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Joined: 11/06/2007
Posts: 8
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

I am an avid hunter and have moved to the Puyallup, WA area this year. I spent most of my life in Michigan hunting every chance I had, and then I lived in Montana last year, hunting every chance I could there. I don't know if I was spoiled by the hunting in MT, but have been very frustrated by the hunting here in WA.

Can someone give me some advice about areas to hunt deer/elk/bear? I would also like to know what kind of tactics are used. I have no problem walking and putting the miles on, but the terrain is so thick, I think that what I have learned from other areas of the US don't really work here in the PNW.

I have the muzzleloading tags for deer and elk for the Western side of the state. I am wondering if I made a mistake and should have chosen Eastern WA. I have spent some time in the woods with my bear tag more or less scouting for deer and elk, but would love a chance at a nice bear. One area I have not been to yet is north of Seattle. Is this worth the drive for me? If so, what area should I go to?

Thanks for any advice you can give.

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Location: Paso Robles
Joined: 10/01/2007
Posts: 44
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

I spent a couple years up north hunting Mt Baker National forest. Never put a tag on anything mostly cause I hunted alone in unfamilar territory. I knew people that had good luck with bear up there. Hope this helps.

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Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

Welcome to BGH.

I wouldn't want to presume anything. So......
How long have you been in Washington?
What units have you hunted?
What method of hunting do you prefer?
Weapons?

There are several good areas. Never hunted north of Seattle. The west side is great for Archery and muzzleloader hunters because of the thick growth.
Most of the time it's being in the right place at the right time. It's tough to glass an area you can't see through.

Northeast units
Whitetail, Black Bear

East side, south of Colville reservation units
Mule Deer, Black Bear, Rocky Mountain Elk

West side units
Blacktail, Black Bear, Roosevelt Elk

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Location: Eatonville, Wa
Joined: 08/26/2007
Posts: 610
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

tcgeester welcome, I live in eatonville(which is about 25 miles south of you) there are alot of really good places to hunt on this side of the mts and I have never ventured north of seattle it just doesnt make sense to me especially with a lot of areas with low hunting pressure. I personally would reccomend trying around the eatonville, ashford areas, you can find the maps on the wdfw's website, I personally like the stormking, south rainier, and skookumchuk gmus for deer and elk, and the loowit area near mt st helens has a lot of bear sign that Ive found I just havent had enough time to actually get i after them. hope this helps if you have any other questions feel free to ask

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

fuzzybear hit most of the questions I would have asked. My only question then would be regarding your statement "I think that what I have learned from other areas of the US don't really work here in the PNW."

What tactics are you using:
1. that you are finding don't work?
2. that you are finding may work?

The more detailed you answer the above questions the more we will be able to help.

Yes, it is a very different environment over here and if interested I can suggest a few books and videos on deer and bear.

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Joined: 11/06/2007
Posts: 8
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

Thank you guys for the info. To answer your questions, I have been here for about 6 months and have spent most of the time in the areas bordering Mt. Rainier national park. I did find one area on the south side with quite a bit of sign, but it is not open for my late season muzzleloading hunt. I have the muzzleloading tags since that seemed to give me more time to hunt. I also hunt with my rifles. I have never picked up bow hunting.

As far as tactics that I use, I suppose that I am refering more to elk/bear hunting. I am used to being able to glass a lot of area and be able to move through thick cover on the edges of open areas. I can't say that I have found any open areas around here. It seems to me that glass and stalk doesn't work to well. Also, I here about a lot of elk on private property in the lower elevations. I am used to them being up high until the big snow comes. So maybe I have been in the wrong areas. (up to high)

For deer, the majority of my experience is with whitetails. I am used to finding an area with a lot of sign, (rubs, scrapes, "runways", etc.) and then putting myself in a position to intercept the buck. This is done by sitting in blinds. I almost always use downfall and brush and don't get to elaborate so that I can move to the other side of a ridge or whatever is needed depending on the wind and activity.

Normally, I would suck it up and put in the time to learn the area, but I stumbled upon this site and thought I would write a post to see if I can speed up the learning curve. This is a nice site and has already been helpful.

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Location: Arlington wa.
Joined: 10/06/2007
Posts: 31
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

Having live in the Northend all my 56 years and hunted and fished around here most of them,Look sourth,east or west to hunt! Thats what I do! Blacktail are way down up here, thats why there is no late hunt up here anymore! Also very little in the way of logging and blacktail like the clearcuts to feed. Acesse can be tough in the foothills,Hampton has all the gates closed. Brick Wall,) Good luck on your hunts

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Joined: 11/06/2007
Posts: 8
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

Thanks for the info. on the north fishseeker.

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Location: Eatonville, Wa
Joined: 08/26/2007
Posts: 610
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

where around mt rainier have you tried, im thinking of one you could try you can drive in but to actually hunt there will be some walking involved but the area has lots of different terrain lots of clear cuts ect. Let me know if you interested

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Joined: 11/06/2007
Posts: 8
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

That would be great csumerall, I wold love to know of an area with some clearcuts. I don't mind the walking at all.

I can't think of the unit numbers off the top of my head, but I spent some time in the unit directly south of the national park (it borders the park) That is where I saw the most promising sign. I have also hunted two other units, one to the west and another to the north. I would have to get my map out to look at the roads I hunted off of. I have spent quite a bit of time checking out different areas.

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Location: Puyallup, WA / Grand Rapids, MI
Joined: 10/24/2007
Posts: 96
New to WA hunting (where and how?)

Hey Tcgeester
I'm from Puyallup too, but I usually hunt a bit northeast of Rainier so I'm not sure how much I can help with the area you're interested in.

One bit of general advice though: be careful with the clearcuts. Men coming from areas like Montana and eastern Washington sometimes tend to sit on the edge of the biggest opening they can find because they're used to being able to see longer distances. But around here I think very small clearcuts are a lot more productive.

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