Buck Hunters Find Success in Central Lewis County

Late Season: ‘There Are Plenty of Deer Out Here’

By The Chronicle

Local modern firearm deer hunters had a rough early hunting season, but said overall they enjoyed the late season.

With the buck’s head down and the hunter’s heads up, it made for an easier hunt.

With rain starting the late season off, easing up for a clear weekend and finishing with snow flurries, many hunters found themselves taking in the amazement of all the deer movement.

When local hunter Joey Wedam, Cinebar, was asked what he thought made the difference between the late season and the early season hunt, he said, “The deer were just out moving. The bucks were easier to find because they were out there chasing does all day long.”

Getting an extra few days off from college with the Thanksgiving break across the state at Washington State University, Wedam decided to make his way from Pullman back home to get the late buck hunt in.

“It was awesome to get a day away from school and get out in the woods,” he said.

Wedam and his hunting partner were both able to find their bucks the first day out in the field. Wedam shot a nice 3×3 black-tail, while his hunting partner took home a spike in the same vicinity. When asked what he thought the most enjoyable part of this hunting season was he said, “Finally finding a buck, although just seeing deer is nice. But the feeling you get when you first see antlers is awesome.”

Steve Poppe, Onalaska, and his daughter Sara Soha, Forks, were out hunting Saturday off the Alpha Road.

“There are plenty of deer out here,” Poppe said.

He blamed his lack of success in the early season on poor weather, but hoped the late season’s rut would make a difference.

His son killed a 3×3 black-tail just down the road from where they were hunting Saturday afternoon.

Just knowing the local area can increase the odds of bringing home a deer. Many lucky hunters spotted their potential deer harvest in the elk season, but if they weren’t out in the woods, they didn’t have that chance.

With archery deer and elk season opening tomorrow, deer season starting Thursday, and elk season starting tomorrow for muzzleloaders, look for another great weekend ahead.

Cold and rainy may be the forecast, but with deer peaking in rut there will be deer running, chasing, and some just exhausted with all the ruckus in the woods. Areas with snow will be easier to track in, but more difficult to conceal yourself in.

Dress warm, as temperature will not be in your favor. Make sure you stay hydrated as the increase of clothing layers increases body temperature and sweating profusely while hiking will weaken your strength.

As for the elk, they will most likely be found in the thick of the forest.

“One thing I learned this season is to always be ready. You never know when you might see something.” Wedam said.