Looking Up: Hopes High for the Coming Week in the Woods
By The Chronicle
The early deer season for modern firearm hunters has definitely had its difficulties.
Opening weekend the clear skies and dry leaves underfoot made for a beautiful days outing in the woods. But every buck and doe could hear a hunter coming from a mile away without having to pay too much attention.
This weekend’s hunt had its own troubles and for different reasons.
Beset with wet weather and a Hunter’s moon, the average hunter had a tough time working up any enthusiasm for the hunt. The sound of rain humming on the roof as a hunter turns on his coffee pot in the early morning tends to be a comforting sound — unless he can also spot the Hunter’s moon shining down through the kitchen window.
One pair of Morton hunters were so discouraged Saturday, they reported staying home and dry Sunday morning, watching bow hunting programs.
The Hunter’s moon is not a friend of the hunter, despite its friendly sounding name. The Hunter’s moon rises early, sets late and gives extra light for the deer to feed and roam through the woods all night long. By the time it’s legal to shoot, the deer have bedded down for the morning.
There are reports of hunters coming home empty handed and frustrated, seeing more deer as they were heading to and from their favorite hunting holes than they did while they were in the woods.
This weekend the rain varied from a light sprinkle to torrential downpour. Pacific Northwesterners can stand a little rain, but walking around soaking wet is just unpleasant.
“It’s tough to get all excited for hunting season to come and for the weather to keep us locked in our truck or turning back toward home,” said a local hunter from Mossyrock.
The full moon phase that began last Thursday peaked Saturday. This is good news for the modern firearms hunters as they head into this last weekend of early season.
Rain and winds over the weekend have knocked down more leaves, increasing visibility.
This is the last week for early modern firearm deer, but the afternoon hunting should really kick up for hunters. With the forecast of showers throughout the week look for deer to be in the thickness of the timber in the afternoon.
Being quiet will be your main concern this coming week with the fall of leaves, so keep those ears alert for rustling in the bushes and good luck.
Lewis County Hunting Opportunities
The Ryderwood area has traditionally been a top deer and elk producer. Try the clearcuts of the Bebe Mountain area just outside of Vader.
The Winston Creek area in central-east Lewis County also holds lots of deer, with hunters regularly bagging 300 to 400 deer and upwards of 400 elk each season. Again, try clearcut areas. Best bet is just south of Riffe Lake.
The Mossyrock area also offers hunting opportunities north of Riffe Lake near Mossyrock all the way toward Morton.
In Packwood, try going south to the areas of Johnson and Lake creeks.
Randle might not be your best place, if past success is an indication, although there are some deer and elk being bagged each year just west of Randle.
Going farther east, try your luck east of Mineral at Round Top and Storm King mountains.
Heading into the autumn hunt, all areas west of Interstate 5 were promising. Try the many areas of gated Weyerhaeuser property in the hills above Pe Ell. Also, hunting near Doty along Lincoln and Bunker creeks and their drainage systems should flush out some blacktails.