Outdoor Briefs

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2003

Bradford Memorial postponed; Junior race still on

The Claude Bradford Memorial Sled Dog Race, originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, has been postponed due to poor trail conditions. It will be rescheduled for later in the year when trail conditions will allow for safe, fast sprint racing for all classes.

However, the Al York Junior Mushing Race is still planned to start at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Soldotna Municipal Airport, though modifications may be made to the trail for the 2-mile advanced junior race.

For more information, contact Mitch at 262-4977.

Refuge to host Winter Fun Day

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge will host a Winter Fun Day on Feb. 8. Events will run from 10 a.m. until noon at the refuge visitor center in Soldotna.

Activities will include family winter crafts, a guided snowshoe walk and a presentation on pioneer life in Alaska at the Andrew Berg cabin. All activities and hot spiced cider will be provided free of charge. Participants should wear warm clothes and boots for outdoor activities.

For more information, contact the refuge at 262-7021.

Shirilla leads Wyoming sled dog race

JACKSON, Wyoming -- Montana musher Melanie Shirilla has widened her lead in the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race in Wyoming.

Shirilla won the 53-mile fifth stage of the race Wednesday. She entered the day with a 59 second lead over Gwen Holdmann of Fairbanks and widened that lead to more than 16 minutes after yesterday's 53 mile run. Holdmann remains in second place overall. Jacques Philip of Nenana is in third place.

The two other Alaska mushers in the race remain in the top ten overall. Ken Anderson, Holdmann's husband, is in seventh place while Jessie Royer of Fairbanks is in ninth place.

Shirilla has a cumulative five-day time of 16:32:15, while Holdmann has a time of 16:48:17. Philip has an overall time of 16:52:57. Anderson's total time was 17:29:59, while Jessie Royer was at 17:43:25 overall. The eight-day stage race concludes Saturday.

Montana wants to help wounded grizzly to sleep

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- A female grizzly bear that was wounded by a hunter in November has wandered back from high country with her three cubs, forcing biologists to consider intervening to get the bear to begin hibernation. A state wildlife biologist said Wednesday that officials may have to tranquilize the sow and return her and the cubs to high country in hopes they can be persuaded -- with some help -- to finally den.

Grizzlies normally are hibernating by now, but the wounded sow -- shot in the head Nov. 19 in a confrontation with a hunter -- has continued wandering with her three cubs along the Rocky Mountain Front. Madel said biologists fear the bear is suffering some type of amnesia from her wound that is interfering with her natural instinct to hibernate.

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