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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 20, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Deer hunting opens under summerlike conditions and lower participation

Here is a hunting report from Dave Ware, a state Fish and Wildlife game manager in Olympia. For a more in-depth report read my outdoor notebook story in The Seattle Times this Sunday, Oct. 21:

Opening Day Results from 2012 General Modern Firearm Season

Region 1 (Eastern Washington)

Like last year, hunting participation and success rates were fairly low at the Deer Park and Chattaroy check stations on opening day of the modern firearms deer season.

On Sunday, Oct. 13, the Deer Park check station had 114 hunters visit with 12 deer inspected for a success rate of 10.5-percent.

In 2011 the Deer Park check station had 117 hunters with 7 deer for a 6-percent success rate. The Chattaroy check station had 66 hunters visit with 9 deer for a 13.6-percent success rate.

In Whitman County, participation was moderate with an average number of bucks killed on this year’s opener. More than 200 does – but only one spike – were observed during a 14-hour period.

Primary violations observed were the failure to leave evidence of sex on the carcass and hunters’ failure to sign their license.

Region 2 (Northcentral Washington)

At the Winthrop check station, WDFW staff checked 127 hunters with 17 deer during the opening weekend of the modern firearms deer season. These numbers are almost identical to check station data gathered last year, and are consistent with success rates reported by enforcement officers around the district.

Prospects for the remainder of the season should improve with periodic rain in the valleys and snow predicted during the Oct. 20-21 weekend.

In Chelan, hunter participation was down as anticipated, likely due to fire closures that appear to have pushed hunters into other areas.

Game Management Unit (GMU) 243 (Manson) saw more activity this year, but hunter success was low. GMU 247 (Entiat), GMU 245 (Chiwawa) and areas of Douglas County also showed reduced participation and harvest.

Region 4 (Northwest Washington)

Most units of the Whatcom Wildlife Area were busy Oct. 13, opening day of the waterfowl season. Tennant Lake, Lake Terrell, and the Nooksack unit were heavily used both Saturday and Sunday.

The Skagit Headquarters was also busy, with 76 vehicles in the parking lot. Weather conditions were favorable with rain and some wind.

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