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 Did you know that?  Fun facts

2006 US Fish & Wildlife Statistics regarding Washington State

  • Washington Hunters spent $80,500,000 on hunting trips in 2006 (Transportation/Lodging/etc)

  • Washington Hunters spent $178,900,000 on equipment and other hunting related Items in 2006

 MAMMAL FACTS________________________________________________________

  •  There are 4 unique types of deer in Washington State.  Blacktailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) , Whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and Columbian Whitetailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus levcurus.)  Roosevelt Elk, Rocky Mountain Elk, and Shiras Moose are in the deer family, but are not generally considered “deer” for game management purposes.

  • Mountain goats on the Olympic Peninsula were introduced in the 1920s by local hunters who saw the peaks of the Olympics as perfect habitat for a huntable population of Mountain Goats.  Unfortunately, the National Park Service is now looking at ways to effectively manage this non-native species as their browsing and wallowing habits are severely damaging rare plant ecosystems. 

  • Mountain goats were called "Mazama" by local Indian tribes.   There is a town just west of Winthrop on HWY 20 called Mazama.

  • Elk and Deer have antlers which are annually shed.  Mountain Goats and Bighorn Sheep have horns which are continually retained and grow throughout their lifetime.  The longer the horn, the older the animal.  This is not necessarily the case with antlered animals who will tend to have poorer formed racks after they reach their physical prime.  It is possible to see a very large and old deer or elk who is only a spike. 

  • Spotted and mottled deer are sometimes found in Blacktailed deer in Washington State.  They are locally called pieballed or pie-bald.

  •  Olympic National Park quarter with Roosevelt Elk

  • Female deer and elk can sometimes grow antlers.  Washington State Law was changed a few years ago as some hunters unknowingly harvested does and cows who had antlers.  You will now see that the regulations only allude to antlered and antlerless animals as a result of this.


  • There is a small herd of Woodland Caribou in the northeast corner of Washington State.  They migrate across the border of Canada and can sometimes be seen on the US side. 

  • Most urban encounters with bear and cougars tend to be from juvenile males who get pushed out of a dominant male’s territory.  It is usually a temporary solution to relocate these animals further out in the woods as they tend to be placed in areas where a dominant male simply forces them out of the new territory. 

  • Bears do not truly “hibernate.”  They go in to dens when there is significant snow pack.  Their metabolism slows way down, but, they will extricate themselves from their dens from time to time throughout the winter to stretch, defecate and the like.

  • Washington's moose population has been slowly growing since the first confirmed moose sighting was made in Pend Oreille County in the early '50's. A study conducted in the early '70's indicated a population of about 60 moose. The first moose hunting season in Washington was in 1977 with three permits in the Selkirk unit of Pend Oreille County. Increased moose sightings throughout the area and beyond suggested a growing population. In 1987 one moose hunting permit was allowed in the Mt. Spokane unit. By 1998 there was a total of 43 permits among five units, and by 2006 there were 100 permits over 10 units

  • It is widely accepted that clearcuts and burns provide for a much greater biodiversity. These open spaces provide for optimal conditions to foster habitat for game animals and game birds.

  • According to the WDFW, there are two major distinct diseases which are currently affecting Washington's deer herds.  One is EHD (Episodic hemorrhage disease) and the other is hair loss/ hair slip.  EHD is thought to possibly be transmitted by saliva and mucus and occurs more regularly in crowded deer herds.  Hair loss is now believed to be from an exotic (non-native) lice which causes the deer to constantly groom and itch themselves causing their hair to fall out. With loss of hair, the animals are not protected from hypothermia and can easily die if conditions are right.   CWD (chronic wasting disease) is a neurological disease which is sweeping the nation has not yet been documented in Washington.  The WDFW urges everyone to comply with regulations surrounding transporting of game animals from other states.  (2007 game status and trend report)

  • 37,579 total deer were harvested in the 2006 Washington Deer season.  (10,074 Mulies, 14,839 whitetails, & 12,672 Blacktails) and there were a total number of 135,195 deer hunters.   (2007 game status and trend report)

  • The WDFW is charged with maintaining a Statewide average of 15 bucks per 100 does.  It is this regulation that seems to drive the management of GMU and PMU. (2007 game status and trend report)


  • There are 10 recognized and managed elk herds in Washington State.  (Blue Mountain, Selkirk, Colockum,Yakima, North Cascades, North Rainier, South Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Olympic, and Willapa Hills. (2007 game status and trend report)

  • Satewide elk population is estimated to between 55,000 and 60,000 head. (2007 Game status and trend report)

  • Begrmann's rule states that as a mammal lives further north from the equator, the larger that mammal will typically be.

