Southeast Wa Deer Opener

So I headed down to the Southeast corner of Washington to try my luck at deer this weekend. I met up with my friend Blake and his dad, Kelly- Blake came to fish and tag along, while Kelly would deer hunt with me. As expected it was pretty darn crowded, and one of the pieces I hunted with permission in the past had since been posted feel free and was swarmed with hunters. Fortunately I still had some other access from local farmers, and saw a lot of great deer on Saturday outside of range or on other properties. I did get a shot at a gorgeous 5x5 Whitetail on the run, but only had a short chance at it before it hit a horizon and cleanly missed. Sunday was much slower, with far fewer deer getting kicked around, and a not so short detour driving from farm country over to a Walmart an hour away to replace a flat tire. We got back from that excursion with 2 hours to hunt, and the rain that was coming in later that night seemed to activate deer. We saw a lot of them leaving their cover to feed in stubble as we drove to our spot, a brushy canyon off of a wheat field. Another hunter was also heading to the same spot, so we joined him and the group of us pushed through the canyon from one side down to the bottom. They both got shots at a buck that jumped up near the top of the canyon, which was hit and stumbled around the hill out of sight. As we headed down to cross I jumped another buck out of the very bottom of the draw, which I was able to get a nice side look at as it ran up the hill. I shot a little high and forward, hitting high up in the front shoulder, but it was at least a quick kill. I gutted mine and hauled it out with Blake's help, then we got Kelly's deer (after a discussion with the 3rd hunter who agreed that Kelly was the one who hit it), and loaded them up in the dark. Two 3x4 whitetails out of a small canyon on Sunday evening!

And for the bird hunters - the pheasant numbers seemed similar to what I've seen in the past, but I saw way more quail than usual, including a few in places I'd never seen them before. Also, some other guys I talked to mentioned seeing much bigger coveys of huns than they were used to, so I'm really looking forward to upland hunting down that way this fall. Oh, and Blake split off from us a few times to fish, and managed to catch and release a nice wild steelhead, so it was a productive weekend all around! The deer is now hanging, and its tail is skinned out and drying for use in clouser flies next year. Sure do love this time of year, hope the rest of you have good luck out there for birds or larger game.

Deer Weekend 2012 034.JPG Deer Weekend 2012 039.JPG Deer Weekend 2012 020.JPG

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Looks like a great time all the way around. Good news re: the bird numbers; thanks for sharing. A young fella I've mentored harvested a monster Whitetail down that way, too; at my age, the "mentoring" part (and living vicariously) has become most enjoyable. My knees don't hurt as much either, lol.