Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Turkey Hunting Tips/Jeff Johnston

  * Fly-down time at dawn is assumed by many hunters to be the best time all day to bag a tom. Trouble is, the hen or hens that old fella is visiting at that time of day may not let him off the hook long enough to pay attention to your calls and come anywhere near your setup. But during the peak of the breeding season, those hens are apt to visit their nests by noon. Your best shot at calling him close may come then, when old tom is lonely for attention.
   *Many times a tom hangs up not because of an obstacle, but because he's walked far enough toward your call and, having not seen a hen, walks away. Your mistake: setting up too far outside that all important range and never seeing him. When you call, be sure of a good line of sight through terrain and vegetation, and depending on cover, try to get within 100 yards of him before plopping down.
   *If you hear a gobbler moving away from you, don't waste more time and breath trying to call him back. Instead, get up and hustle in a wide circle around him. If you need to hear him for reference, use a locator call. When you feel you are ahead of him, quickly set up and give a series of aggressive yelps with a call you haven't used yet. Many times this "fresh hen" tactic will prove successful.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New 2011 Turkey Regs

The new 2011 Washington Turkey Regs are out wherever licenses are sold. Not much in the way of changes.
Spring season opens April 15th to May 31st 2011Statewide.
Youth Turkey Season for hunters under 16 years of age will be held on April 2-3, 2011.
Time to get those chokes checked and patterened again.
Keep scouting, birds are moving and gobbling already!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Idaho Wolf Management

New:  Peer reviews and public comments on Idaho Fish and Game's proposal to reduce the number of gray wolves in the Lolo Elk Management Zone in north-central Idaho.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft Environmental Assessment, which also is available for public review and comment. The deadline for public comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is March 14.

After they were nearly wiped out in the lower 48 states, wolves in Idaho were declared endangered in 1974 under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 1987 recovery plan for wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains included reintroducing them in central Idaho in 1995 and 1996.
Since then, Idaho has been involved in wolf management as directed by the Legislature, which in 2002, adopted the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Under the plan Idaho Fish and Game would be responsible for wolf management following delisting.
In February 2005, the Fish and Wildlife Service revised the rules that govern the experimental non-essential population of reintroduced wolves in Idaho south of Interstate 90. The change eased wolf management rules and gave Idaho a greater role in wolf management.
In January 2006, an agreement between Idaho and the U.S. Department of Interior designated the state as an agent for day-to-day wolf management for the Fish and Wildlife Service.
On October 18, 2010, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter returned responsibility for wolf management to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Efforts to renew the 2006 agreement giving day-to-day management to Idaho Fish and Game have been unsuccessful.

Oregon Releases Black Bear Permit Results

The Spring black bear tag results are now available.
Hunters can check their results using the My Hunter information page or by calling 800-708-1782.
2011 Spring Bear Leftover Tags Available March 15, 2011 at 10 a.m

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Help save Bristol Bay Alaska!

   Located in Southwest Alaska, roughly 40,000 sq. miles of remote lands, lakes, and rivers. Located here are Nat'l Parks, Refuges, wild and scenic rivers as well as Alaska's largest State Park are found in this region, along with Alaska's largest lake, Illiamna.
   The Bristol Bay region is facing a very real threat from potential developement of massive mining projects. The proposed Pebble Mine would be one of the largest mines in the world and will be located at the headwaters of some of the richest salmon rivers on earth. Over 1000 sq. miles of State lands have been staked with mining claims and the Bureau of Land Management has proposed opening roughly 1 million acres of federal lands in the region to mining exploration and developement. Presently, Bristol Bay is a remote, nearly untouched sporting paradise. If these mining plans are approved, the entire region will be changed forever. Go online at and read more about this subject and sign the petition to help stop this potentially dangerous threat to our resources.
   Remember, Eat wild salmon and don't buy dirty gold! Ask your jeweler to sign the Bristol Bay protection pledge (Tiffany&Co., Ben Bridge Jeweler, Helzberg Diamonds, fortunoff and Leber Jeweler, Inc. have already declared intentions to not source gold from the Bristol Bay region for their products.)
   To get involved contact Scott Hed at Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska at:
   For great documentary films on Bristol bay, check out: Red Gold or Equilibrium.
Thank you!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Turkey Hunting Tips

