some will be catching the first fish of their lifetime.

During the first Kids Fishing Day, one boy was so excited after catching his first fish, that his pants fell while jumping up and down and screaming for joy. Volunteers can look forward to many fond memories as they work with youth for a few brief hours in the sunshine.

Participants should dress in clothing, appropriate for fishing and sitting on the ground and also prepare for inclement weather. No fishing license or experience is required to volunteer and tackle will be provided. Volunteers do not need to preregister for the event and everyone is invited to help. For more information, contact Sarah Flinders at (801) 798-3571 or Amanda Bagley at (801) 491-5678.

This event is sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation, Utah's Dedicated Hunter Program, Sportsmen's Warehouse, Car Source, Albertsons in Tooele, Salem City, the Division of Wildlife Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.

Salem Pond can be reached by taking Spanish Fork's exit 260 and turning left onto Main Street. Follow Main Street for approximately 2.1 miles, where it becomes State Road 198. Continue approximately 3 miles, passing one arm of the pond, and turn left onto 300 West. Take a left at the next intersection, where you will see the park.

Brian Brinkerhoff hosts Backcountry Utah- Utah's Outdoor Radio Magazine, which airs 9-11 Sat. Mornings on AM 630 KTKK. He is author of Best Easy Day Hikes- Salt Lake City, published by Falcon Press. For more information, visit his website at

Middle Provo River Cleanup scheduled

Clean up activities await along the Middle Provo River below Jordanelle Reservoir, as Trout Bum 2 sponsors their fourth annual event beginning May 14 at 10 a.m. Participants will pick up trash along the way and be treated with snacks, beverages and a chance for prizes.

Interested parties are invited to meet at Cottonwood Bridge (the white bridge about 1 mile below the dam). Garbage bags will be provided. For more information, call Trout Bum 2 at (435) 658-1166 or (877) 878-2862.

Scholastic Clay Target Program sponsors Fund Raising Event for Youth

Youth and parents will compete for prizes Sat., May 14 at the Spanish Fork Gun Club to raise funds for kids participating in the Scholastic Clay Target Program. Parent and child teams will compete for trips and outdoor gear and other prizes in this inaugural event. Parents can compete with a son or daughter, or "adopt" a boy or girl for the competition. All kids Grade 12 and younger are eligible to compete for great prizes.

The Scholastic Clay Target Program provides school-age participants in grades 12 and under with the opportunity to showcase their competitive shooting skills and earn state and national recognition. The program is designed to instill in participants safe firearms handling, commitment, responsibility, leadership and teamwork, and builds character and citizenship development through Teamwork. SCTP is an introduction to a lifetime sport that families can enjoy together.

Individuals wishing to compete or donate prizes should contact Kathy Stimpson at
(801) 362-0991 or by e-mail at The gun club is located at
2445 Spanish Oaks Drive in Spanish Fork.

Enjoy migratory bird and wetlands activities May 14

Spring has arrived and so have thousands of birds that visit Utah's wetlands during their annual spring migration. On May 14, the Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah Partners in Flight and several other organizations will celebrate the beauty of birds and the wonder of wetlands during the Twelfth Annual International Migratory Bird Day.

Naturalist-led bird and wetland walks, information and activities for the entire family will be offered at events across Utah. Activities are scheduled at the Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, Utah's Hogle Zoo, the Paul Workman Park in South Salt Lake and the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge. In addition, the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival will be underway at the Davis County Fairpark from May 12-17.

Event details are available at or by calling Bob Walters, DWR Watchable Wildlife coordinator, at (801) 538-4771. Other sources of information are available at , , or .

Antelope Island offers easy Hike

On May 14 Antelope Island State Park, near Syracuse, is offering a Junior Ranger Program, exploring the lure of wetlands for Antelope Island State Park's wildlife along a short easy half-mile walk. Participants should meet at Fielding Garr Ranch at 2 p.m. Participants should bring sturdy shoes, water and sunscreen. While this program is aimed at children six through 12, all ages are welcome. For more information, call (801) 773-2941.
Seven Tips to survive Waterfowling Off-Season

This year's waterfowling season is officially closed, but that doesn't mean hunters have to put away their gear and dreams until next fall. There are plenty of ways to make the sport of waterfowling last through the off-season and be even better prepared when the frosty marshes call your name once again. Provided are a few suggestions to survive the off season:

1. Revive Your Retriever-- Off-season training can mean the difference between a good retriever and a great retriever when the next season opens. By spending less than thirty minutes three or four times a week with your dog, your companion will see a significant increase in performance over the past waterfowl season. Experts suggest starting slowly with off-season conditioning- especially if your retriever hasn't been exercising regularly. Start with short, leisurely walks and work on refreshing basic obedience skills: heel, sit, and stay. Gradually work up to retrieving and practicing more complex skills such as blind retrieves and hand signals. Robert Milner's book, Retriever Training: A Back to Basics Approach, is a great reference for retriever trainers. Perhaps most importantly, in some areas off-season is synonymous with heat. To avoid overheating your dog - a potentially fatal mistake - try to do your conditioning in the morning near a lake, pond, or pool, and pay attention to your dog's signals. When he looks hot or tired, it's time to stop.

2. Give Your Decoys a Makeover-- At the end of each season, chances are your decoys are dirty, weathered, and possibly punctured. To be ready for the next season, now is the time to prepare your decoys with a paint kit and a little patience to have those decoys looking as good as they did on opening day. Herter's sells decoy paint kits for most species, and Wing Supply (800-453-3593) offers Parker Decoy Paints, a popular choice among waterfowlers.

3. Perfect Your Calling Skills-- Opening morning in the duck blind is neither the time nor the place to find out if you can still hit that hail call like you could last season. Instead, practice, practice, practice your calling skills during the off-season. Howard Harlan, custom call maker, former duck calling competitor, and judge of the world championship calling competition recommends going to a local park or wildlife area during the off-season to listen to live waterfowl. "Listen to the birds at rest, listen to their conversations and interactions with each other - particularly if they're feeding - those are the sounds you want to mimic," says Harlan "not the sounds of your hunting partner."

4. Attend a Ducks Unlimited Event-- Ducks Unlimited dinners and other fundraising events are a great way to get in the waterfowling spirit, collect waterfowl art and hunting gear, and meet fellow outdoor enthusiasts who share your commitment to the outdoors.

5. Sharpen Your Shooting Skills-- Whether you prefer to shoot trap, skeet, or sporting clays, a little target practice now will pay off come opening day. Many waterfowlers prefer sporting clays because the course and targets are designed to imitate true-to-life hunting situations. Sporting clays are generally more expensive, but with a group of friends and a pretty day, you can turn target practice into a social event.

6. Inspect Your Boat - For many waterfowlers, the duck boat is an essential piece of equipment, deserving of the utmost attention. Carefully inspect your boat for signs of stress - especially near welds or rivets - and for wear spots on the ridges and bottom of your boat. If you think you might have a leak, put the boat on two saw-horses and fill it with water to locate the leak, then have an aluminum welder patch the hole(s).

7. Order New Gear -- The time to purchase new hunting gear is during the off-season, when those must-have items are fresh on your mind. Ordering gear during the off-season cuts down on back orders - which means you don't have to wait an extra month to get your gear - and you may even get a better price since waterfowling equipment isn't in such high demand in the heat of the summer.