HUNTING -- Today's the day many sportsmen have been anticipating for months -- the opening of hunting seasons what will continue off and on into winter.
- Hikers and campers are wise to wear bright clothing in the field. Avoid black and brown, which are the same color as the bears some hunters are pursuing starting this week.
Archery hunts for deer get under way around the region Sept. 1, when hunting seasons also open for forest grouse, mourning dove, cottontail rabbit, and snowshoe hare. Other Washington seasons set to open this month include archery hunts for elk, muzzleloader hunts for deer, and a turkey hunt in some East Side areas.
Washington's youth-only hunt for ducks, geese, pheasant and other game birds runs Sept. 20-21 statewide. To participate, hunters must be 15 years old or younger and be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not hunting.
"Hunting seasons look very promising this year," said Dave Ware, statewide game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "Deer and elk populations definitely benefitted from mild weather last winter, and there should be plenty of local ducks available early in the season, followed by a record number of birds expected from the north later this year."
Area-by-area summaries of hunting prospects throughout the state are available on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/.
The site includes information on the effects of this summer's wildfires on hunting opportunities in the Okanogan.