District biologists have provided hunting forecasts for their
district based on surveys and field work.
Counties: Island and Snohomish
Ruth Milner, District Wildlife Biologist
District 13 includes GMU 448, 450, and parts of GMU 407 Snohomish County. Whidbey Island is also part of District 13 and is part of GMU 410.
Much of the eastern portion of District 13 is public land managed by the US Forest Service on the Mt Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. Hunters should contact the Darrington Ranger District (360-436-1155) for updates on road and trail conditions in GMU 448 and 450. Many roads have been decommissioned or damaged by floods in recent years. Trail conditions also vary and some information on trail conditions can be found at: the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Recreation web page.
The remaining public land in the district is managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Northwest Region (360-856-3500). Hunters should be aware that many access roads to DNR lands are gated and should contact the DNR to obtain the latest information about gates and road conditions; additional contact information is found at DNR Recreation web page.
A number of private industrial timber owners also manage land in GMU 448. Many of their roads are closed to motorized vehicle traffic, but walking or biking access is allowed. Hunters are advised to scout their areas early and be aware that parking at access gates may be very limited. Hunters are further advised not to drive beyond any gate that is open unless they are certain the gate will remain open on their return. Active logging is taking place in some areas, so gates may be open in the morning, but locked closed later in the day. Many access gates on private industrial timber lands will have signs that describe ownership and the rules that apply to the property. However, this may not be the case everywhere and ownerships change hands fairly frequently, so hunters are advised to spend some time scouting the areas they hope to hunt.
Much of the western portion of District 13 is suburban, with housing developments and small farms occurring in many places. Hunters should obtain permission from landowners to hunt on private land and should be very mindful of where houses, livestock and outbuildings are situated in relation to the areas where hunting will take place.
Pheasant: For pheasant and waterfowl hunters, there are 2 access sites on the east side of the Ebey Island Unit of the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area. The first access site is under State Highway 2 on the north east side of the property. The second access site is just off of Homeacres Road just off of Highway 2. Access is currently being developed for the west side of the property. While other pheasant release sites on the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area are going back to the 8am to 4pm hunting hours during the Western Washington pheasant hunting season, the Ebey Island Unit is not. Access to the Ebey Island Unit will correspond with the normal regulated hunting hours.
2011 Statewide Small Game Harvest Statistics: Pheasant - Statewide and by County
Grouse: Ruffed grouse is the common species in District 13, and blue grouse may be found at higher elevations. A cold, wet spring, may have negatively affected chick survival this spring. Hunters should look for mixed conifer and hardwood areas, especially in riparian areas, for the most likely place to find grouse.
2011 Statewide Small Game Harvest Statistics: Forest Grouse - Statewide and by County
Waterfowl hunting in District 13 is expected to be productive if weather conditions are favorable. During mild winters, ducks tend to stay in more northerly areas of British Columbia. However, as colder fronts move in and conditions become colder and stormy, hunters can expect increasing numbers of waterfowl to arrive in District 13.
Access on public lands on Whidbey Island is extremely limited. Hunters should be aware that Deer Lagoon is now closed to hunting. Hunters interested in accessing Dugualla Bay should contact the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, which now owns portions of the upland area, for information on property boundaries and whether or not hunting is permitted on their ownership."
The Spencer Island Unit of the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area will be boat access only until the beginning of November due to construction by the City of Everett. Once construction is complete, parking for the Spencer Island Unit will be a ¼ of a mile back from the bridge to the island near the sewage treatment facility buildings.
2011 Statewide Small Game Harvest Statistics
Deer: District 13 includes only two game management units (GMU 448 and GMU 450) located largely within Snohomish County, and the majority of the harvest comes from GMU 448. In 2011, 917 hunters harvested 115 deer in GMU 448 (Stillaguamish). Hunter success was down in 2011 compared to earlier years, with 13% of hunters reporting success. In GMU 450 (Cascade), 135 hunters had a success rate of 11% and harvested 11 deer.
Much of District 13 is forested, with trees in a 20-40 year age class. This results in relatively tightly stocked stands where seeing deer may be challenging. For hunters who enjoy walking or hiking in un-crowded conditions, District 13 offers a very rewarding opportunity to get outside and enjoy the season.
Very little public land is available for hunting on Whidbey Island. Hunters should have permission from private landowners prior to hunting private property. The Island County Public Works Department owns a few small parcels that are open to hunting. Hunters should contact them directly for maps and restrictions. Limited deer hunting will also be allowed on the Trillium Community Forest property, owned by the Whidbey/Camano Land Trust. Hunters should contact the Whidbey Camano Land Trust for additional information regarding access dates, maps etc. at http://www.wclt.org/stewardship-trillium-community-forest/. Note: hunting on this property is for the purpose of habitat improvement, thus hunting is limited to a few specific days within the total deer season.
District 13 - 2011 Game Harvest Statistics:
- Deer General Harvest
- Deer Special Permits Harvest
Elk: District 13 is not known for elk hunting because it does not have a major elk herd within the GMU boundaries. Elk occur along Highway 2 at the south end of GMU 448 in small numbers, and sometimes come south of GMU 437 onto the Sauk Prairie in the north end of the GMU. However, only a few elk are harvested from this GMU in a given year. There are no elk on Whidbey Island.
For hunters looking for new opportunities, we recommend scouting the area early because, although elk numbers have increased in GMU 448, they tend to move around and are not always present in GMU 448.
District 13 - 2011 Game Harvest Statistics:
- Elk General Harvest
- Elk Special Permits Harvest
Bear: A very wet spring and high snow pack may have affected berry production throughout the district this year. Bears are plentiful in the area, but hunters should be mindful of the access restrictions discussed above. We expect bears to remain at relatively low elevations early in the season, moving to the high country in search of berries and insects later in the season. Rain throughout most of June may result in bears staying at lower elevations longer this year than is typical because of the lush vegetation and slow start to berry producing plants. There are no bears on Whidbey or Camano Islands.
2011 Statewide Black Bear Harvest Statistics
District 13 hunters harvested 83 quail in 2011, all of them in Snohomish County
All 815 of the forest grouse harvested in district 13 were taken in Snohomish County.
District 13 includes only two game management units, and they produced 128 deer for general-season hunters in 2001. Hunters in GMU 448 (Stillaguamish) harvested 115 of those deer, and 91 percent of those were bucks. Archers in the Stillaguamish Unit had a 17.8 percent success rate, while modern firearms hunters were successful at an 11.7-percent rate.
The lone elk harvested in District 13 during last yearís general season was a bull taken from GMU 448 (Stillaguamish) by a modern firearms hunter.
Hunters in GMU 448 (Stillaguamish) harvested 59 black bear and hunters in GMU 450 (Cascade) harvested 6 for a total of 65 bear taken in District 13 last year.
Hunters didnít harvest any cougar in District 13 during the 2011 general season.
The duck harvest in Snohomish County increased 26 percent from 2010 to 2011, as hunters bagged 26,197 ducks during the past season. Island County hunters added 4,310 birds, bringing the District 13 total to 30,507 birds.
Snohomish County hunters enjoyed a 347-percent increase in their goose harvest from 2010 to 2011, taking nearly 3,700 birds for the season. Island County hunters added 318 geese to the district total.