Big hunting opener tomorrow

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Dennis Clay

This is it, Saturday is the big day. The 2018 Modern Firearm General Deer season opens Saturday, Oct. 13. Deer hunters will have a whopping 12 hours and 15 minutes to find a legal animal.

OK, so now there is a need to backtrack a bit. This will, indeed, be the opening weekend of deer season for hundreds, if not thousands of hunters. However, there are many other deer hunts with other beginning dates. This is the reason the annual big game hunting seasons and regulations pamphlet needs to be studied.

Turkey

There is an interesting situation this year, as the turkey season is ongoing through Dec. 31. The deer hunter might want to also take along a shotgun in addition to the deer rifle.

Ducks and geese

The duck and goose seasons also open this Saturday. Those gunshots you hear Saturday morning might be someone after ducks, geese, dove, deer, Hungarian partridge, crow, quail or forest grouse.

Suspect no one will be hunting grouse around, but the season is open until Dec. 31. Turkey? A few turks have been spotted in the Columbia Basin over the years, but havenít heard of them establishing a sustainable around here.

Antelope

There have been some individual antelope spotted to the northern Basin, but south of the Columbia River. Word is some were released on both the Yakima and Colville Indian Reservations. Wouldnít it be interesting to be able to hunt these critters in Washington?

Survival

This is the time to discuss survival skills. Some of the hunters donít have much experience hunting and/or navigating unfamiliar areas.

A hunter looking for deer in the Columbia Basin and elk around the Kittitas area will be able to see a farm house or a town throughout their hunting range. However, the mountainous areas of Washington are different. They are large and treacherous, going for miles and miles. A hunter could become disoriented and lost. The number one idea or plan when disoriented or lost is to stop and stay put.

Another part of survival is to make a shelter and build a fire. Many times, a hunter can find a natural shelter, where tree limbs are low and touch the ground. These natural shelters remain dry, even in strong rains.

Of course, all hunters, young and old, would be wise to carry two-way radios and cell phones. A GPS could save a life. Also, wise hunters will hunt in pairs.

Good luck. Have fun, but be careful out there.

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