OKTOBERFEST BEGINS

Snowbird's 36th annual Oktoberfest will begin Saturday and run for seven weekends. More than 70,000 visitors are expected to join in on activities taking place at Snowbird every Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day through Oct. 5. Admission to Oktoberfest is free. Hours are noon to 6 p.m.

Snowbird will also be offering a variety of summer activities, including the Tram, Peruvian Express chairlift and tunnel, as well as the new four-station climbing wall, ZipRider, Alpine Slide, bungy trampoline, kid's inflatables, mechanical bull, horseback and ATV tours, mountain biking and scooters, and hiking options.

All-day activity passes are $36 for adults, $19 for children. For more information, visit www.snowbird.com.

DOVE HUNT FORECAST

Those planning to hunt dove in Utah this hunting season should watch the weather forecasts between now and Sept. 1.

Weather affects mourning and white-winged doves more than any migratory game bird in Utah.

"As the days get shorter in mid-August, doves start to leave the state, no matter what the weather is doing," says Tom Aldrich, migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

"But cold and rainy weather can really speed the migration up. The key to a good dove hunt opener on Sept. 1 is for the weather to stay hot and dry between now and then."

DWR biologists have surveyed dove populations along 15 call survey routes for more than 40 years. These routes are scattered across Utah.

This past May, the number of doves the biologists saw was down 13 percent from 2007. The number they heard was down 30 percent.

In the Western Dove Unit, which consists of seven Western states, including Utah, the number of doves seen was down only 2 percent. The number of doves biologists heard was the same as 2007.

UPLAND HUNTS ARE FOR YOUTHS

Hunters who are 15 years of age and younger can participate in special chukar and pheasant hunts this fall.

To qualify, those 15 years of age or younger who have completed Utah's Hunter Education course need to complete an application and write a one-paragraph essay. The subject is "I want to continue the Utah upland game hunting tradition because ... " or "I would like to start my own upland game hunting tradition because ... "

To qualify for the chukar hunt, an individual must submit application and essay no later than Friday. Applications and essays for the youth pheasant hunts are due by Sept. 5.

Applying at www.wildlife.utah.gov/uplandgame is the best and easiest way to apply, but youths can also apply with a paper application. Paper applications are available at DWR offices and hunter education centers, and on page 10 of the 2008-2009 Utah Upland Game Guidebook.

The youth chukar hunts will be held Sept. 6 on five state wildlife management areas. The youth pheasant hunts will be held Nov. 8 on four state WMAs and one Walk-In Access area.

The WMAs and the Walk-In Access area will be closed to all other hunters on the day the youth hunts are held.

For more information about the hunts, call the nearest DWR office or see pages 8 and 9 of the 2008-09 Utah Upland Game Guidebook.

TRIATHLON SET

Rock Cliff Recreation Area at Jordanelle State Park will host the 10th annual Jordanelle Triathlon on Saturday. Due to heavy bike and pedestrian traffic, Rock Cliff campground is closed to camping Friday and the area is closed to day-use visitors Saturday.

For triathlon information, visit www.triutah.com. For park information, visit www.stateparks.utah.gov or call 435-782-3030 or 435-649-9540.