First hunting trip results

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Dennis Clay

My first day in the field was last Thursday. Bill Green and I were hunting in the Davenport area.

The plan was to stop by a friend’s farm near Hartline. There we hunted pigeons, mourning doves and Eurasian Collared Doves. When a message was sent to the farmer about the hunt, here was her reply:

“Thursday sounds good Dennis, or Friday after 10:00 am. Pie and ice cream will be ready!! Pigeons are waiting!! Kerpow!! Reduction plan in progress!! Yay!! See you then!”

How can a hunter pass on such an opportunity?

We arrived around 8 a.m. and headed for the old barn, shot at pigeons and actually dropped some. Then we enjoyed a piece of blueberry pie and ice cream.

Next, we headed north to check on turkey. The rifle was in the Death Ram, in case we encounter a bear or cougar.

Then we stopped by the farm again, after giving the birds a chance to settle down, and shot at them again, dropping some. Then we had a piece of apple pie and ice cream. Now, this is the way to hunt.

Next time we will head north first, looking for turks, and then stop by the farm later in the day.

Youth hunts

The Eastern Washington youth hunts include Duck, Coot, Canada goose, white-fronted geese on Sept. 29 and 30.

The Eastern Washington youth hunts for California quail, pheasant, Chukar, Huns will take place on Sept. 22 and 23.

Permitting two weekends for youth hunts allows the hunters to pursue upland birds one weekend and waterfowl another weekend. This is a great chance for our youth to get some supervised hunting under their belt. Take advantage of the opportunity.

Senior pheasant hunt

A hunt for hunters 65 years or older and hunters with disabilities will take place on Sept. 24 through 28.

Always check the hunting pamphlets for specific rules and regulations.

Atlantic salmon again swim in Puget Sound

Fish and Wildlife has approved a private company to plant juvenile Atlantic salmon in existing net-pens in Puget Sound. This is not new, as the company has raised these salmon before. And there was a time when the nets of the facility ruptured and the salmon escaped. It was then open season on Atlantic Salmon.

There are two ways to look at this. If some of the salmon escape, there will be more angling opportunities for Washington fishers. However, if these salmon cause disease in our native runs, we have a serious problem.

Here is some more info about the plan:

Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed legislation to phase out Atlantic salmon net pen operations in Puget Sound as soon as 2022. Cooke, the private company, is continuing its operations in the meantime.

On Aug. 2, Cooke submitted applications to move a total of 800,000 1-year-old Atlantic salmon from its Scatter Creek facility in Rochester to two different net pen locations in Puget Sound.

Both Fish and Wildlife and Cooke tested samples of the fish, which met the state’s health requirements, including testing negative for all forms of a fish virus.

Cooke typically transports fish eggs from an Iceland facility to Scatter Creek, where the eggs grow into smolts before being moved to net pens. In May, an exotic strain of a virus was detected in a different batch of smolts. Fish and Wildlife denied the company’s request to transfer those fish into net pens.

The state also requires that Cooke leave its net pens empty for at least 30 days before transferring fish there.

Is net-pen salmon farming good for our state? As mentioned, maybe or maybe not. If disease-free fish are grown in the nets, great, as this brings money into the state in a farming operation. Plus, if the fish escape, but don’t bother our existing salmon runs, there will be more fishing opportunities.

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