“As I sit down to type this message to our SCI family, it is the first day of the 4-phase re-opening plan for Washington. For those who love the outdoors, that is good news. Some may be able to salvage what’s left of spring turkey and bear seasons, those who fish can get back on the water, our off-road vehicle areas are open and hiking trails and state parks can once again be visited.

I sincerely hope that everyone has remained healthy and found creative ways to stay busy as we have weathered this strange time from our homes…”

“Spring is an exciting time of year for hunters and fishers. The fishing part is obvious, but not quite so much for hunters. Of course we can be out chasing spring black bear and turkeys but, to me at least, the exciting part of spring is the planning and application process for hunts that occur later in the year. It used to be a simple matter to buy a license or apply for both state and out of state permits, but those days are long gone. Today, it is big business with multiple clearing houses charging a fee to do the applications for you and supposedly maximize your chances of being drawn. A lot of our SCI members still do the work themselves and have become quite expert at doing so…”

“The hardest part of writing newsletters, for me, is where to start. Once started, everything seems to flow more easily. We have had a lot taking place since the last newsletter, including the (mostly) successful second Pronghorn transplant from Nevada to Washington, our annual banquet, another hunting season and the SCI Convention. And, to complete the circle, we just received the first quarterly report on the Pronghorn that were brought in last October. So, let’s start with the Pronghorn!”

“It is difficult to believe that the year is almost half gone already. There are only a few weeks left until we start seeing the first fall colors in the Sumac leaves and the first of the early hunts begin. A week ago I finished applications for all of my special hunt permits here in Washington. This year I applied for 21 special permits and that is just for me and does not include my wife, grandchildren, or permits for other states. Now the waiting game is underway to see if we had any success. With as many as 22 preference points for some species, you would think I could get drawn before I am too old to get up and down the canyons anymore.”

“It is August 15th as I write this. It seems we have survived the record-breaking heat wave and it is finally giving way to more reasonable temperatures. We’re only six days away from a rare total solar eclipse and 5 weeks from the first day of fall. I drove over Chinook Pass between 1:00 and 2:00AM this morning and the temperature near the summit was 39 degrees, so it sure felt like fall weather up there. I couldn’t help thinking that the elk must be entering the early stages of the rut and I felt that primordial stirring that comes with thoughts of the hunt. I saw eight deer, one of which darted out from the shoulder and then turned and trotted down the highway about six feet in front of my bumper. Had I been driving distracted on a cell phone, or in a daze from the hypnotic night driving, there would have been a dead deer and damaged vehicle to contend with on a deserted road and possibly personal injury. I only met one vehicle on Highway 410 between Greenwater and Naches! By the way, one of the eight deer I saw was a really nice buck with gnarly, non-typical antlers.”