INWC Monthly Meeting – National Hunting & Fishing Day

We will have a presentation by Steven Dazey on the upcoming National Hunting and Fishing Day. Join us as we learn about how we can get involved and how kids can participate. Click the link below for more information. 2023_NHFD_poster_8.5×11 We will also have an INWC volunteer presentation, committee updates and drawings for in-person attendees. Doors open at 6:30, meeting begins at 7:00. **This will be a hybrid meeting if you cannot join us in person you can view the meeting online by clicking HERE    

INWC Monthly Meeting – Pike Minnow Reward Program

Our program for the May General Meeting will be presented by John Hone, of WDFW Fisheries Division, where he will present information on the history and science behind the Pike Minnow Reward Program, and how to catch them. Doors open at 6:30, meeting begins at 7:00.    

INWC Monthly Meeting – Kalispel Natural Resources & Arrow Lakes Caribou Society

We will have a presentation by Kalispel Natural Resources & the Arrow Lakes Caribou Society. Join us as we learn about the efforts under way to help stabilize and recover the Selkirk Caribou herds. There will also be an appetizer potluck, prize raffles (in person attendees only), and BHS updates. Please consider bringing an appetizer to share. Doors open at 6:30, meeting begins at 7:00. **This will be a hybrid meeting if you cannot join us in person you can view the meeting online by clicking HERE    

INWC Monthly Meeting – Holiday Potluck and Board Elections

Come hungry and ready to vote! The INWC will be providing ham and turkey, please consider bringing a side to share with everyone. We will be holding our annual elections for our board of trustees (biographies for current candidates will be posted in our digital newsletter on November 20, 2022). You must be a current member in good standing to vote so call the office today (509-487-8552) to check your membership status. Doors open at 6:30, meeting begins at 7:00.    

INWC Monthly Meeting – Chris Flanagan IEBA Presenting

Chris Flanagan member of Inland Empire Beekeepers Association, IEBA, and a local bee keeper will be sharing a presentation with us about local pollinators, pollinator habitat, and beekeeping. This will be a great opportunity to learn about the importance of pollinators and steps you can take to help them in your own backyard. Doors open at 6:30, presentation begins at 7:00. Light refreshments provided. INWC Junior Activity – Pollinator Plants At the June meeting several INWC Junior members painted flower pots in preparation for this month’s meeting. For September’s INWC Junior gathering we will be planting flowers that are great for pollinators, and sharing information about bees with our junior members. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! The INWC Junior program is only possible with the support of our volunteers. You don’t have to be an expert in bees to succeed at this project. We provide all the supplies and materials, you just bring a smile and a dose of patience.    

Blue Mtn Fence Project – Volunteers Needed

Our fencing removal project supporting the Blue Mountain elk herd is back! Join us for a fun weekend of camping, friends, and conservation. Free camping at the wildlife office with water and toilet available. Volunteers are needed both on the mountain and at camp, we have a job for everyone at this event. Directions, and more camp information to come shortly. Contact the office for more information or to register (509) 487-8552, 

INWC Monthly Meeting – Robbie Kroger Presenting

This month our meeting seminar presentation will be provided by Robbie Kroger, founder of Blood Origins. INWC Junior will be painting and preparing flower pots for an upcoming project (planting flowers for bees during the meeting with Inland Empire Bee Keepers) Doors open at 6:30, presentation begins at 7:00. Light refreshments provided.  

INWC Monthly Meeting – Wilderness Survival

This month our meeting seminar will walk you through the basics of wilderness survival with Jake Newton. Doors open at 6:30, presentation begins at 7:00. Light refreshments provided. Jake Newton is an innovative and devoted security professional with over 12 years of experience in both the Public and Private sectors. Throughout his career, Jake has specialized in crisis preparedness, contingency planning for austere environments, and facilitating security-related education. Jake is currently the Vice President of Security Solutions for Center for Personal Protection and Safety, Inc (CPPS) where he consults with organizations to develop comprehensive Violence Prevention and Intervention, as well as Travel Risk Management programs. Jake also routinely leads a team of six on the Ministry Security team of Victory Faith Fellowship where he’s responsible for the safety and security of about 650 weekly congregants. Prior to joining CPPS, Jake enjoyed a distinguished tenure in the U.S. Air Force as a Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Specialist. During his service, Jake provided Combat Survival Training for over 3,000 U.S. Government personnel ensuring operational readiness in the world’s highest risk environments. Jake also held an instrumental role in re-writing the Air Force Combat Survival Course curriculum—a first in twenty years. Jake routinely consults with numerous Fortune 500 companies and facilitates training for their personnel; he’s led multinational combat search-and-rescue and mass casualty exercises and has been published by several corporations and industry periodicals. Jake earned his Bachelor of Science in Business, Education and Health Sciences through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Global Security from Arizona State University. Jake is also a member of the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association    

Volunteer Opportunity – Birch Tree Planting

Volunteer Birch Tree Planting Project for Sharp-tailed Grouse Winter Habitat   When:  October 23, 2021, 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM Where:  Telford Management Area, BLM Public Lands in Lincoln County, WA. *RSVP requested by Oct. 15.  Volunteers are needed to:   1) Lay out and stake down weed mat on ground, 2) Use motorized hand augers to drill planting holes, 3) Plant 90 water birch trees, 4) Construct enclosures around the trees using t-posts and hog panels.    Light refreshments will be provided.   The project will improve riparian habitat for sharp-tailed grouse, migratory songbirds, and mule deer. Water birch (Betula occendentalis) provides critical winter habitat for sharp-tailed grouse, a state-threatened species.  The project is coordinated with the Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area and will support an existing population of approximately 50 sharp-tailed grouse. The project is located on Lake Creek alongside wetlands that were restored by Ducks Unlimited in 2009. Birch trees planted in 2010 are thriving on-site, and we will add 90 more!  

