All posts by Andy Walgamott

Columbia Sturgeon, Smelt Fishery Recommendations Out

A report out today from the Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife on 2010 sturgeon seasons recommends that “the current four-year sturgeon management agreement be renewed for one year (2010) with modifications to the harvest guideline.”

“The Joint Staff will likely recommend that the combined white sturgeon harvest guideline be reduced from the current guideline of 40,000 (36,800 actual harvest) beginning in 2010. Although a new guideline has not yet been developed, initial modeling indicates a reduction of up to 35% may be needed to compensate for reduced sublegal and legal abundance,” the Dec. 7 Joint Staff report reads.

January and February fisheries will probably be laid out at a Dec. 17 meeting between the agencies while seasons for the rest of the year will likely be set during a Feb. 18 meeting, the report says.

As for smelt, managers are once again proposing a “level one” fishery, i.e. the most conservative one.

A level one fishery is defined as “one 12 – 24 hour fishing period per week for the mainstem Columbia River commercial fishery. Recreational and commercial dipnet fisheries consisting of one 12-24 hour fishing period per week would be used to monitor returns to the Cowlitz River. The daily bag limit for Washington tributaries should be ten pounds per person at these low levels of abundance.”

There’s good news and bad on how smelt, or eulochan, are doing. The Joint Staff report says:

“Positive abundance indicators for 2010 include: (1) modest improvements in adult eulachon returns during 2006 (landings and CPUE), (2) a moderately improving level of Age 2 bycatch in the Canadian ocean shrimp fisheries during 2009, (3) a moderate increase in total smelt biomass tonnage in the Canadian ocean shrimp fisheries in 2009, and (4) favorable ocean conditions starting in 2007 and continuing through 2009. Negative abundance indices for 2010 include: (1) low mainstem Columbia River larval densities during the winters of 2005 through 2007, (2) decreasing adult smelt biomass estimates from the Fraser River and, (3) adult landings were weak in brood years 2005 and 2007. Taking a weighted average of the positive and negative indicators for each age component of the run suggest a slight improvement for 2010 compared to 2009. The main components of the 2010 run (age 3 and 4), should strengthen; however, the age 5 component will remain weak.

Seasons should be set Dec. 17 as well.

Pity The Poor, Shivering Poacher (Not)

(OREGON STATE POLICE FISH & WILDLIFE DIVISION OCTOBER NEWSLETTER)

Sr. Tpr. Collom (Central Point) received a report that a man was taken to the hospital with hypothermia from a field in the Howard Prairie area, and a dead spike buck was found nearby.

Collom’s investigation revealed a spike buck was shot, killed, field dressed, and hidden in some brush.

The poacher decided to go back and retrieve it in the early morning hours around 1:00 a.m. Later in the early morning light, some hunters in a nearby cabin heard a man groaning and yelling for help. They responded and found a man with a bloody nose, suffering from hypothermia.

The man was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Medford. He had apparently hit his head while dragging the spike buck out to his vehicle and laid in the field until the people heard his yells for help.

Collom contacted the man in the hospital and plans to re-contact him when he is released to issue him a citation for Unlawfully Taking Spike Buck Deer.

News On 2010 Columbia King, Coho Forecasts

The Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife have issued their preliminary forecasts for fall Chinook back to the Columbia River.

While exact figures have yet to be fleshed out, in a nutshell, we’ll probably see a bigger run of kings in 2010.

As for coho, well, if jack returns are any indication, this year’s looked like a couple seasons in the middle of this decade, and those produced adult runs around half of 2009’s run.

A statement forwarded this afternoon by Joe Hymer, a supervisory biologist with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, reads:

“Except for the Upriver Bright Stock which was less than predicted, other Columbia River fall Chinook stocks came in as forecasted.  The 2009 Columbia River total adult fall chinook return was forecasted to be 532,900 adults.  This year’s fall chinook jack returns were high (some stocks had record returns) which should lead to larger returns of adults in 2010.  The actual  2009 returns with updated 2010 forecasts should be available in mid February.

