WDFW fee increase bills did not pass. While I am certain everyone in the department is disappointed, there is an upside. For years, as a manager, from time to time, business slowed down. It made taking actions you should have taken before. Those times were an excellent opportunity to get rid of some "dead wood". A time to focus on priority items, and if layoffs were required, you kept the productive employees. I believe the department can be more efficient, and will be better as time goes on.
Big Game Draws
Oregon applications are due may 15th Oregon requires a $167.00 license, and an $8.00 per species application fee. They have preference points for elk, deer and antelope, so if you live long enough, you will draw. Bighorn sheep and mountain goat do not have a point system. Deer - Whitetail and mule deer. Mostly managed for opportunity. Not many in the record book. I have held out for the Trout creek unit, but that burned to a crisp a few years ago. Hopefully the vegetation will recover. Elk - Again, mostly opportunity. I did hunt the Wenaha and there were some good bulls. The frustration came as the spike hunters were more common than the bulls as they hunted the same time. Cathy shot a 6 point in the Mount Emily unit, but that was on private land. I am sure there are good bulls on public land, but the terrain can get tough. Mountain goat. - Less than $1500.00 if you draw! Good quality if you want a goat. Bighorns - The worst odds are for the one rocky Mountain area, but a good chance for a record book animal. Several units for California. Some float the John Day or pay an excess fee. Other units further South have better odds if a representative specimen is good enough.
Washington applications are due May 22nd As you know, Washington has bonus points, and they square them, so you need to either apply or buy a point to stay in the game. For deer, look to areas that are hardest to draw. The Elk quality hunts offer a chance for a good bull. Mountain goats are managed very conservatively. Any sheep tag is good. And, although we have traded many of our moose for wolves, there are still some old bulls out there.