40th Annual Utah Boat Show and Fishing Exposition now underway

Celebrating their 40th anniversary, organizers of the Utah Boat Show and Fishing Exposition invite recreationists to spend time with their families as they make plans for spring and summer. Jump-starting the 2005 boating season, this Utah tradition showcases Utah destinations, new boats, recreational equipment, and fishing tackle at the South Towne Expo Center, Feb. 2 - 6.

Jon Greenband, show producer, commented, "We're looking for a great show and the dealers are confident the increased boating interest is going to continue. We'll be showing more than 20 million dollars worth of boats, motors, 75-foot houseboats, personal watercrafts, trailers, accessories and fishing equipment. The display will cover more than 243,000 square feet."

Back by popular demand, professional wake board and water ski champions will be returning to the show. Dave Bagley, Trevor Hansen, Shawn Watson, Shaun Murray and Shane Bonifay will be available at the Marine Products booth, sharing new techniques and tips.

Anglers will not want to miss the fishing clinics and demonstrations, scheduled throughout the show. Mini-clinics await at the fly-tying theater, the "Live Action Utah Trout Stream" and the casting ponds. Show attendees can learn about fly fishing and casting techniques from professional anglers at the 1,500 square foot trout stream, which will be stocked with fresh Utah trout.

An animated fly-tying presentation will also be offered at the fly-tying theater and as a bonus, nationally recognized anglers will teach the tricks on getting the fish to bite. Attendees may want to practice their new techniques in one of two large casting ponds.

Top local anglers will offer expert fishing instruction atop the 4,000 gallon bass aquarium, while kids will have a chance to try their hand at fishing in the Kids Catch and Release Fishing Pond.

Representatives will be on hand from the US Forest Service, Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks and Recreation to provide information on park openings and closing dates, boating rules and hunting and fishing guidelines.

Tour guides from Alaska, Canada, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho will be available to answer questions about scheduling that perfect vacation and will also provide ideas on fishing camps, adventure travel destinations, resorts and world travel. Show attendees are invited to enter and win a "Fishing Trip of a Lifetime," which includes three days of salmon fishing and one day of halibut fishing on the Kenai River in Alaska. Transportation and lodging for two is also included, courtesy of R.W.'s Fishing.

The 40th Annual Utah Boat Show and Fishing Exposition continues at the South Towne Expo Center today 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri., Noon to 10 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sun 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for juniors (7-12) and children under 6 are free. Parking is free. Discount tickets are available at 7-Eleven stores. For more information call (801)485-7399 or visit the event's website at http://www.greenband.com

Cross Country Ski Trail is open at Wasatch Mountain State Park

The Wasatch Mountain State Park cross-country ski trail is now open for visitors, looking for great outdoor fun. The skating track is set and extends for six miles throughout the park. Skiers 12 and over are $4 per day and $2 for children, six to 11. Rentals are available for cross-country skis and snowshoes. No dogs are allowed on the trail. For more information, call (435) 654-1791.

Backcountry Awareness Week ends Sunday

Backcountry users will be wrapping up Backcountry Awareness Week Feb.6, with seminars, avalanche transceiver drills and an evening fund-raiser, benefitting the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center as they support the "Know Before You Go" avalanche awareness program.

On Fri. Feb. 4,keynote speakers at the evening fund-raiser will include Apa Sherpa, with 14 summits of Mt. Everest (four without oxygen) and Lhakpa Rita (Everest seven times, Antarctica two times, Denali two times, Agoncagua two times), along with famed filmmaker, author and climber David Breashears.

A weekend of on-snow participation and classroom courses will follow, including presentations by the staff of the Utah Avalanche Center, Snowbird's Snow Safety Team, world famous Sherpas Apa Sherpa and Lhakpa Rita, and REI's expert on orienteering. Saturday and Sunday's courses will be geared to backcountry travelers of all levels with special emphasis placed on women's, snowshoe, and split board-specific courses. An all-day Tram ticket, lunch, two classes and an 8:30 a.m. pre-public Tram ride is $49. Free snowshoe, telemark, randonnée, and cross-country ski demos will be provided by REI in Gad Valley.

Event founder Roger Kehr, commented, "The funds raised last year helped the Utah Avalanche Center initiate their new educational program and video entitled 'Know Before You Go.' This program is designed to give basic avalanche education to junior high through college age students in Utah."

The Utah Avalanche Center's "Know Before You Go" program targets high school and college students. Each presentation includes viewing the new action-packed film, a talk by an avalanche forecaster and a question-and-answer period with an actual avalanche victim. Over 5,000 students a year will see this presentation, which is designed to save lives through education.