“Columbia River coho 2009 returns were slightly less than predicted.  The 2009 forecast for the coho return to the Columbia River mouth (following expected ocean fisheries) was 703,100 adults.  This year’s coho jack return was similar to 2004-2005 when a minimum of 339,900 and 386,600 adults returned to the Columbia in 2005 and 2006, respectively.”

Here’s how managers break it all out:

COLUMBIA RIVER FALL CHINOOK 2009 PRELIMINARY RETURNS AND OUTLOOK FOR 2010

Lower River Hatchery Stock – LRH

* 2009 return was slightly less than predicted
* Jack return was one of the largest returns since mid-1980s
* 2010 return should be an improvement over the past five years

Lower River Wild Stock – LRW

* 2009 return was similar to predicted – the minimum natural spawn escapement goal is expected to be achieved
* High proportion of jacks in the return
* 2010 return should be similar to recent few years but below average

Bonneville Pool Hatchery Stock – BPH

* 2009 return similar to predicted
* Largest jack return in database (1964) by a factor of two
* 2010 return should be improved over recent few years

Upriver Bright Stock – URB

* 2009 return less than predicted
* Largest return of jacks since mid-1980s
* 2010 return should be similar to recent years

Mid-Columbia Bright Stock – MCB

* 2009 return was as predicted
* Largest jack return on record (1980)
* 2010 return should be above average

Total Columbia River Fall Chinook

* 2009 return was less than the prediction primarily due to less URBs
* 2010 return likely greater than 2009 due to high jack returns

Columbia River Coho

* 2009 return was slightly less than predicted
* Jack return about 26,000 – similar to 2004-2005 jacks

The 2010 spring Chinook forecast could be released on Dec. 11.

SW WA Fishing Report

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Cowlitz River – Still a few coho being caught at the barrier dam while anglers at the trout hatchery are catching steelhead and sea run cutthroats.  Some steelhead are also being caught on the lower river.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 1,201 coho adults, 42 jacks, 178 winter-run steelhead, 32 summer-run steelhead, 28 sea-run cutthroat trout and one fall Chinook adult during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Through Dec. 2, a total of 266 winter run steelhead had returned to the salmon hatchery.  In comparison, 743 fish had returned by the same time last year.

During the week Tacoma Power employees released 165 coho adults, two jacks, one fall Chinook adult, one winter-run steelhead and two cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, 323 coho adults and 15 jacks into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam, 216 coho adults and five jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, and 90 coho adults and six jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellowjacket Creek.  A total of 70 hatchery-origin sea-run cutthroat trout were recycled downstream to the Barrier Dam boat launch.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 8,800 cubic feet per second on Monday, December 7. Water visibility is seven feet.

Kalama River – Bank anglers are catching some steelhead.  Through Dec. 4, a total of 41 hatchery winter run steelhead had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery.  This compares to 61 fish through the same time last year.

Lewis River – Bank anglers at the salmon hatchery are catching winter run steelhead and coho though all the coho were dark or wild fish that were released.  Bank anglers on the mainstem Lewis were also catching some steelhead.

A total of 18 hatchery winter run steelhead had returned to the traps on the Lewis through Dec. 2.  In comparison, 408 fish had returned through the same period in 2008.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam – At least one of the few hearty bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam that braved the cold and strong east winds caught a keeper last week.  Light effort and catch was light on the rest of the river.

— Report courtesy Joe Hymer, PSMFC

New Book Details NW’s Top Blacktail Bucks

I’ve seen some nice pics of blacktails come into HQ this fall.

There’s Jacob Middling’s 4×4 (5-pointer with eyeguards) from the Elbe, Wash., area., and Scott Shafner‘s bootleather-brown-antlered 3×3 from the southern end of the Kitsap Peninsula.

While Jo Wiebe‘s Whidbey Island blacktail may be shy on rackage (2×2, 4×6 counting trash),  it’s up there in age — 8 to 10 years old — and weight: 163 pounds at the butcher. Ron Stever‘s whopper from just east of Snoqualmie Pass was 165 pounds on the hook while Rob Clarey‘s Vail Tree Farm buck came in at 186 pounds hanging.