Spring Bear Hunting Seasons

Spring Bear Hunting Seasons By: Marie Neumiller, INWC Executive Director *Quick disclaimer – I started hunting birds with my dad as a child, and then as an adult I began hunting big game more frequently, but I have yet to go on a spring bear hunt. So when the spring bear permit decision blew up at the December WDFW commission meeting [1] I realized that I had a lot of learning to do. I would like to give special thanks to Commissioner Kim Thornburn and WDFW Game Division Manager Anis Aoude for taking time to; answer my questions, educate me in general bear management/conservation, and clear up my misunderstandings. Also, thank you to Clay Newcomb (Bear Hunting Magazine/Meat Eater), Bruce Tague (Sportsmen’s alliance), Jacob Hupp (Sportsmen’s alliance), and Jesse Ingles (Cattlemen’s association) for talking time to talk with me on this issue in depth. Your INWC representatives have spent the better part of the past month sifting through research and talking with reliable sources to be able to share a wide variety of information on the topic. Our hope is that the following article will present valuable information so that you can decide on the issue currently brewing in Washington State. Spring Bear Permits in Washington State The Spring bear season in Washington State is a part of the overall game management plan [2]. “The majority of bear hunting opportunity is in the fall, but a limited permit-only spring hunt is available. Spring hunts are designed to address emerging management needs, such as bear damage to trees in commercial timberlands, bear-human conflict, or to more evenly distribute harvest compared to fall seasons,” [2] (pg 101). Each year WDFW employees evaluate conservation goals for each area. They pair those goals with bear harvest data from past years and set new permit number suggestions for each of the bear units individually. These adjusted numbers are then presented to the Commission for approval prior to selling raffle entries. This permit hunt, as opposed to an over-the-counter hunt, allows the department to fine tune the take numbers and ensure population balance in each individual hunting area. Bear Behavior in Spring As temperatures begin to rise in the spring, bears awaken from their extended slumber. However, science has found that bears do not all emerge at the same time, and their overall hibernation period ranges from 131-171 days. As noted by the National Park Service [3], “Male bears emerge first, usually from early to mid-March (average days denned = 131 days), followed by solitary females and females with yearlings or two-year-olds (average days denned = 151 days) in late March through mid-April (Haroldson et al. 2002). Last to emerge are females with new-born cubs (average days denned = 171), from mid-April through early May. Males, sub adults, solitary females and females with yearlings or two-year-olds usually leave the vicinity of their den within a week of emergence while females with new-born cubs remain in the general vicinity of the den for several more weeks.” As for predation, bears tend to only be a threat to ungulate (deer, elk, and moose) youth in spring and early summer.  Bears are omnivores that are on a constant search for foods that will provide the most calories while expending the least number of calories.  In spring, black bears seek out sugar rich, quick growing grasses, which also tend to be ideal locations for ungulates to hide their fawns/calves. Being opportunistic by nature bears will take advantage of this situation which contributes to spring being the highest time of predation by bears. After about July these solitary hunters will generally stop preying on ungulate young as they begin to reach a more formidable size. They will instead seek out insects, plants, and carrion as their primary food sources (excepting for years of low plant yields or over grazing). Arguments Against Spring Season Let us start with the elephant in the room – orphaned cubs. Many groups that oppose spring bear hunting have a shared mantra, “one bullet kills an entire family.” Hollywood and hunting opposition groups will paint a picture of mama bear and her cubs all cozy in their beds in their quaint cave. Mama bear heads out of the cave to gather berries for her sweet babies not knowing that an evil hunter is lying prone a short distance away gun scope trained on the cave opening, intent on killing the sow and by proxy her cubs. Is this an emotional argument, or does the science support the claim that spring bear hunting is causing cubs to be orphaned in masse potentially putting bear populations at risk? The “Orphans from Spring Harvest” study [4] conducted out of Manitoba set out to answer that exact question. The study found that, “The 41 cubs that may have been orphaned each spring hunting season represented <2% of those that may die annually from natural causes,” (pg 30). They noted that, “comparing the estimates of orphaned cubs to those that die from natural causes (starvation, cannibalism, abandonment, predation, disease, human-related accidents) adds perspective to the situation,” (pg 30). After evaluating all the data collected over the study’s four-year period (1996-2000) these researchers concluded that, “The spring hunting season is a valuable wildlife management tool. It can be used to reduce or maintain black bear population at or below biological or cultural carrying capacity, thereby reducing, or maintaining problem bear incidents at tolerable levels in a cost-effective manner. The second argument commonly made is that weak and vulnerable sows will cache their cubs in trees while they seek food so hunters cannot properly identify sows with cubs. The results from the Manitoba study again directly contradict the argument. “The spring bear hunting season, when there are few other hunting opportunities, distributes hunting pressure over a greater period, gives hunters the advantage of short and sparse vegetation (which increases detectability of cubs with female bears).” [4] (pg 32). In fact, they found that spring bear seasons tend to, “…select against nursing females because …