For more information, visit http://www.backcountryawareness.com. To register for Backcountry Awareness Week classes or the evening fundraiser, contact Snowbird's Activity Center at (801) 933-2147.

West Desert Photography Exhibit awaits at Camp Floyd

Through Feb. 19, Camp Floyd State Park and Museum in Fairfield is presenting the West Desert Photography Exhibit. Featuring photos and descriptions of life in the west desert, this exhibit includes the Pony Express route, ghost towns and wild horses by local photographer Trisha Lewis. For more information, call (801) 768-8932.

Snowshoe Program scheduled Feb. 5

Families are invited to visit Wasatch Mountain State Park, near Midway on Feb. 5 to participate in their Winter Water Snowshoe Program. Participants may join a park naturalist at the visitor center from 10 a.m. to noon for a short indoor discussion about Utah's fantastic snow. Following the presentation, attendees may strap on a pair of snowshoes for an hour walk to discover some of the park's winter beauty. For more information, call (435) 654-1791.

Moose Moved After Confrontation With Girl

Wildlife watchers are reminded to keep a safe distance from wintering wildlife, following a recent incident in Summit County. Residents reported a moose was in their yard, which kicked at a young girl as she sledding near the animal. Fortunately the girl was not injured, but Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers responded to the scene, tranquilized it and relocated the three- to four-year-old moose without any problems.

DWR biologists remind people to give wintering wildlife plenty of space to avoid confrontations like this one. Though moose tend to winter in higher elevations, they occasionally end up in residential areas in search of food.

Scott White, conservation officer with the DWR, commented, "If you live in a foothill location, it should not be surprising to wake up in the morning and find one of these big game animals in your yard eating your shrubs, or to find that a moose spent the night next to your garage. However, the animal is usually just moving through the area and will often be gone within a few hours."

Anyone who encounters a moose in a residential area should keep their distance and contact the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Black Bear Hunting Applications now available

Applications for Utah's 2005 spring and fall black bear hunting permits are now available. Hunters who have applied for a black bear permit at the DWR's Web site in past years should have received a postcard by Feb. 1, encouraging them to apply on the Internet again. Hunters may now apply at http://www.wildlife.utah.gov.

Hunters who have applied with a mail-in application should have received a preprinted application in the mail by Feb. 1. They may also obtain their applications from hunting and fishing license agents statewide, Division of Wildlife Resources offices and the DWR Web site.

To be included in the draw for permits, mail-in applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 28. Applications submitted through the DWR Web site must be received no later than 11 p.m. on Feb. 28. Draw results will be posted by April 1.

Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says an instruction sheet to help hunters complete their application correctly will be included with the preprinted applications hunters receive in the mail. She advised, "Read through it completely before filling out your application. It will take a few days for your application to arrive in the mail, so you need to mail your application early to make sure it has plenty of time to arrive before the 5 p.m., Feb. 28 due date" Hunters who don't apply on the Internet are encouraged to mail their application early.

She also reminds hunters that they must specify whether they want a limited entry bear permit, or a limited entry bear archery permit, by checking the correct box on their application. Applications will be rejected if a box isn't checked.

Tutorow encourages hunters to obtain written permission from landowners before applying for a hunt that occurs on private land. "Written permission is required to hunt private property, and we encourage hunters to obtain it before applying," she suggested. "We don't want hunters to draw a permit and then find they can't use it because landowners won't give them permission to hunt the area."

The DWR doesn't have a list private landowners where black bear hunts occur, so hunters need to take time to locate the landowners. Less than 25 percent of Utah's black bear hunts occur on private property. Hunts that do occur on private property are indicated by an asterisk in the 2005 Utah Black Bear Proclamation, which is now available. Utah's experimental spring bear hunt will run April 9 - May 23 on four units. Season dates on the units open to fall hunting are Aug. 27 - Oct. 1 and Nov. 1 - 26.

For more information, call Utah Wildlife Administrative Services at 1-800-221-0659, the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

Wild Game Cooking Clinic scheduled Saturday

To announce the arrival of a new cookbook this spring, author Matt Pelton and Rock Cove Outdoors have scheduled a free Wild Game Cooking clinic Feb. 5th from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at 275 East State Street in American Fork.

Attendees will have a chance to try several gourmet dishes, prepared by Pelton, who will offer tips, recipes and suggestions to improve the overall quality of wild game for the table. Samples will be available beginning at approximately 12 noon. For more information call Rock Cove Outdoors at 756-6063.