Oh, yeah, there’s a lot of venison now in Northwest freezers.

And what about after dinner? Well, why not sit down to read, Blacktail Legends of the Pacific Northwest, from Northwest Big Game Inc.?

They’re the folks who put out record books for all Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana big game.

Their brand new 202-page book not only lists the top 100 biggest typical and nontypical blacktails for the Beaver, Evergreen and Golden states plus British Columbia — but also the 100 largest taken by riflemen and archers as well as the top entrants from muzzleloaders.

There are also 50 articles highlighting many of the book bucks — take note, whopper stalkers, there are tips in those stories — plus dozens upon dozens of great photographs of big bucks.

The pics are what I enjoyed the most on a quick look-through of the colorful book, especially the six shots of the freaky buck Steven Gregory took in Linn County, Ore., in 1992 — five points on the left side, 66 on the right!

In case you’re curious, according to the book, the largest typical blacktail buck was shot by Place Mcdermitt in Cowlitz County, Wash., in 1935. Interestingly, it was only scored (184 2/8) in 2007. The rack had been in Mcdermitt’s Castle Rock bar for 70 years before a patron hauled it off to a sportsman’s show for scoring.

The largest nontypical blacktail came from the south side of the Columbia — a 213 7/8 buck shot by Gordon Johnson in Clackamas County, Ore., in 1997.

The book is available for $29.95.

Other titles from Northwest Big Game Inc include Record Book for Oregon (4th Edition; $24.95); Record Book for Washington (2nd edition; $19.95); Record Book for Idaho; 1st edition; $17.95).

Northwest Big Game will also be making the rounds during the upcoming sportsman’s show season. Blacktail Legends of the Northwest will be featured at the Puyallup, Eugene, Portland, Roseburg, Medford and Yreka shows.

Northwest Sportsman will be a sponsor of the Eugene, Roseburg and Medford shows.

Invasive Snails Found Off Puget Sound

The latest invasive species to hit Puget Sound has been found at the southern end of the basin. New Zealand mud snails were discovered in Capitol Lake around Thanksgiving.

The lake is now closed to public access to prevent the tiny little snails from being moved around.

“These things are nasty, and if they take over, your biodiversity is gone,” Allen Pleus, WDFW’s aquatic invasive species coordinator, tells KUOW radio.

According to the story, the snails eat algae, starving other organisms that live on it.

A recent survey of the Deschutes River, which drains into the lake, turned up no snails.

The story says the invasive critters are also on the Long Beach Peninsula and Lower Columbia. Biologists may try to drain the lake to kill the snails off during a cold snap.

Rogue CCA Chapter Links Salmonids With Habitat

Members of the Rogue Valley Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association are out catching salmon and steelhead — smolts.

They’re using a big hoop they got from ODFW to collect juvenile members of those species as well as suckers from Larson Creek, on the southeast side of Medford, and move them above a culvert on the stream to access more habitat.

According to Mark Freeman’s article in the Mail Tribune, the fish escape to Larson and other small streams in the basin when flows rise during the winter.

“We’re finding more and more that streams like this are far more important than we originally thought,” Chuck Fustish, an ODFW biologist, told Freeman.

North-central Washington Fishing Report

What’s hot is drifting purple shrimp baited jigs under slip bobbers for Steelhead in the Upper Columbia.  The lower basin of Chelan and Rufus Woods Reservoir should continue to be productive.  At last check, Roses Lake still is completely open water.

On the Upper Columbia this is prime time to catch Steelhead.  Rig a Drennan Float above a Mack Lures Rock Dancer jig.  Bait the jig with a Columbia Basin Baits purple shrimp.  There are a variety of variables.  Location is the first.  Three or four drifts through a likely looking run is all you need to do.  Then you’ve got to move.  Using a bow mounted electric motor is the most effective way to control your drift.  A gas operated transom mounted trolling motor is your second choice.  Remember to control your run back up to the head of the drift to not spook fish.  Second, vary the depth of your baited jig by moving slip knot up and down your line.  Usually, close to but not on the bottom is the ticket.  Third, vary jig color and size.  Sizes from 1/8th to ¼ ounce are typical.  Purple and Black or Red and Black are the most effective colors.  This is definitely ADHD / run and gun fishing.

