With live tags in our wallets and snow in the forecast this weekend, Dad and I will be heading back to deer camp tonight for a second and final shot at muley bucks, and I can’t say I’ve ever been more stoked about our odds.
One of my buddies has been holding down the camp since we left Sunday.
“I’ve seen more deer today than I’ve ever seen,” he reported late Tuesday morning. “They’re moving.”
That corresponded with a windy though warm day in the mountains.
Conditions are changing, for the better: This weekend it’s supposed to get well below freezing at night, not warm up much during the day, and perhaps leave a couple inches of white stuff on the ground.
Last weekend’s rain and moister conditions have allowed WDFW, the U.S. Forest Service and private timberlands across the state to lift fire and access restrictions, meaning hunters can have campfires this weekend on state and federal land and push into commercial forests either on foot/bike or by vehicle they couldn’t last weekend.
For more, see these links:
As for reports out of the first weekend, can’t say I’ve seen a whole lot of press about the start of the campaign.
Rich Landers at the Spokesman-Review and I both did pieces based on the deer check station numbers (his for Northeast Washington and the Methow Valley; mine for the Northeast, Methow, Southwest Washington and Klickitat Wildlife Area). Wayne Kruse also has some info on those plus a bit about Chelan and Douglas Counties in his Everett Herald column.
The Methow Valley News filed a nice piece about a young hunter who bagged her buck on Sunday morning, plus some other notes from the valley.
Our contributor Jeff Holmes who is Field & Stream‘s regional rut reporter has a bit of news here.
No word online, though, out of Yakima, Omak, Bellingham, Wenatchee, Walla Walla, Pullman, Newport, Colville or Centralia, all in bucky locations.
Harumph, I say!
But perhaps the sports reporters at those papers are paying more attention to that other season that’s just as important this time of year — high school football — or my googling skills are apparently as good as my buck-finding skills.
I’m told that WDFW is doing some sort of roundup of hunting reports which may be out later today.
If I had any sense I might head for the Palouse, breaks and Blue Mountain foothills, where a trio of pics have come in from in recent days.
But rather than tell the stories of dead bucks, let’s look forward to the live ones still prancing around (OK, hunkering down) in the hills.
Between my buddy, me and the rest of the crew, I’d hazard a guess that we saw more bucks than ever before. While that’s mostly good news for next season as most have been 2-points or spikes, I can’t help but be stoked about our chances this weekend, especially considering the antler:antlerless numbers coming out of last hunting season, 29:100, and generally weak 2011-12 winter.
Numbers are not quite as strong but still healthy enough in Chelan County too.
See you on the other side of the second weekend.