South Florida outdoors notebook


•  The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission will conduct a free hunter safety course Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Markham Park shooting range clubhouse, 16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise. Students must complete the online portion beforehand. For more information, visit MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or call 561-625-5122.

•  Wildlife and nature photographers are invited to attend a free photo safari Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon in the Big Cypress National Preserve, courtesy of the preserve and the Photography Institute of Naples. Preregistration is required. Call Lisa Andrews at 239-695-1164 or email lisa_andrews@nps.gov.

•  The Arthur R. Marshall Foundation teamed with the Batchelor Foundation to issue a challenge to potential donors for grant money to fund 2014 Everglades education programs. Anyone who donates $1,000 or more will be invited to a Sunset Safari on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, featuring airboat rides, guided canoe trips and hikes, nature photography, dinner and music. For more information, call 561-233-9004 or visit www.artmarshall.org.

•  Check out the feathered visitors around Lake Okeechobee in the Big O Birding Festival Sunday through March 13 sponsored by the Hendry County Tourist Development Council. Birder Greg Miller will give the keynote speech. For more information and to reserve bus tours, you can visit BigOBirdingFestival.com.

•  Youngsters are invited to participate in a free Junior Birder event Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon at Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center, 9700 SW 328 St. near Homestead. Participants can watch and sketch birds and receive a certificate for turning in their checklist. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/bisc; for trolley information, visit www.CityofHomestead.com/ Gateway.

•  Biscayne National Park presents wildlife photography by Constance Mier from a canoe on display at its gallery in the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, 9700 SW 328 St. near Homestead, from March 16-June 1. A free meet-the-artist reception will be held March 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/bisc or call ranger Gary Bremen at 305-230-1144, ext. 007.

•  Capt. Bouncer Smith will talk about mahi, sailfish and tuna on March 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Dusky Sport Center, 110 N. Bryan Rd., Dania Beach. Admission is $15, redeemable for store merchandise. For more information, call 954-922-8890.

To our readers

This page is a regular weekly feature focusing on Florida outdoors adventures. Email scocking@Miami Herald.com.

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

File Photo: Captain Bouncer Smith catches a mackerel near Bug Light on December 15, 1997.


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 <span class="cutline_leadin">Good to go:</span> Ryan Bancroft of Weston measures one of the lobsters he caught in the waters of Biscayne Bay near Fishermen’s Channel in July 2013.

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 <span class="cutline_leadin">Saving the day:</span> John Long releases a tarpon caught on fly rod by Sue Cocking off the Marquesas Keys.

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