On Chelan, vary our standard fare of Rushin’ Salmon Wobblers off and flatfish by trolling darting plugs like Silver Hordes at 2.5 to 2.8 mph.  Use those glow in the dark / splatter back colors.  This is a better tactic if you are a lone angler and you are fishing shallower water.  In Chelan, that means water from 115’ to 150’.  Blow back becomes a serious concern at greater depths.

Our Chelan Valley’s little rainbow gem, Roses Lake should continue to produce well until ice up.  I fear that is coming soon with temperatures staying below freezing around the clock.  Do not risk that thin ice.

The kid’s tip of the week is to plan on attending the Sportsman’s Shows in January.  The Tri-Cities Show will be from January 15th thru the 17th.  The huge O’Loughlin show in Puyallup is from January 27th to the 31st.  Both shows will feature kid friendly activities and many informational seminars.

The safety tip of the week is to prepare you vehicle and boat for Winter emergencies. Make sure that you have chains, a jack, a change of clothes, a blanket, something to start a fire with, a working fire extinguisher, a flashlight with good batteries, a shovel, a stocked first aid kit, jumper cables, and a bit of extra food and water.

— Report courtesy of Anton Jones of Darrell & Dad’s Family Guide Service (1-866-360-1523; antonj@aol.com)

News On Oregon Coast Salmon 2010

Bill Monroe of The Oregonian provides an early glimpse at potential Chinook returns to and past the Oregon Coast next summer, a mix of good and bad news.

“Next year’s fall and spring chinook salmon seasons look much brighter, and if offshore chinook fishing can’t resume in 2010, at least continued good coho salmon runs should again bring smiles to salty dogs,” writes Monroe.

However, another low return of Sacramento River Chinook could affect offshore opportunities, he reports.

Win A Brand-new Rainier Tent For Your Hunting Camp!

UPDATE, JAN. 7, 2010: A winner has been declared, and it’s Lori Robelia of Orondo, Wash.!

While many fine entries came in — some in spectacular scenery, some that made us laugh — the folks at Rainier Tents judged her shot to be the best.

Thanks EVERYONE who sent us photos, we really do appreciate it!

AW
NWS

———

In case you missed that ad on page 127 of our November issue, we want your snap shots of the best and worst “Hunting Hotels” of the West. They will be entered in a contest to win a brand-new Rainier Tent!

Rainier Tents are made right here in the Northwest, have been for 113 years. Miners took ’em to Alaska during the gold rush, and these days, deer and elk hunters use them to set up veritable hotels in the wilds of Washington, Oregon and the Northern Rockies.

Now, you don’t have to actually own a Rainier Tent to enter this contest. All you have to do is send us your picture of, say, your hunting partner’s setup, one in your campground, or maybe one you’ve seen while driving over, say, Colockum Pass, the Cascades, Northeast Oregon — wherever. And if you have a Rainier Tent, sheesh, might as well send us a pic too — you might get upgraded if you win!

You can mail prints to Northwest Sportsman, Attn: Rainier Tent Contest, PO Box 24365, Seattle, WA 98124-0365, or just email them to andy@nwsportsmanmag.com.

The contest is open through Dec. 31, 2009. A winner, chosen by Rainier Tents staff, will be announced Jan. 15, 2010, here. One tent will be awarded.

