Looking Ahead and Backwards in the age of Covid

Outdoor Idaho entered its 38th season in October of 2020! We spent much of the year and part of last year working on "Sawtooths On My Mind," "Trailblazers," Urban Wildlife," "Barns of Idaho," "Idaho's 12ers," and "Off the Beaten Path." Here's a quick description of some of the shows we're working on, as well as some of our most recent productions.

Women Who Hunt... (airs May 13, 2021) The sport of hunting is in the genetic makeup of Idaho. Our state’s first game laws were established before Idaho itself was established as a state. Although hunters are largely thought of as male, women have been acknowledged as participants in the sport since those early days.

In 1903, women were issued Idaho hunting licenses at no charge, and in 1921, they were required to pay. Since then, the number of women who hunt has steadily increased. By 2018, 20% of people holding hunting and fishing licenses were female.

Producer Lauren Melink shines a light on the women in our state who dedicate early mornings, dusky evenings and entire weekends to the pursuit of an animal. This show will dive into the ups and downs of hunting, which is described by some as “armed walking.”

From pheasant to elk and from bow to rifle, we’ll explore the historical significance of female hunters in Idaho.

(Photo by Jay Krajic)

Spud Country... (will air in December of 2021) There's a culture that has grown up around eastern Idaho potatoes; some schools even let students out for a week in late September to work on the harvest!

This culture may be unlike anything else in the state. What are the traditions? What is the fall harvest like? What sorts of problems do farmers face… with water, with marketing and competition, with seeds and disease? The list goes on and on. And it's not all about spuds.

Our goal is to explore this major part of the state in a way that proves interesting to all Idahoans.

(Photo by Kris Millgate)

Off the Beaten Path... (aired in March of 2021) With this hour-long program, our goal was to literally stay away from crowds during the pandemic. That took us to some difficult-to-access, inspiring places... like the harsh and forbidding Bruneau Canyon in the south and imposing Chimney Rock in the north.

We also visited some not-to-be-named lakes in the Sawtooths that are "protected" by a steep mountain and no trail. And we stopped off at some cedar groves, a national grasslands area, and a bay that is best reached by canoe. All in all, about ten places that are fun to visit from the comfort of your living room chair.

Various staff worked on this one, including producer Lauren Melink and videographer Jay Krajic. Also assisting are Marcia Franklin, Kris Millgate, and Bruce Reichert.

(Photo of Bruneau Canyon by Lauren Melink)

Barns of Idaho... (The half hour version aired October 15, 2020; the hour-long version aired in March of 2021.)

Who doesn't love a barn! And Idaho has lots of em. Many are in some degree of decay. Others are being renovated in some pretty interesting ways. And some barns have always been in service to farmers and ranchers throughout the state.

Producer Forrest Burger examined how barns helped shape our landscape, what’s being done to preserve them, and how some Idaho barns have been re-purposed to give them new lives.

Our hour-long tribute to Idaho's barns explored how some of these deteriorating structures have been saved. As for those beyond saving, how their wood is repurposed.

The half hour version was the first show of our 38th season. You can watch it here.

(Photo by Patty Pickett)

Idaho's 12ers... (aired December 6, 2020) There are people who love to climb mountains, particularly ones that are more than 12,000 feet high. In fact, there are now trails to the top of some of Idaho's 12ers that didn't exist even a few years ago.

Most of Idaho's nine 12,000 foot peaks are in the Lost River Range; Borah Peak is the leader of the pack, at 12, 662 feet. Here's the first 3 minutes of the hour-long show.

Producer Bill Manny and videographer Jay Krajic have climbed them all, along with our volunteer extraordinaire Terry 'The Mule' Lee. They say it was hard keeping up with climbers as young as 6 and 9 who have already summitted them all. Yikes!

You can find the hour-long "Idaho's 12ers" on this page.

(Photo of Borah Peak by Tim Tower)

Sawtooths on My Mind... (aired March 2020) What do the Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho mean to us? We explored this question in March of 2020 with those who visited, and with those who live and work in the shadow of these magnificent peaks. We examined some of the challenges facing Idaho's most popular mountain range; and we got deep into the Sawtooth Wilderness, so we're proud of the footage on this one.

You can watch the entire hour long show here  and you can check out this short clip of some of the interesting people we met on the trail while shooting.

(Photo of Sawtooth Lake by Bruce Reichert)

Trailblazers... (aired May 2020) Long gone are the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the army of laborers shipped around the country during the Great Depression as our nation's work relief program. The government paid them to build trails, parks and recreation areas; and we still use many of them today.

But public lands trails need to be maintained, or they simply disappear. And some of the trails are doing just that. Luckily, Idahoans are filling the gap... for free. They are this century's CCC. We call them Trailblazers.

Our eastern Idaho producer, Kris Millgate was the lead on this one, ably assisted by editor and videographer Jay Krajic.

You can watch the half hour "Trailblazers" here.

(Photo by Kris Millgate)

Urban Wildlife... (aired July 2020) It's understandable that wildlife prefer our neighborhoods at certain times of the year. And that's not always a good thing -- for them or for us. We asked our Facebook and Instagram friends to send us video of the interactions with deer and elk, cougars and wolves, geese, ducks, skunks, etc. And, they obliged.

Our new producer, Lauren Melink, tackled this show, ably assisted by production manager Aaron Kunz who handled the editing duties. The show aired July 16th 2020. You can watch it online here.

(Photo by Kevin Kaiser)

Our YouTube Channel... Along with producing shows for broadcast, Outdoor Idaho has been producing short pieces for our less-than-a-year-old YouTube channel, ably managed by Lauren Melink.

Although it may not sound like a lot, the channel now has more than 400 subscribers and thousands of views. The video collection includes some older Outdoor Idaho shows, some compilation pieces, some upcoming show teases and some web exclusives; pieces made specifically for our YouTube channel and our YouTube channel only.

The number of subscribers can only go up from here, so keep sharing those videos and maybe one day we’ll go viral!

Our Facebook and Instagram Pages... Our social media presence extends to our Outdoor Idaho Facebook page and our Instagram page as well. Emily Bruneel shepherds the Instagram page, and Bruce Reichert handles the Facebook page duties.

Be sure to check out both pages, where you'll find lots of amazing photos and interesting updates, as well as a monthly photo contest that attracts thousands of viewers each month.