This is the time of year that hunters and anglers in Montana start to get cabin fever. Sport shows are going on around the state and that seems to help a little. If there is one thing that sportsmen and women enjoy just about as much as hunting or fishing, it’s talking about it and learning about it.
The seminars that these shows present are both informative and entertaining. One show that will take place this weekend is over in Billings. It is the Montana Outdoor Recreation Exhibition, better known as the MORE show.
The MORE show runs March 22-24 and will be held at MetraPark. I will be there to broadcast the Montana Outdoor Radio Show from 6 to 8 a.m. Saturday live from the floor of the show. This show, sponsored by the Billings Gazette, is the oldest running show of its kind in Montana and regularly draws over 20,000 people every year.
Closer to home in a couple of weeks, the Adams Event Center in Missoula will host the Big Sky Sports and Outdoor Show. It is the second year for this show, which is brought to you by the Missoulian and will be held April 5-7. More than 100 exhibitors will show you everything from drift boats to rafts. The show will feature seminars by Dan Mar, a world famous dog trainer, Chef Vince Pernicano on wild-game cooking, fly-tying clinics for children, turkey-calling seminars, boat safety seminars and more.
The show will also offer a climbing wall for some of you with a real bad dose of cabin fever. Last year’s show was a good one and this year it sounds like it will be an even better one.
Upland bird hunters who are looking for one last blast of the season for pheasants do have an option, if they act quickly. While the general pheasant season is closed in Montana, the shooting preserve season remains open until March 31. For western Montana hunters, the Seldom Seen Hunting Preserve is operated by Katie and Rex Radtke and located on 1,200 acres near Hall, in the Flint Creek Valley, just six miles south of Drummond.
If you are suffering from cabin fever, most likely your hunting dog is too. Seldom Seen is a short distance from Missoula, so you can make the short drive and be back with a limit of pheasants before dinner. The Radtkes boast that their birds are top quality and flight conditioned. If you want to get more information call (406) 288-3402 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steelhead fishing continues to be good on the Clearwater River in Idaho. The success depends mostly on weather and how high the river is running. Stu Kestner reports that the catch rate is the best it has been in a long time. The fish are stacked in the river according to Kestner but a cold front and high muddy water will shut the bite right off. Riverside Sportshop in Orophino would be a good place to call for current conditions, (208) 476-5418.
Last week on my radio show reports out of the high mountain Bitterroot Lake said that anglers were catching salmon that were weighing around 2 to 3 pounds. The lake is located near Kalispell and Dick Zimmer would have an updated report for you. He can be reached at (406) 675-0068 or at hyperlink: email@example.com.
Also a special note from the area: Lake Mary Ronan is closed to all but perch fishing until opening day, which is May 18.