DEER HUNTING -- I saw my first buck yesterday as I walked my dogs near my house at 4 a.m. -- in my neighbor's driveway just south of Spokane. Nice five-point whitetail with nose to the ground, lifted only to let my dogs know he'd take them on if they came any closer.
Then I drove with a friend for an hour north to try to find another buck during daylight where I could hunt.
Indeed, I got into deer. Had one buck walk 40 yards upwind of my stand at 9:45 a.m. -- nose to ground just like the one near my house -- but I couldn't quickly make a positive ID that he had at least four antler points on one side. He didn't respond to calls. He was on a quest.
The rut is on and the bucks are active as Washington's late whitetail buck season ticks down. The season ends at the close of hunting hours on Saturday. (North Idaho hunters have until December.) Conditions couldn't be better, although deer numbers clearly are down from the good ol' days.
Note: The photo above shows a fine whitetail buck taken a few days ago near Omak by Shawn Ankney. Here's the report from Jason Verbeck of Okanogan Outfitters:
The whitetail but has begun around here. I thought you'd enjoy this great buck that was taken from around our area. The mule deer migration also has just begun. The whitetail buck (above) is a monster, huh. Washington state is very underestimated for the quality of our bucks. Personally I am happy with it staying that way.