If you’re like this Washington rifle deer hunter, you’re probably in giddy final preparations for this weekend’s opener.
I spent much of last Saturday washing all of my hunting clothes in scent-free detergent and packing them in totes with sprigs of Doug fir, hauled out my Work Sharps and honed a collection of knives, and gathered and checked equipment.
Speaking of gear, a month or so back I reclaimed my deer hoist from the boys.
True story: River and Kiran had absconded with it and one of our spaghetti-pot lids to fashion — of all things — a guillotine.
(This part didn’t make my blog or magazine article about our spring trip through Germany, but our sons utterly horrified an English-speaking tour guide at the Marksburg castle on the Rhine with their over-the-top interest in torture and torture devices; they fit right in at Rothenburg’s Kriminalmuseum.)
The boys are pushing hard to join me and Grandpa at Deer Camp, and they will soon enough, but we’ve got a little more work to do on their stalking skills — they showed those off during a stop last month in Olga while crabbing in the San Juans, running amuck after a buck, arms waving in the air, shouting.
Yi yi yi.
But I get pretty excited too. With deer season straight ahead, as you can imagine, it’s a bit hard for me to focus on Actual Work — especially, with snow showers in the forecast.
Alas, I have to, so I will let what I’ve written already and in the past provide the rest of the warm-up for the hunt.
In case you missed my previous blog, here is what WDFW district wildlife biologists think about this season’s prospects for Eastern Washington mule deer and whitetail hunters:
For blacktail hunters, see their PDFs for:
Whatcom, Skagit and portions of San Juan Counties
Snohomish, Island and portions of San Juan Counties
Pierce and Thurston Counties
Clallam and western Jefferson Counties
Kitsap, Mason and eastern Jefferson Counties
Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties
Lewis, Wahkiakum and Cowlitz Counties
Clark and Skamania Counties
While Washington’s fire season has pretty much wrapped up, there are a few road and area closures to be aware of in northwest Okanogan County and north-central Kittitas County. For other locations, see Inciweb.
Though it’s a few days out yet, broadly speaking Saturday looks mostly sunny with temps in the 30s to mid-50s in Eastern Washington, with a chance of rain or snow, depending on elevation, in Western Washington.
And should you need any more inspiration, I offer a few of my past ramblings from this time of year:
I’m working on my annual hunting beard, but I’m not sure this fall’s edition will make it the week and a half until Washington’s deer season opener.
Too many white hairs, especially around my chinny chin chin.
Also up around my ears and above my upper lip …
“The bane of a logical wife.”
That was Amy’s suggested headline for this blog entry on the eve of the eve of me leaving for deer camp.
As we lay in bed after getting the boys down last night, she wasn’t buying into my precautions with scents …
I’ve hunted Okanogan mule deer since college, and I’ve always taken photos while afield.
Back in the day, it was with a Nikon N50 and slide film, then a D7000 and crazy lenses before a series of pocket digital cameras, and for the past few years my smartphone.
I truly miss shooting slides, but I also love being able to edit images right there on the phone — what my young sons call “messing up pictures” …
Scene: It’s the day after the end of Washington’s muley rifle season. All members of Deer Camp von Walgamott, located somewhere in the mountains of western Okanogan County, have returned home, but a pack of hungry reporters have caught up to Coach Walgamott as he puts his hunting gear away.
Reporter 1: Coach, can you tell us what happened over there these past two weekends at deer camp?
Coach: Well, I tell you what, we fielded what we thought was a good team of deer hunters — some veterans, some recent buck killers, a newby or two to the area for beginner’s luck …
I’ve gone to deer camp in many different General Motors products, but never one so out of place as a four-door Saturn.
The gas mileage was pretty damned good, lemme tell you, but it just doesn’t match the manliness of pulling into Okanogan County in a black-smoke-belching Chevy Silverado HD diesel towing a boxcar-sized trailer …
Enjoy, and best of luck this season!