September 25, 1997

Sun Sets On Old Shooting Hours For Some Fowl

 

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department shortened by one-half hour the time during which hunters may take pheasants, quail, partridge and turkeys beginning this fall.

The daily close of upland bird shooting hours is sunset - the same as for waterfowl.

Other birds, such as forest grouse, and other kinds of game still may be hunted until one-half hour after sunset each day during open season.

Coffeepot buffer zone

Although the U.S. Bureau of Land Management bought 932 acres that gives access to a portion of Coffeepot Lake, state wildlife officials have imposed a hunting closure around the lake to preserve its tradition as a waterfowl holding area.

The 316-acre lake, 12 miles northeast of Odessa, was privately controlled for nearly 20 years. During that time, the hunters who leased access to the lake did not hunt near the water. Canada geese learned to depend on the lake as a refuge, where they would pile in by the tens of thousands during fall migrations.

Allowing public hunting to spook the geese off the lake would ruin hunting in much of Lincoln County.

“Put pressure on those geese at Coffeepot and they’ll all take off and head to the Columbia River,” said Bruce Smith, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department regional manager in Spokane.

To match the policy of private landowners around the lake, the state has given the water game-reserve status. Hunting is prohibited on the new BLM lands within a quarter mile of the shoreline.

Waterfowl calling clinic

A free clinic on calling ducks and geese is scheduled tonight beginning at 7 p.m. at The Outdoor Sportsman in Spokane. Seating is limited.

To reserve a seat, hunters must stop at the store before the program and get a free ticket, store managers say. Information: 328-1556.

Hunters pay up

Less than 5 percent of Washington residents will hunt this fall, but they will add almost $200 million to the state’s economy through license fees and self-imposed excise taxes on equipment, the Washington Department of Wildlife notes in its 1997 Hunting Prospects pamphlet.

, DataTimes

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