Goldendale, WA -(Ammoland.com)- The sun is setting earlier and the leaves are beginning to turn color – signs of another change of season.
Fall is in the air, and hunters are heading out for the first major hunting seasons of the year. Archery hunts for deer get under way around the state Sept. 1, when hunting seasons also open for forest grouse, mourning dove, cottontail rabbit, and snowshoe hare.
Other seasons set to open this month include archery hunts for elk, muzzleloader hunts for deer, and a turkey hunt in some areas of eastern Washington. A youth-only hunt for ducks, geese, pheasant and other game birds runs Sept. 20-21 statewide. To participate, hunters must be 15 years old or younger and be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not hunting.
“Hunting seasons look very promising this year,” said Dave Ware, statewide game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Deer and elk populations definitely benefitted from mild weather last winter, and there should be plenty of local ducks available early in the season, followed by a record number of birds expected from the north later this year.”
Area-by-area summaries of hunting prospects throughout the state are available on WDFW's website. Ware noted that the site includes information on the effects of this summer's wildfires on hunting opportunities in the Okanogan.
Meanwhile, an estimated run of 1.5 million chinook salmon – and hundreds of thousands of coho – is moving up the Columbia River, drawing anglers by the thousands. Further north, chinook and coho are also pushing into Puget Sound from the ocean, while eastside anglers await a surge of chinook and steelhead on the Snake River.
As new fishing seasons open, others are coming to an end. Crab fishing in most areas of Puget Sound is set to end Labor Day at sunset, and WDFW is reminding crabbers that summer catch record cards are due to WDFW by Oct. 1 – whether or not they actually caught crab this year. Completed cards can be submitted by mail or online from Sept. 2 through Oct. 1.
For more information about fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing available this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW's website. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.
About The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources. The department operates under a dual mandate from the Washington Legislature to protect and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats and provide sustainable, fish- and wildlife-related recreational and commercial opportunities.