Winter Trails Day at Elkhorn Hot Spring

Come enjoy some winter fun at Elkhorn Hot Springs during Winter Trails Day on Saturday, Jan. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Free activities will be available, including guided snowshoe walks, a scavenger hunt, snowball target practice, Fox and Geese snow game, and avalanche rescue practice. The Forest Service cabin behind the hot springs will be open with free coffee and hot chocolate, wildlife trivia game, and a table where children can make their own pine cone bird feeder. The Elkhorn ski trails are free and open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Bring your own equipment or borrow a pair of snowshoes for free during the event. Elkhorn Hot Springs is also offering $4 swim coupons for all participants in the Winter Trails Day event.

Winter Trails Day is a national event with sites across the country. 

Elkhorn Hot Springs is located in the Pioneer Mountains, 13 miles north of Highway 278 on the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway. All are welcome and no registration is needed. For more information call the Forest Service at 406-683-3900.

Dates for seasonal meeting announced

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will hold public meetings throughout the state in January to provide information, answer questions, and gather input on the 2018-19 hunting season proposals adopted by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission earlier this month. The public meeting schedule for Region 3 is listed below:

  • Jan. 3: Whitehall Whitehall High School 6-8 p.m.
  • Jan. 4: Bozeman Holiday Inn-Bozeman 6-8 p.m.
  • Jan. 9: Butte United Congregational Church 6-8 p.m.
  • Jan. 10: Livingston Yellowstone Pioneer Lodge 6–8 p.m.
  • Jan. 11: Helena Montana Wild 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 11: Dillon Search & Rescue Building 6-8 p.m.
  • Jan. 16: Lima Lima School 6-8 p.m.
  • Jan. 18: Gardiner Gardiner High School 6-8 p.m.

Season structures and hunting district boundaries are adopted biennially for most game species. This happens every other year between December and final adoptions by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in February. In proposing regulations to the commission, FWP proposes adopting the existing 2017 structure except for specific changes. Proposals are based on population status or other circumstances.

For more information on season proposals, or to comment, go to fwp.mt.gov and click on the link for Biennial Season Setting.

The deadline for public comment is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Final adoption of the regulations will occur Feb. 15, 2018.

'Meet Your Telescope' event upcoming

Did Santa bring you or your household a new telescope for Christmas? 

If so, bring your new telescope and join the Helena Astronomical Society for "Meet Your Telescope" on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave.

We'll show you how to assemble your telescope, how to align the finder scope, what eyepieces to use and which ones not to use, how to know if you need to collimate your telescope and if you do, how to use simple tools to achieve its optimal viewing. We'll practice all of this using an artificial star inside the auditorium. If we are lucky enough to have clear skies, we'll go outside and view the moon nearing first quarter, the Pleiades and possibly Orion's Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy.

Our members have decades of combined experience. We can remove the mystery around the set up, use and upkeep of your new telescope.

For more information, visit the Helena Astronomical Society's website at https://helena-astronomical-society.org, or call Jeff Ross at 406-980-0533.