     Now that we have our potential opening day turkey spots narrowed down to maybe 2 or 3 locations, its time to get out and start scouting. A good place to start is with a map of the area you intend to hunt. Opening day in our state and paricularly in the northeastern parts of Washington and the Blue Mt. areas down in the southeast corner will have a fair amount of snow still on the ground and of course the southern exposures will be the first places that will melt off and turn green. These locations are a good bet to start your scouting, particularly if there are farms near by that have provided feed for the turkeys during the winter months. The turkeys will follow the snow line up and feed on the new shoots and insects that will become exposed as the weather warms. I always go online to Google Earth (see side bar) and check out prospective new areas this way first. I look for farms and meadows that have potential and also check out public lands that are on the edge or very near these locations. Always keeping in mind the southern exposures and elevations.
     Once you have found these types of locations, grab your optics, a couple good locater calls such as a crow call or owl hooter and get out early as possible, just as you would if you were actually hunting. I prefer to wear full camo and try and remain as unseen as possible so as not to spook or disturb the turkeys more than I need to. I will usually listen more than I call at first light and only use the owl hooter softly at first. I only want to laocate turkeys and once I do, leave them alone. I only want to know they are using the area and save the stalking or set ups for when the season opens. I never use any turkeys call like hen yelps, clucks or purrs until I know I'll be able to shoot when a tom shows up, anything else just educates an already intelligent and savvy bird.
    Once I have found an area that I like, I'll again go back to my Google Earth maps and check out the entire area and try and locate funnels, ridgetops etc. that might be good travel routes between roosting, dusting and feeding areas. If at all possible, scout these locations, looking for droppings, scratching, feathers, anything that might indicate that they are traveling in these places. If you have a GPS, mark the locations. I always mark my maps with these potential locations and any sightings, and bring the map with you! I update these maps yearly with birds seen, birds shot and where someone may mention they have seen birds. Eventually you'll be able to pattern birds in a given area and increase the odds somewhat in your favor. The more you know, the better you'll be at finding birds and will hopefully be putting more fans and beards on the wall every year.
    If you have some more ideas to share with us, please don't hesitate to join in and post, we'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Washington Gray Wolves- Questions?

Should the Gray wolves in each state be managed and classified, endangered etc., by state lines or should the wolves be managed by the federal guidelines that take into consideration the total population of wolves in a geographic area? The wolves have no stateline boundaries as to where they can migrate. Since they are expanding their populations from British Columbia, where they are not considered endangered and are successfully managed and hunted and also expanding from the Idaho wolf populations, which was taken off the endanered specie list at one time, do we look at these wolves as endangered here in this state only because we have few wolves living within the statelines of our state?
   The wolves have had an adverse effect on deer and elk herds in other states, Idaho/Montana/Wyoming due to their over population. Should Washington state protect the wolves in this state and manage them separately, even if the efforts to de-list them in other states is successful, again, and implemented, again. These other states would again be able to manage these wolves by whatever management practices they seem best to protect and manage all species of game animals, deer, elk, moose and wolves in their own states. Can Washington State learn from the devastation of elk, deer and moose populations in Idaho/ Montana and Wyoming by Gray wolves and manage them properly now so that the same does not happen to our elk, deer and moose populations even if we have few wolves in this state? 
    Would we have to experience a devastation of our resourses before state lawmakers would allow the proper management of wolves as they would any other specie that is managed and take into consideration "all" species in their game management plans. Please give us your thoughts on this sensitive subject that effects all of us.  Rich

Friday, March 4, 2011

Washington DFW Report: Deadline for Spring Bear Hunt Applications

Hunting:  The deadline is approaching to submit applications for a 2011 spring black bear hunting permit, applicable to specific areas of western and eastern Washington. To be eligible for a permit, hunters must purchase and submit an application to WDFW by midnight March 10.

A drawing will be held in mid-March for 370 permits in western Washington and 209 permits for hunts east of the Cascades. Permit winners will receive notification in the mail by March 31. Applicants may also check the results of the drawing at on the WDFW website.

To apply for a permit, hunters must purchase a special permit application and a 2011 hunting license that includes bear as a species option. Hunting licenses, bear transport tags and bear permit applications may be purchased online at, by calling (866) 246-9453, or at any license vendor in the state.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WDFW Offering Free Visual Screening

Keep Your Vision On Target

Good vision is an important component of safe hunting.  Hunters with a valid Washington hunting license are now eligible to receive a free visual acuity screening at participating optometrist locations across the state.  This offer is completely voluntary;  there is no compulsory requirement.
Find a participating optometrist in your area by visiting the Optometric Physicians of Washington (OPW) web site at  Click on the “Hunters Vision Screening” section and then type in the first two digits (e.g., 98 or 99) of your zip code area to obtain a complete list of participating optometrists.  The vision screening is simple, fast and free for individuals who present a valid Washington hunting license.
How often do you have your vision checked?  When was the last time you had your vision checked?  If you haven’t had your vision checked in the past 12 months, please consider a free, voluntary vision screening before you head afield this year.  Did you know….?
  • 45% of all hunting Washington hunting incidents between 1978 and 2008 were vision-related?
  • 20+% of victims in hunting incidents were shot by fellow hunters pursuing game birds?
  • 10% of victims in hunting incidents were mistaken for game by fellow hunters?
Make no mistake: Hunting today in Washington State is a very safe activity, but it’s also an activity that can be made safer.   Even one hunting incident is one too many.  The Optometric Physicians of Washington have partnered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to offer this free, voluntary visual acuity screening.  Take a few moments now to schedule a vision screening and keep your vision on target.
A postcard is available at local hunting license vendors to present at a participating OPW location or go online to the WDFW Hot Link on sidebar and search hunting tab.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NWOUTBACK: Turkey Hunting/Scouting

NWOUTBACK: Turkey Hunting/Scouting: "With turkey season less than 45 days away, it's definitely time to think about scouting. If you're like me, you've been thinking about turk..."