REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
The seasonal road closures on the Wildlife Area were put
into affect. 4.5 miles of road on the Klickitat Wildlife Area will be closed
to motor vehicle travel from Nov. 1 through April 14 to protect roadbeds and
avoid disturbing wintering deer and elk.
The three roads affected
by the annual closures are in the wildlife area’s Soda Springs unit, including:
Anderson Road, 1.3 miles
south of the intersection with Soda Springs Road; Old Headquarters Road, 1 mile
south of the intersection with Soda Springs Road; and South Breaks Road, 0.1
miles west of the intersection with Soda Springs Road.
All 12 miles of roads in
the wildlife area will remain open to pedestrian access throughout the year,
and the most popular camping areas that were open last fall will be open for
camping in fall of 2007.
Eagle Mortality: Biologist Holman recovered the carcass of a golden eagle
that carried a satellite transmitter as part of a Research Division project.
One of several birds involved in a wind power and raptors study, the golden
eagle had been “on the air” for less than a year prior to the mortality.
The eagle was recovered in Oregon, roughly south of Goldendale in Klickitat
County. The carcass was found in the brushy head of a small canyon within a
complex of cliffs located several hundred feet above a popular target shooting
area. Necropsy is pending, but it appears that the bird was injured by a gunshot,
crashed to the ground and then crawled into the riparian vegetation to die.
An investigation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Personnel into this
event is underway.
Goose Season: Preparations continue for the beginning of goose hunting season in Area 2A.
Various logistical and administrative activities surround gearing up for goose
season. Tasks include, conducting job interviews for prospective goose check
station employees, delivery of check station trailers to station locations,
assimilation of checking equipment and video monitoring equipment, planning
for new employee training, administration of goose hunting authorization examinations,
preparation of equipment associated with avian influenza testing, etc.
Goose hunting in Area 2A
begins on November 10 for the 2007 season and continues every Saturday, Sunday
and Wednesday through November 25th. Goose hunting re-opens December 5th and
continues three-days-per-week through January 27, 2008. Please see the Migratory
Waterfowl and Upland Game Season 2007-08 Pamphlet for many additional details
regarding goose hunting in this area. The complex season structure and carefully
crafted hunting season in Area 2A is needed to protect populations of the dusky
Canada goose. Dusky populations remain below desired population levels set by
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Mud flow Hunt: Last
week District Wildlife Biologist Miller made contact with one of the youth hunter's
grandparents at the Society of American Foresters Tour held at the Weyerhaeuser
Forest Learning center. The adult was very pleased that one of his two grandkids
had killed a cow elk and had a great hunt. One grandchild was still out hunting
on Saturday, and they hoped to get his/her elk before the hunt ended on Sunday.
The overall experience was positive but the gate/key setup was confusing as
well as the behavior of the other hunters was perceived as a problem. Some problems
still exist with hunters driving on to the Wildlife Area in the morning and
disturbing the elk, they have been asked to wait until noon to drive on the
Wildlife Area roads, and then mostly for retrieval of downed game.
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Wildlife Area: Wildlife Area Manager would like to thank a volunteer who
offered to plow overgrown, neglected food plots along South Breaks Road on the
Wildlife Area. Six of the plots that could use treatment this year were completed.
This effort could not have been accomplished without volunteer assistance, which
is greatly appreciated. The volunteer also built up a larger pile of debris
next to the new gate on the South Breaks Road to stop vehicle bypass of the
staff training WA State Park employess how to conduct a survey for Western
Gray Squirrel: Biologist Anderson and Wildlife Area Manager Van Leuven conducted
a training for WA State Park employees interested in surveying for Western gray
squirrel's at Brooks Memorial State Park, Klickitat County. An afternoon training
was done at the Klickitat Wildlife Area to show surveyors WGS habitat, including
nest sites and the techniques for recording data. Following the survey, State
Park employees reported that they found several WGS nests in the park and had
the opportunity to see and photograph two WGS.
Goose Season: Staff from Region 5 and Olympia conducted training for goose
check station employees from WDFW and USFWS. The program is designed to reduce
harvest on the Dusky Canada goose while allowing harvest of more numerous sub
species. Hunters are required to complete an identification course and pass
a test by a score of 80 % to participate. All harvested geese are required to
be taken to a check station where employees examine the birds and identify them
by assessing measurements and breast color. Harvest quotas for each hunt area
are assigned and hunting can be closed early if the hunt quota is met. This
program is very time and material expensive and no additional funding is available
to expand the existing check stations or hunt days. Interested parties should
refer to the Goose Management section of the Waterfowl and Upland Game hunting
pamphlet for more info.
