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Hunting 2009

Your guide to hunting in the Inland Northwest.

Odds high despite shorter seasons

Deer and elk hunters can’t procrastinate this year in the Idaho Panhandle. Chances of filling a tag are still high, but they have a lot less time to do it.

Disabled get roads to success

Disabled hunters can get special privileges to drive through locked gates onto some forest roads that are otherwise closed to public vehicle travel. The first step is to get the disabled sportsman permits from the Idaho Fish and Game or Washington Fish and Wildlife departments before applying or signing up for these opportunities.

How to de-skunk dog

In the early 1990s, a group of unheralded chemists gave the world one of the greatest gifts since penicillin: A cheap, effective treatment for a skunk-sprayed dog. Be prepared. Stock the ingredients in your rig.

Cougar seasons vary by weapon

Cougar hunting seasons have become considerably more restrictive this year in Washington. Instead of simple statewide rules, a zone management approach has been incorporated with rules that vary depending on cougar populations in each zone.

Early youth seasons quality time for family

The absolute best time of the year to take a kid bird hunting – especially for waterfowl – is coming up before the general hunting seasons open. “There’s always lots of uneducated local birds of the year around and you can get some great shooting with very little competition,” said Matt Monda, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife manager in Ephrata.

Care for meat a field priority

Keep it cool; keep it clean. These two basic rules for bringing premium game meat to the table are a challenge when hunters face hot weather, dirt and insects in the field.

Hunting swift targets

Hunting seasons for some of the smallest and most difficult targets in the Inland Northwest opened on Sept. 1. Mourning doves and forest grouse already are fair game in Idaho and Washington, as well as cottontail rabbits and snowshoe hares.

Waterfowl staging

Duck numbers appear to be up for the Pacific Flyway region and while Canada goose numbers appear to be down slightly, the big birds should provide plenty of good hunting this season, biologists say. Washington has relaxed species restrictions on ducks this year, giving waterfowlers a little more leeway in making sure their daily limit has the right prescription of species.

Travelers restricted on return

Washington sportsmen who venture out-of-state to hunt big game cannot legally return with certain parts of ungulate species taken in states or provinces where chronic wasting disease has been detected. CWD, a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, is a degenerative brain disease that afflicts North American deer, elk and moose. While fatal to the infected animals, wildlife and health authorities have found no indication that CWD can be transmitted to humans.

Clubs open for sighting rifles

Spokane Rifle Club open to non-members Oct. 9 through Oct. 17, except Mondays and Tuesdays. Times: noon to 4:30 p.m.weekdays; 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends.