Shooting Star takes tourney

Coombs Outdoors held its second annual charity golf tournament at the Snake River Sporting Club last week, with Shooting Star’s team coming away with victory.

Shooting Star fielded the low gross team of Rob DesLauriers, Steve White, Mike Quinliani and Jeff Worthe, deposing last year’s champion team led by Jeff Heilbrun from Snake River Sporting Club. Low net was won by the team of Kevin Abrams, Andrew Garner, and JP Donovan from 3 Creek Ranch. Second in the low gross, two shots off of the leader, was another 3 Creek team led by Kirk Davenport.

Shooting Star, 3 Creek Ranch, Teton Pines, Snake River Sporting Club, and Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis fielded 70 players over a four-day tournament. Professionals from each club played alongside their members and contributed to the overall scores.

The tournament was the first golf tournament to include teams from all of the golf clubs in Jackson Hole. Proceeds support Coombs Outdoors programs, which provide opportunities for youth empowerment for local youth in Jackson.

Gondola sneak preview

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort announced Thursday that it will run the Sweetwater Gondola on Saturday, Sept. 5, for a one-day preview of two new downhill mountain-biking trails.

The two trails, named Deer Jumps and Solitoga, are slated to officially open next summer. Advanced and expert riders will be able to try the new descents from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the Saturday preview.

No beginner trails are accessible from the Sweetwater Gondola. The resort stressed in a press release that only skilled riders should ride the gondola that day. No foot passengers will be allowed.

Bike Park season passholders and people who buy a Bike Park lift ticket will be able to ride the Sweetwater Gondola and have access to both Sweetwater and the Teewinot chairlift.

“We’re excited to showcase our new downhill trails to the community next Saturday,” Vice President of Operations Tim Mason said in the release. “These trails are longer, more challenging, and provide over 1,000 vertical feet of descent through some of the most beautiful terrain on our mountain. These new trails are a great addition to the existing Bike Park accessed by Teewinot, and we look forward to opening our expanded biking offering next summer.”

Fire bans affect hunters

Hunters need to be especially cautious this fall with fire safety, the Wyoming Fish and Game Dept. warns. With drought conditions impacting much of Wyoming, the smallest spark can start a wildfire that can impact hunting across the state.

To prevent impacts to hunting seasons and access, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has instituted fire restrictions and bans on many Commission-owned and administered lands across the state. Check Game and Fish webpages for rules in each region.

“A fire ban is meant to keep the public safe and protect wildlife habitat,“ said Ray Bredehoft, Wyoming Game and Fish Department habitat and access branch chief. “If there are restrictions on Game and Fish property, they will be posted on the website as they are implemented or lifted.”

Currently, Game and Fish has fire bans in the Laramie, Lander, Sheridan and Casper regions.

The U.S. Forest Service and other land-management agencies may also have fire bans on their property. Hunters should check with each respective land-management agency to see if their camping location has any fire restrictions or rules.

A wildfire that starts and burns through the fall can also have significant effects on hunting access.

“Some of our hunt areas had to close completely in previous years as a result of fires in the area,” Bredehoft said.

A fall wildfire, with its increased temperature and drier conditions, scorches the soil and sterilizes it to the point that native plants struggle to recover for years. It creates an environment primed for weeds, like cheatgrass, that are extremely difficult and costly to eradicate.

“Fall wildfires have much different implications than a controlled springtime fire,” Bredehoft said. “When fires are used as a management tool to benefit wildlife, they burn at a different temperature in a controlled environment for a specific purpose.”

Hunters are encouraged to take extreme care when building fires at camp and ensure they are completely out before going to bed, leaving for the day or packing out.

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