With Thanksgiving just around the corner, thousands of hunters are gearing up for the fall turkey season in Eastern Washington. The season opens Nov. 20 in a number of eastside game management units, giving hunters a full week in the field to bag a bird for their holiday table.
Not your neck of the woods? Throughout the state, November is also prime time to hunt ducks, geese, elk, deer, pheasant, forest grouse and other game, any of which would make a fine addition to your holiday table.
“Waterfowl hunting usually picks up around the middle of the month, when the wet and windy weather starts pushing more migrating birds into the area from the north,” said Don Kraege, waterfowl manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “That’s good news for waterfowl hunters from the Skagit Valley to the Columbia Basin.”
November is also prime time to hunt deer and elk on both sides of the Cascades. Hunting seasons for those and other game species are described in the 2013-14 Big Game Hunting pamphlet, available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/. Additional information about where best to hunt is available in WDFW’s Hunting Prospects report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/.
For anglers, Thanksgiving traditionally marks the start of winter steelhead fishing in western Washington, where coho and chum salmon are also moving in from the ocean. On the eastside, anglers are still reeling in hatchery-reared summer steelhead on the upper Columbia and Snake rivers.
Rather serve shellfish? Most areas of Puget Sound are currently open for crab fishing, and two multi-day razor clam digs are scheduled at various ocean beaches in November. For details on upcoming digs, see the WDFW razor clam webpage at http://goo.gl/8I23K2.
Meanwhile, birders throughout the nation are making preparations for the 113th Christmas Bird Count scheduled Dec. 14, 2013 through Jan. 5, 2014. Sponsored by Audubon, the annual event enlists tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas to count and categorize the birds they see for science. For more information about the bird count see the Audubon website at http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count.
For more information about the full array of fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing available over the next month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.