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Outdoor notes

COUGAR PERMITS ON SALE

Buying a permit to hunt cougars in Utah should be easier this year. Permits go on sale Monday and will be available from more than 200 hunting license agents and at the DWR's Web site (wildlife.utah.gov).

"There are three main differences between harvest-objective units and limited-entry units," says Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR. "There is no limit to the number of harvest-objective permits that may be sold, and hunters may purchase them over-the-counter," she said. "Also, the hunt on a harvest-objective unit may close before

its season is scheduled to end if the number of cougars taken has been met."

The 2005-2006 cougar season begins Nov. 23 in 18 of Utah's 38 units. On the remaining units, the season starts Feb. 18, 2006, if limited entry hunters haven't already taken the number of cougars permitted.

Before hunting, hunters must visit the DWR's Web site or call toll-free, 1-888-668-LION (5466), to verify which units are still open. The Web site and phone line are updated by 8 p.m. daily.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

SPEED-SKATING RETURNS

World-class speedskating returns to the Utah Olympic Oval Nov. 18-20 when more than 275 skaters will compete in the Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating event — a preview to the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy.

Expected Olympic participants include Olympic gold medalists Chris Witty and Derek Parra, Olympic bronze medalists Joey Cheek and Kip Carpenter, and world record holder Chad Hedrick.

Tickets are $5 per day for adults, $3 for children 12 and under (2 and under are free) and seniors 65 and older. All tickets are general admission. Nov. 18 is Free Friday, with competition beginning at 2 p.m. Competition on Nov. 19 and 20 begins at noon each day.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-888-TIXX or at any Smith'sTix location or at the Utah Olympic Oval's Guest Services desk.

Additional information is available at (801) 968-OVAL or at www.olyparks.com.

WINTER SURVIVAL TIPS

Would you be able to survive if you were lost in the woods? Or if your car was stuck in the snow?

Find out how at a free Wilderness Survival and Outdoor Safety clinic on Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at REI, 3285 E. 3300 S. in Salt Lake City. The clinic will be taught by Gene Ward, a former Air Force global survival instructor and one of the leading survival educators in the country.

"The difference between surviving and thriving in the wilderness is just a few well-selected items that make up a personal survival kit," Ward said. "It's fairly simple if you know what you're doing."

The clinic will focus on ways to avoid hypothermia and dehydration as well as sure-fire methods of fire construction in difficult conditions and how to construct simple and effective emergency shelters with materials that will fit in your pocket.

For more information visit www.survivalandoutdoorsafety.com or call REI at (801) 486-2100.

SOUP AND SKI FUND-RAISER

The Fifth Annual Soup and Soldier Hollow Fund-raiser will be held Friday, Nov. 11 at the Lodge at Soldier Hollow. This event, featuring signature soups from eight of Heber Valley's top restaurants, supports cross country ski programs at the former Olympic venue in Midway.

Soup tasting and a silent auction start at 6 p.m., followed by a live auction at 7:30 p.m. The auctions feature Olympic items, ski and snowboard equipment and apparel, tubing parties and art.

For more information, contact Soldier Hollow at 435-654-2002.