With bull elk in the rut full throttle, any respectable bowhunter who can fib his way out of work or break out of jail is trying to bugle one into arrow range. The rest of Washington’s elk hunters must wait until later in the fall, with a notable exception:
“Elk are the bright spot in northeastern Washington big-game herds – but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to hunt,” said Dana Base, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in Colville. “I’m convinced we have more elk than at any time in the past 20 years in the three northeast counties, and certainly they are more widely distributed.”
More than 15,000 hunters have purchased tags for the first authorized wolf hunts in some 80 years in Idaho and Montana. Experts say few of these hunters are likely to bag a wolf. However, here’s some advice to help improve the odds.
Blue Mountains hunters may experience delays on main roads into prime bear and elk hunting areas this fall. Salvage logging will be underway until the snow piles up to reduce danger from snags along roads in areas burned by forest fires.
Check stations will be open for northeastern Washington deer hunters during two weekends at Chattaroy and four weekends at the Deer Park truck scale. Hunters should stop “so we can collect data for better management that maximizes hunter opportunity,” said state wildlife biologist Dana Base. “The check stations are a chance to hear from the hunters about field conditions.
What if wolves were stalking the same elk you just found in your cross-hairs? Although extremely unlikely, wolves have sometimes tried to claim a big-game animal a hunter has just dispatched.
Upland bird hunters have reason for hope this year. Coming off one of the worst pheasant, quail and partridge years in memory, production appears to be up from Southern Idaho northward into Eastern Washington.
Deer and elk in Idaho’s Clearwater region have not suffered the winter losses that have plagued the Idaho Panhandle the past two years. While Panhandle seasons have been cut back this year, the Clearwater region has expanded some deer and elk hunting opportunities.
Corey Jacobsen, a six-time world champion elk caller, has killed a bull in Idaho every year since 1996. And he’s willing to share how he does it. He’s a general contractor from Boise who describes himself as “a normal guy who works 50 hours a week.”
Hunters who don’t have a lock on a prime farm teeming with pheasants still have numerous options for hunting upland birds. •State and federal lands provide good bird hunting opportunity, including Corps of Engineers habitat lands along the Snake River.