3 replies [Last post]
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Location: Washington State
Joined: 08/28/2007
Posts: 6
Hunting N of Lake Chelan and N or Hwy 20 in Okanogan NF

Gentlemen, I'm new to hunting in WA and have only hunted a few years in Western WA. I'm more familiar with hunting in TX for Whitetails as that's where I grew up. I'm going hunting on the Eastern side of WA this deer season. Primary target is Mule deer. I've heard that the population of Mule deer in the Okanogan NF is high, but I'm concerned about stumbling over so many hunters that it would turn out to be more of a hunt of a place to get away from the hunters than to find the deer. I'll be making a scouting trip in the next week or so. My physical condition is fairly good and the other 4 of us are from older gents that probably won't want to walk far to late 20s and could walk all day. I'd suspect that some of us might make a little trek to get up high since we think that's where the best bucks will be in mid-Oct. Other areas that we are considering are the Swanson's Lakes area E of Davenport and the Blue Mtns in far SE WA. What do you think would be a realisitic success rate for each area if hunting the whole early season (besides what's on the WDFW website)? Any suggestions on areas ... N of lake Chelan but S of Hwy 20 ... N of Hwy 20 ... stick with the Blue Mtns or Swanson's Lakes area?

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Location: Seattle, Washington
Joined: 08/13/2007
Posts: 8
Hunting N of Lake Chelan and N or Hwy 20 in Okanogan NF

I've hunted that ground for years. Highway 20 runs from Okanogan E-W to Twisp. I haven't had any luck because during fall, it's very dry, which makes stalking extremely difficult. Also, it's steep terrain in most places. But, if you want a trophy buck on that highway, you're gonna have to start sucking wind. If you're driving that way, try turning north up Lightning Creek, right near Loup Loup ski area. On the North side of the Loup area, there is a super cool Yurt with two beds and stove. You'll find it if you drive to the top of the ski hill, then hike down maybe, 300 yards NE. Very few hunters in that area.

Twisp is loaded with bucks, but loaded with hunters, so good luck.

I haven't been to the Blue Mountains for the early hunt.

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Location: Washington State
Joined: 08/28/2007
Posts: 6
Back from scouting trip

Thanks for the info ranger77. Some things changed and it seems that I was outvoted for the Hwy 20/Lake Chelan area, so I visited Swanson Lakes area, Chief Jo, and Asotin. All 3 are good country to hunt, but Jo is probably the most difficult and I'd be concerned about battling for some place to hunt without the crowds. There isn't a lot of cover for the animals and it seems that most of the Jo is in the hills. I had fun when I was there with a 5 x 5 bull elk that was bugling with his harem. I found out that even as an amateur caller he would answer back with my cow call. Best part of the whole trip! Swanson and Asotin look much better and are very different. Swanson is fairly flat with lots of draws and hollows for the deer to hide. You know Asotin. I appreciate the reply and I'll post again with how the hunt went if not sooner.

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Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Joined: 09/15/2006
Posts: 204
Hunting N of Lake Chelan and N or Hwy 20 in Okanogan NF

I grew up stoping around the Blues around Dayton and the Tucannon river area. You will fing whitetail in those area. North of lake Chelan above Steheeken (sp) is steep but hold good numbers of deer. Not too sure of the mulie in that area but whitetail yes. Good luck to you.

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