Pheasant Release: Last week 80 birds were released at the Goldendale Hatchery Unit, 90 birds were
released at the Gun Club property, and 30 were released at the Finn Ridge Road
site. Officers Bolton and McLerran accompanied Wildlife Area Manager VanLeuven
and volunteer Johnson to the release site and a few parties of hunters were
already there upon arrival.
"wildlife friendly" fence on a long WDFW property line. It has
strands of wire spaced to permit passage of smaller animals as well as
easy clearance for deer, while keeping cattle off the WDFW parcels.
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Wildlife Area Manager VanLeuven visited
the fencing project at the Sondino Unit, which has been completed. This is a
"wildlife friendly" fence on a long WDFW property line. It has strands
of wire spaced to permit passage of smaller animals as well as easy clearance
for deer, while keeping cattle off the WDFW parcels. In addition, the bottom
strand is barbless wire, which is less likely to injure fawns and other animals
crawling underneath. The neighboring property will only be pasture for cattle
part of the year, so two "man gates" were added to the fence line,
which may be left open for deer passage when cattle are not present. These two
gates were placed where major deer trails crossed the existing fence line (deer
had been jumping over the old fence.) Some trees and brush had to be cleared
from the fence line before repairs could me made to the fence. The smaller trees
and limbs were piled in places where they can provide nesting habitat for songbirds,
as well as habitat for reptiles and other small animals.
Elk Season: Results for the modern firearm elk season were mixed in the south Cascades these
last couple of weeks. Hunting pressure was heavy in the Lewis River unit due
to the increased number of cow tags this year. Mild weather conditions and lack
of snow helped spread the pressure throughout all elevations, as access was
good all the way to the tree line. Early reports indicate that a fair number
of cows were taken in the Wind River and Siouxon units. Hunter reports in the
Trout Lake area indicated a lower number of bulls and cows harvested in the
southern Lewis River unit than the past couple years, this is probably due to
elk remaining at higher elevations throughout the season. Several hunters have
contacted the District Biologist indicating their frustration with the number
of cows tags issued for the Lewis River and Siouxon units.
Land Access Program: 100% of the Toutle and Coweeman and 80% of the Margaret GMUs were open during
the special elk permit and general elk modern firearm season in the Mt. St.
Helens Tree Farm thanks to the many volunteers who participated in this effort
to facilitate additional motorized access during the weekdays. The Winston Unit
remained closed to motorized access but open to walk-in. Up to 12 volunteers
a day participated in the Land Access Program and they were instrumental in
implementing this effort. Weyerhaeuser and WDFW would like to thank the volunteers
for all their time and effort in assisting with this program. Many hunters encountered
on the farm have provided positive feedback to this program and are appreciative
of the additional motorized access. Some of the hunters were concerned with
the increased number of special permits that were issued, resulting in crowding.
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Wildlife Area Manager VanLeuven checked the condition of
Grayback and Sheep Canyon Roads. Several places were observed where people had
driven off the road through the snow. One place was apparently used as a campsite,
and the ground thoroughly torn up. Tracks run parallel to the road, but about
12 to 20 feet away, for no clear reason.
Manager VanLeuven accompanied
two new people who will be cutting sagebrush for the pygmy rabbit recovery program
out at Rock Creek Canyon and showed them around the area and where to cut brush
for this effort.
Canada Goose Season Area 2a: Canada goose season opened November 10th in
Area 2A. Opening weekend was slightly better than average success among those
choosing to participate in the hunt. Collectively the hunter check stations
located at Vancouver, Ridgefield Marina, and Woodland report a total of 89 hunters
having harvested a total of 194 geese during opening weekend (November 10 and
11). This makes an average of 2.2 birds per hunter among those who brought birds
to the check stations.
Hunting continues each Saturday,
Sunday, and Wednesday through November 25th. The season then closes briefly,
opening again on December 5th and running on the 3-days per week schedule until
January 27, 2008. Those interested in participating in the Area 2A goose hunt
are encouraged to review the special requirements that are detailed in the Waterfowl
Hunting Pamphlet. The special seasons in 2A are designed to protect populations
of the dusky Canada goose.
Pheasant Release: Klickitat Wildlife Area Wildlife Area Manager VanLeuven assisted with the release
of eighty pheasants at the Goldendale Hatchery Unit, 80 releases at the Gun
Club property, and 40 releases at the Finn Ridge Rd. property. Several volunteers
were involved in this effort.