Check back in this space often for the latest entries. Here are a few ideas to get things started:

Rainier 1

KEITH CAMMEL WAS THE CONTEST'S FIRST ENTRANT. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

rainier 2

LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE COULD USE A NEW TENT INSTEAD OF AN OLD TARP OVER THEIR COOKING AREA! (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

rainier 3

THAT'S A NICE PAIR ... OF TENTS AT MARK WELLS' OKANOGAN COUNTY DEER CAMP. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

"SLEEPING IN THE BACK OF MY TRUCK GOT COLD. I COULD SURE USE A TENT," WRITES RICHARD HIXSON, SEEN HERE AT HIS 2008 MOOSE CAMP. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

"SLEEPING IN THE BACK OF MY TRUCK GOT OLD. I COULD USE A GOOD TENT," WRITES RICHARD HIXSON, SEEN HERE DURING HIS 2008 MOOSE HUNT. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

rainier 4

CERTAINLY THE HIGHEST HUNTING CAMP WE'VE SEEN SO FAR, AND TONY MORALES' IS ALSO THE MOST SPARTAN. "ONE TARP, TWO BED ROLLS. THAT'S ALL I GOT! I GET WET SOMETIMES," HE WRITES. AHH, BUT THE VIEWS. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

rainier 6

TONY MORALES' CAMP (PHOTO ABOVE THIS) CERTAINLY IS WAY BACK AND IN, AND SO IS JOE FAULKNER'S MOUNTAIN GOAT BASE CAMP -- 17 MILES BACK INTO THE ALASKAN BUSH. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

rainier 7

DAVID SCHUURMAN AND FRIENDS FONDLY RECALL THE MEMORIES FROM THIS 1996 CAMP IN MONTANA'S MISSOURI RIVER BREAKS. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

rainier 8

BRIAN NYGREN'S 2002 HUNTING CAMP LOOKS COZY ... (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

... AS DOES HIS 2003 SETUP. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

... AS DOES HIS 2003 CAMP. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

rainier 10

TENT? WHO NEEDS ONE, MICHAEL BLAKE'S PA (PICTURED HERE), MIGHT ARGUE, BUT HIS SON "SHORE COULD USE A TENT," SO BLAKE SUBMITTED THIS SHOT. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

WELL, NOT EXACTLY A HUNTING CAMP, BUT ALL THOSE TENTS AT THE WASHINGTON MOUNTAIN MEN'S OLD GATHERING AT BLEWETT PASS SURE LOOK GOOD. MICHAEL BLAKE OF CHEHALIS SENT THE IMAGE. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

THEY HUNT HARD AT KEVIN MEDVED AND FRIENDS' "VIAGRA CAMP" IN COLORADO'S UNIT 33, BUT SOMETIMES ... (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

... THE WIND BLOWS HARDER. MEDVED SAYS A "ONCE IN A DECADE" STORM TOPPLED AN OLD ASPEN ONTO CAMP VIAGRA, TURNING IT INTO A LIMP PILE OF CANVAS. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

BUT MOTHER NATURE'S NO MATCH FOR CAMP VIAGRA -- IT ROSE AGAIN, ERR, SORT OF. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

SHEESH, MEDVED AND THE BOYS EVEN HAVE A CAMP VIAGRA PENANT! (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

LORI ROBELIA'S CAMP WAS A GREAT HOME AWAY FROM HOME DURING HER 11-DAY ANY-BULL COLOCKUM ELK HUNT. "OUR 12x16 RAINIER WALL TENT DID THE JOB AGAIN IN SUNSHINE TO 3-PLUS INCHES OF SNOW THAT CAME AND WENT! THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A COMFORTABLE, WARM CAMP TO KEEP YOU CHASING THE BIG ONES! AND YES, MY TAG WAS FILLED WITH JUST MY SECOND BULL ELK," SHE WRITES. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

AHHH, YES, NOTHING LIKE CUTTING UP A LITTLE WOOD FOR THE EVENING FIRE UP AT ELK CAMP HIGH IN THE CRISP FALL MOUNTAINS OF COLORADO ... (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

... TAKING A MOMENT TO ENJOY THE BREATHTAKING SCENERY OF THE ROCKIES ... (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

