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Field reports: Camo hunters out during deer season

HUNTING – An oversight in Washington’s 2016 and 2017 fall turkey hunting seasons is allowing camouflaged hunters in the field during the general modern rifle deer season.

Washington seasons for turkey hunters – as well as archery and muzzleloader big-game hunters who are allowed to wear camouflage – are normally separate from modern rifle seasons, in which hunters are required to wear hunter orange clothing for safety.

“Fall turkey seasons were lengthened to take advantage of robust turkey populations,” said Kevin Robinette, Fish and Wildlife Department regional wildlife manager in Spokane.

However, it appears to be an oversight that fall turkey hunters are not included in a rule requiring small game hunters to wear hunter orange during portions of seasons that overlap with modern firearms seasons, he said.

The hunter orange rule says, “It is unlawful to hunt bear, cougar, bobcat, raccoon, fox, coyote, rabbit, forest grouse or hare during those times and in those places open to the taking of deer or elk during a modern firearm season, unless the hunter is wearing fluorescent hunter orange clothing.”

Robinette said it appears that “turkey” was left out of the list. Wildlife managers have not announced changes since it was brought to their attention two weeks ago.

The fall turkey season in specified Game Management Units is open Sept. 23-Oct. 31. The hunter orange requirement isn’t an issue until Oct. 14, opening day of the modern firearm deer season.

Reservoir drawdown at Nine Mile

DAMS – Avista will draw down Nine Mile Reservoir 12 feet for about a week starting Oct. 14 to maintain the Nine Mile Dam spillway, the company says. The drawdown will take two days.

The event will not affect the water level downstream at Lake Spokane, Avista said in a release.

Annual work party Oct. 14 at Turnbull

WILDLIFE – Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Spokane Audubon Society and Friends of Turnbull will host a community work party on Oct. 14 as part of an ongoing effort to restore native riparian habitat to benefit birds and other wildlife species.

“We have hundreds of native saplings to plant and fencing to erect to protect the trees from deer, elk and moose browsing,” said Sandy Rancourt of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Planting time is 9 a.m.-noon followed by a potluck lunch.

Sign up: (509) 235-4723 ext. 228.

Outdoor programs offered by groups

CLUBS Free programs by area groups this week include:

“Super Hummingbirds,” a PBS Nature documentary, on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road. in Coeur d’Alene, for Coeur d’Alene Audubon.

“Art of Taxidermy,” by Lanica Hodges, on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Riverview Retirement Center, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., for Spokane Audubon.

“Moving Waters of Central Oregon,” by Mary Ann Dozer, on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, for Spokane Fly Fishers.

Pikeminnow rewards end for season

FISHING – Anglers caught 191,218 northern pikeminnows during this year’s May 1-Sept. 30 Rewards Season earning $5-$8 apiece in an state-sponsored effort to reduce predation on salmon and steelhead smolts going down through dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers.

The most taken during a season was 267,414 pikeminnows in 2004. The lowest was 104,536 in 1994. The average is 176,000.

The program resumes May 1. Info: pikeminnow.org.