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Joined: 05/24/2005
Posts: 48
What Washinton GMU?

Hello,
I'm new and this is my first post. A big hello to you! lol Could anyone help me with a GMU to scout/hunt? I'm a new hunter. I am a backpacker familiar with National Parks. I now am going to switch to forest land were I can hunt. I would appreciate any information. I will soon be buying a GMU map to backpack and scouting for hunting season.
Hello to everyone, lol
Frontiersman

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
What Washinton GMU?

Welcome to the forum.
What game are you planning on hunting?
What is your choice of weapon?
The over the counter tags are,
Elk - East or West side of the mountain range
Modern Rifle or
Archery or
Muzzle Loader
Deer - Anywhere in the state. Your choice of Mulie, Whitetail or Blacktail
Modern Rifle or
Archery or
Muzzle Loader
Black Bear - Anywhere in the state
Any of the 3 weapons
Cougar - Anywhere in the state
Any of the 3 weapons

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
What Washinton GMU?

I think fuzzy hit all the big ones. If you can answer some of his questions we will be able to help you out.

Another question I have is how far are you willing to travel?

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Joined: 05/24/2005
Posts: 48
Opps!

I forgot you can’t read my mind,
Being new I am focused only on firearm deer and elk (not sure which side...don't really know wear to go) to start with. I plan small game, coyote, water fowl, etc as my journey progresses as well as other methods like archery and muzzle loader. I spent all my money on firearms and accessories and won’t have money for a license until after the permit deadline. I am putting together my uncles 30.06 Browning Bar ( sent scope to Bushnell for repair and Browning has my front sight hood on back order both with about 2 or 3 weeks time frame). Then I’ll shoot and clean with some JB Bore Compound and see how it really shoots. I know it works and was close with iron sights at 25 yards with a bent front sight I tried to straighten and am waiting to replace the sight when the corresponding hood arrives. I plan to get a new bolt action rifle some day but the Bar is what I am working on.
So right now its modern firearms thinking of deer and elk. I am thinking West side elk and black tail deer but from what I read maybe I would have better success looking into East side whitetail. I am thinking mulley another year if they are hard to get I haven’t really thought about the mule deer a whole lot. I appreciate your response. Getting out and learning is what I constantly think about.
Frontiersman

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
What Washinton GMU?

You can purchase a license and over the counter tags from the present to the end of the season.
You will want to purchase a small game license for the small game and a big game license for big game. ( I know that was obvious, nothing intended). The game laws explain which license will be needed for the game intended.
Upland game and coyote are best in the eastern and southeastern parts of the state.
Whiteteail, northeastern part of the state
Mulies, eastern part of the state, below roosevelt lake, to the Idaho border all the way south to the Columbia river.
Blacktail, western part of the state, from the top of mountain range to the ocean. From Canada to the Columbia river.
Elk, eastern slope of the mountain range from Canada to the Columbia river. The southeast parts of the state.
The western part of the state, from Canada to the Columbia river. From the peak of the western slope to the ocean.
I don't hunt duck or geese so, I can't help you with that one.
The upland birds and grouse are all throughout the west slope forests. Coyotes are abundant where ever you find a population of rabbits and small game. They also feed off the small game the elk churn up in the forested areas. You'll find packs of them following the elk.
The Black Bear are just about anywhere you would hunt. With them it's a game of chance. Most are taken while hunting for something else.
There is also an abundance of turkey throughout the eastern parts of the state.
Good luck.

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Joined: 05/24/2005
Posts: 48
What Washinton GMU?

Thank you for you time and help. I appreciate it very much! lol
Frontiersman

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
What Washinton GMU?

Within 50 miles of Tacoma you have alot of options for deer, bear and elk.
In Pierce county you have Clearwater Wilderness area. On the south side of Mt Rainer you have the Tatoosh Wilderness area, and too the north you have H. M. Jackson Wilderness area.

I would suggest getting (if you don't already have) a Washington Atlas & Gazetteer. It will show most forest roads and wildlife areas and using it along with the Game Regs you will be able to identify your GMU boundaries.

Once you narrow down your choices you can search the F&G harvest reports to give you an idea of the success ratio in your area of choice.

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Joined: 05/24/2005
Posts: 48
What Washinton GMU?

Thank you very much! lol I'm familiar with Mt. Rainier National Park and these surrounding areas are not too far. I have looked at these on a map. There is also forest land on the west side of Mt. Rainier adjacent to Glacier View Wilderness up Copper Creek Road. I have the maps sealed and harvest reports printed all waiting in my gazetteer.
Thank you,
Frontiersman

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Location: Olympia, WA
Joined: 04/25/2005
Posts: 69
What Washinton GMU?

For elk hunting I would stick to the west side. The elk on the east side of the mountains can be difficult to pattern for a begging elk hunter. Over on the east side you have harsher winters and the elk move around and migrate too much. I have bow and rifle hunted elk on the west side for 3 years. There is 4 times as many elk over here than in eastern Washington. The difference in the elk found on the eastside is that they are the rocky mountain subspecies, so they have smaller bodies and bigger antlers. The elk found on the west side are the rosevelt elk, which have bigger bodies and smaller racks, the average rosevelt killed is usually a 5 point, in my opinion the rosevelts are the funnest to hunt and easiest to pattern. From my experience, if you go out right now in the spring and find a herd of roosevelt elk, you have a 95% chance of finding them close to or in the same spot come fall.

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Joined: 05/24/2005
Posts: 48
What Washinton GMU?

Thank you for the helpful information! lol
I'm planning...cant wait!
Frontiersman

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
What Washinton GMU?

This year I've planned my hunts on the west side of the mountain.
Blacktail - Archery
Elk - Modern Rifle
Black Bear - Either Archery or Rifle. Whichever one I have with me.
Cougar - Either Archery or Rifle. Ditto.

I'm always churning up a few of those big grouse so, this year I'm taking the 10/22 up with me. If your not looking for them, those darn things wait until your about to step on their head and bolt around behind you. It's a better rush than a good stout cup of coffee.
Last year I didn't see any cougar but there was plenty of sign and several deer carcasses that had been left behind in a hurry.
Found a coyote skeleton and skull with the canine teeth still intact.

This year is going to be a great west side hunt.