HUNTING -- A little rain helped quiet the woods a bit in some areas for Saturday's deer season opener in Eastern Washington, but some areas were still snap, crackle pop.
Nevertheless, hunters were bagging deer at about the same rate as last year in NE Washington.
The Deer Park check station saw 114 hunters on Sunday with 12 deer (9 whitetails, 3 mule deer) for a 10-1/2 % success rate. Last year the same check station on opening weekend checked117 hunters with 7 deer.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife also ran a Chattaroy check station for the first time in years to help gather deer body condition for a research project. That station on Sunday checked 66 hunters with 9 deer for a 13.6% success rate.
WDFW eforcement staff reported “slow” opener, particularly in northeast GMUs (some speculate some hunters are using other areas that are open to any buck, rather than the 4-pt. minimum in popular GMUs 117 and 121).
A friend and his daughter hunting Lincoln County Saturday saw few deer hunters -- but tons of geese.
Okanogan Deer Harvest: The Winthrop deer check station saw 127 hunters with 17 deer. These numbers are almost identical to check station data from last year, and are in line with anecdotal observations of good success and lower than average hunter numbers being reported by enforcement agents in the district. Prospects for the remainder of the season should get even better with periodic valley rain and mountain snow expected through next weekend.