HUNTING/HIKING — August is a prime month for backpacking in the Inland Northwest and it's also the month in which some hunting seasons open, luring sportsmen with bows or rifles into the same mountains.
Danger levels are very low, but safety-minded hikers wear some bright clothing this time of year.
Black bear hunting seasons opened Aug. 1 in Western Washington and much of the Casdades and Columbia Basin zones. The Northeastern B and Okanogan zones will open Aug. 15.
More seasons, including forest grouse and morning dove, will open Sept. 1.
Archery seasons for mule deer, white-tailed deer and elk open Aug. 30 and run through September.
In the warm weather of summer, hunters should consider hunting in the higher country. Hunters have an ethical and legal obligation to salvage the edible portions of their kill. But meat spoilage is an important concern during hot weather.
The key to preserving meat is starting the cooling process quickly. Game animals should be skinned immediately and quartered in most cases and transported quickly to cold storage facilities. Early season hunters may consider using large ice chests to keep game meat cool and clean. Removing meat from the bones also helps speed cooling.