... BEING TOGETHER WITH FRIENDS AT A SPECIAL TIME OF YEAR ... (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

... AND, TO UNWIND AT THE END OF THE DAY, DOING A BACK FLIP INTO THE CAMPFIRE. GARETT HOCH SENT THIS AND THE ABOVE TWO PICS ALONG. "OUR GROUP IS IN THE NORTHWEST COLORADO FLAT TOPS FROM OCTOBER THROUGH NOVEMBER (FIRST SEASON ELK-THIRD SEASON ELK. WE HAVE HAD SOME SUCCESSFUL HUNTS, AND SOME NOT SO MUCH, BUT WE ALWAYS HAVE A GREAT TIME WITH EACH OTHERS' COMPANY." (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

WHAT BETTER USE FOR YOUR GAME POLE -- ESPECIALLY IF IT ISN'T BEING USED -- THAN TO HANG A PIñATA FROM?!?! "WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER'S BIRTHDAY IS THE DAY AFTER OPENING DAY OF (EARLY ARCHERY) ELK SEASON, YOU JUST HAVE TO PARTY AT CAMP," WRITES MICHAEL BLAKE. "CAMP" WAS IN WASHINGTON'S MANASTASH UNIT, NORTHWEST OF YAKIMA. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

BIRTHDAY GIRL RUBY RELAXES AFTERWARDS WITH MOMMA IN THE HAMMOCK ... (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

AFTER THE PARTY, RUBY RELAXES IN THE HAMMOCK ... (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

... AND TRIES ON DAD'S ELK HUNTING CAMO DO-RAG. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

IT'S WHAT'S INSIDE -- NOT JUST OUTSIDE -- THAT COUNTS AT BOB CUMMINGS' ELK CAMP. THE PHOENIX, ORE., RESIDENT SAYS HE'S HAD THIS TENT GOING ON 21 SEASONS, "AND IT STILL HAS THE MAGIC. SIGNING THE WALL INSIDE IS ALMOST AS FUN AS THE HUNTING." (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

OUR MOST PROLIFIC CONTEST ENTRANT, MICHAEL BLAKE SENT US THIS SHOT OF EVENING OVER AN IDAHO DEER/ELK CAMP. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

IF IT SNOWS THIS MUCH, YOU BETTER HAVE A NICE 'N SNUG TENT! RANDY MARTIN SENT US A MESS OF PICS FROM HIS FAMILY'S "YEAR-ROUND CANVAS HOTEL LOCATED DEEP IN CENTRAL OREGON." (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

MARTIN, A SPRINGFIELD, ORE., RESIDENT SAYS THEY USE THE TENT AS THEIR BASE TO HUNT, FISH AND RIDE ATV'S THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

"MANY, MANY SUCCESSFUL ELK, DEER, COUGAR AND COYOTE HUNTS," WRITES MARTIN. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

"ALMOST HOME AWAY FROM HOME," HE ADDS. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

YEP, A VERY SWEET MOUNTAIN MOTEL! (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

HAVE WE MENTIONED HOW LONG-LASTING CANVAS TENTS CAN BE? "THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN IN 1999," WRITES DAN ROBELIA OF CHELAN. "AN OLD CLASSIC, THIS BLUE RAINIER TENT WAS PURCHASED IN THE '80S USED. STILL BEING USED FOR DEER CAMP TODAY!" (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

LARRY SCOGGIN'S ELK CAMP JUST BELOW 5,000 FEET IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS SURE LOOKS SNUG! "THIS BIG TENT IS 16 YEARS OLD AND WE GOT IT IN 1993," HE WRITES. AS FOR WHY 1937'S WRITTEN ON THE FRONT, SCOGGIN SAYS THAT'S THE YEAR HIS FATHER AND UNCLES STARTED HUNTING THE AREA. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)

WHOSE NYLON IGLOO IS ABOUT TO COLLAPSE AND DUMP SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW ON THE HUNTERS INSIDE? "A LITTLE SNOW DURING LATE SEASON IN THE NACHES SHOWS HOW HANDY A GOOD TENT WOULD BE," WRITES MICHAEL BLAKE. (RAINIER TENTS PHOTO CONTEST)