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Predator-call champ to speak Saturday

The reigning world predator-calling champion will be in Medford Saturday to share his secrets for luring coyotes and other critters out of the shadows.

Steve Criner will hold a free seminar on predator hunting at 10 a.m. at The Black Bird Shopping Center, 1819 W. Main St.

Criner is a pro staff member for Hunter's Specialties, an Iowa-based company that makes and markets game calls and other hunting accessories, including calls imitating wounded animals meant to lure in predators like coyotes.

Criner cut his teeth calling and hunting various animals in his native Missouri, logging as many as 200 days of calling in one year and calling in 76 coyotes during one Missouri season.

In March, Criner won the World Predator Calling Championship at the second annual World Predator Expo, held in Columbus, Ga.

Volunteers are needed for the next two riparian planting parties planned for the Rogue River's Kelly Slough. The parties are part of ongoing restoration efforts for areas exposed by the removal of Gold Ray Dam from the Rogue.

The plantings are designed to establish new riparian areas on banks that were under water during the dam's 106-year lifespan downstream from the mouth of Bear Creek.

Willows and other native plants will reduce erosion, curb the spread of noxious weeds and improve fish habitat.

Plantings are planned for Jan. 15 and Jan. 29, both Saturdays. Work will run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Participants are asked to sign up through the Seven Basins Watershed Council, either by calling 541-261-7796 or by e-mailing Seven_Basins_Watershed_Council@mail.vresp.com.

Participants should wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and boots because the area is muddy. Drinking water is also suggested. Lunch will be provided.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail mfreeman@mailtribune.com.