GREAT OUTDOOR GAMES NOTEBOOK

POWER TRIP

POWER TRIP The fishermen competing in the Freshwater Doubles tournament at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games presented by Dodge won't be putt-putting across the five lakes in the Madison chain . they'll be cruising to the vroom-vroom thrum of serious horsepower.

The Triton 215X walleye boats used by anglers this week are powered by 225 horsepower Mercury Optimax engines, provided by the world's most respected name in competitive angling propulsion. The anglers will weigh their final catches on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the timber stage at the Alliant Energy Center's Willow Island and will be available for autographs and interviews near their boats afterward.

FREE SHUTTLE Great Outdoor Games fans who park at the Alliant Energy Center can take advantage of a free shuttle to Art Fair on the Square on Saturday, July 10 from 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 11 from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The shuttles will run every 10 minutes except for Saturday evening after 6 p.m., when they will run every 15 minutes. They will pick up at the Alliant Energy Center stop on Fairgrounds Drive next to Ag. Building 4 and at Capitol Square on the southeast corner of Doty and Pinckney streets.

NEW PARTNERSHIP WILL BUY WILDLIFE HABITAT IN WISCONSIN A new partnership announced Friday at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games said it is in the market to buy critical wildlife habitat in Wisconsin.

The partnership, patterned after a similar effort in Minnesota, brings together Pheasants Forever, Wisconsin Outdoor News, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gander Mountain, Big Al's Gourmet Pies and Simek's Quality Foods.

The goal is to raise $50,000 that, when matched with state and federal grants, will generate $150,000 to buy land that can be used for public hunting and other outdoor recreation.

For more information, visit pheasantsforever.org.

FREE KIDS' FISHING ACTIVITY BASS, the worldwide authority on bass fishing, will offer a hands-on kids' fishing activity at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games presented by Dodge in Madison, Wis. Children in attendance can learn a little about the sport of fishing and be introduced to some simple techniques. Organized by the BASS Federation with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the activity will give children the opportunity to participate Friday, July 9 through Sunday, July 11 from 3:30 p.m. until dark. They will be fishing with live worms in a small pond stocked with bluegill and bream by the Wisconsin DNR.

BASS Youth Manager Stacy Twiggs has prepared the area with rods and, along with some volunteers, including 2003 CastingKids National Champion Jonny Schultz, will work with the children to introduce basics and present some tips to those who may have fished before. Since this will be a purely instructional activity, any fish caught will be released back into the water.

The activity is free and open to any interested children who visit the Base Camp area. Admission to the Games is free.

SKILLED SHOOTERS Saturday's rifle competition boasts a diverse field of interesting characters, including former pro bullrider Jorge Rodriquez of Henderson, Nev., who became interested in competing in the ESPN Great Outdoor Games after watching the event on television. Rodriguez, who earned his berth at a National Shooting Sports Foundation-sanctioned qualifying competition in Las Vegas, Nev., will compete against a field that includes Louisiana's Jerry Miculek, a two-time gold medalist in his fourth outing at the Games.

Miculek's specialty is speed shooting. He's known as "the fastest trigger finger." His ultimate goal as a competitive shooter is to achieve a record of five shots in two-fifths of a second. Speaking of speed, John Bagakis of Livermore, Calif., led his own fast-paced life before taking up shooting sports. Bagakis spent years road and drag racing before trying a new kind of head-to-head competition.