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Sunday, December 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Washington’s late deer season ends with hunters reporting better success

In this April 23, 2013  photo, whitetail deer browse on tree buds in the Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield, Minn. (David Joles / AP)
In this April 23, 2013 photo, whitetail deer browse on tree buds in the Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield, Minn. (David Joles / AP)

Washington’s late deer season ended Tuesday with hunters who stopped at check stations reporting success and seemingly happy with the late whitetail season.

In Deer Park, 99 hunters stopped and had 26 whitetail bucks for a success rate of 26.3 percent. In 2018, 96 hunters stopped with 16 whitetail bucks for a 16.6 percent success rate. In 2017, 124 hunters stopped with 43 deer and in 2016, 79 hunters stopped with 17 deer.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife managers highlighted the fact that the late season always ends on Nov. 19 and the check station is always on Sunday. It’s likely that there is a correlation between the numbers of hunters that stop and the date of the Sunday check station.

WDFW also had an enforcement station on the Miles-Creston Road in Lincoln County. Officers stopped 117 vehicles and roughly 179 hunters and anglers. They checked 35 whitetail bucks, mostly from Stevens County, nine turkeys, two cougars and seven grouse.

WDFW officers issued 22 warnings, mostly for improperly notched tags and no evidence of species and sex. One cougar was harvested without a valid tag. The cat was taken and charges filed.

“Overall, hunters seemed happy with the season and we had some really nice whitetails come through,” WDFW spokeswoman Staci Lehman said in an email. “Most hunters at least saw does and fawns even if they never found a buck to harvest.”

While opening weekend check station numbers are a useful point-in-time metric, they are not representative of the entire season. WDFW will publish final harvest data in 2020.

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