OLYMPIA—Elk hunters are gearing up for Saturday's opening of modern firearm season in the Northeast, Blue Mountains, Colockum and Yakima tag areas on the eastside of the state. Westside modern firearm elk seasons will open a week later, on Nov. 7.
Meanwhile, deer hunters continued to enjoy high success during the second weekend of the general season, according to field checks by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists.
Last weekend's field checks of deer hunters at Deer Park Biological Sampling Station north of Spokane found 12 percent hunter success, compared to only 4 percent last year. A total of 278 hunters were checked with 19 bucks and 13 does. Last year on the second weekend of the season only eight bucks and four does were checked.
On the west side of the state, deer hunter success also was up at the Vail check station. Biologists checked 67 deer last weekend and reported hunter numbers were up 30 percent over last year.
Modern firearm hunters are reminded that the last day of the general blacktail deer season is Saturday (Oct. 31). The late buck season runs from Nov. 19 to 22.
Black bear hunting seasons will close Nov. 8 on the east side of the state and Nov. 15 on the west side. A change this year is that all bear and cougar hunters, whether successful or not, must return their black bear and cougar harvest report cards. In the past, only successful hunters were required to return their report card for these species. Cougar seasons are open until March 15.