  • It is widely thought that the reason Roosevelt elk antlers are typically much darker than a typical elk is the simple fact the elk rarely expose their antlers to direct sunlight which turns the antlers lighter.   There is very little direct sunlight in the old growth forests which most rosies live in.

  • 10% of an animal’s weight is bone.  Hide is 10%.  Guts make up 20% of an animal’s weight.  With field dressing, 40% of the weight of the animal can be left in the field.

  • Spike only regulations were developed for a number of eastside elk populations.  A herd needs mature bulls to successfully breed cows.  Young bulls are less successful in breeding.  More mature bulls.. more pregnant cows.   Also, branched antler units increase bull/cow ratios and provide for more bulls to harvest in the future.

  • Deer and elk’s vision is designed like a wide screen TV.  They get a great side to side view of the situation.  Whereas where humans don’t get as much side to side vision, but more up and down than the animal’s view.  This is why tree stands and shooting positions from above so much easier.  The deer and elk simply don’t see you above unless they physically move their head to look up, which is not a natural instinct for them.

  • From

    "regarding mountain goats... that during courtship male mountain goats often crawl to females on their bellies? Although this courtship technique is not commonly practiced by humans, it may prove effective for the desperate suitor. Male goats, or "billies," often wander considerable distances in search of receptive females, or "nannies." Mountain goats breed in November and December.

    Biologists believe that mountain goats adapted to living in high, rugged terrain to avoid predators such as wolves, bears, and cougars. Still, goats are far from ideally suited to their alpine domain; many mountain goats show healed wounds and missing teeth, injuries they likely received from falls. It's also likely that snow slides are the leading cause of natural mortality among mountain goats."

  • "Turnbull NWR utilizes prescribed fire as one of the primary management tools to improve habitat conditions for wildlife in a variety of vegetation communities. The ponderosa pine forests which predominate many areas of the refuge are a "fire dependent" forest type in which natural fires of the past caused by lightning burned with a frequency interval of 5 to 15 years. With the advent of aggressive fire suppression policies during the 20th century forest conditions at Turnbull NWR as well as many other fire dependent forest types throughout the west have changed dramatically.
    Historic ponderosa pine forests were described as being "open and park like" with 15 to 25 large diameter trees per acre. Fire exclusion has resulted in the removal of the influence of natural fires to thin the density of pine stands through time. Currently stand conditions in many areas of the refuge have densities exceeding 400 trees per acre, growing in "doghair" thickets of suppressed, spindly trees that barely exceed 3 inches in diameter growth after 60 years. These stands have excessive levels of dead material that will eventually contribute to an extreme wildfire."  From Turnbull NWR website



 BIRD FACTS____________________________________________________________

  •  Canada Geese are fiercely loyal to their mates.  A goose will only seek out a new partner when his or her mate has died. (USFWS)

  •  Canada Geese can live up to 25 years.(USFWS)

  •  Canvasback Ducks can fly up to 72 MPH.  Blue winged teal have been clocked at over 60 MPH.(USFWS)

  •  Canada Geese will produce another batch of eggs if their first batch is destroyed.(USFWS)

  •  Waterfowl fly in a V formation to decrease wind drag.  Middle of the V birds can effectively reduce their wind drag by over 70%.  There is no evidence to support that the front goose or duck is the “lead” duck or is stronger, it’s just their turn to be in front.(USFWS)

  •  Pheasants, Chuckar, and Hungarian Partridge are all introduced bird species not native to Washington State.(WDFW)

  •  Some ducks (such as redheads and goldeneyes) will lay their eggs in other species’ clutch and have them raise their young.  This is called intraspecific nest parasitism.(USFWS)

  • Waterfowl can "turn off" half of their brain in order to rest.  The process of Unihemispheric Sleep enables waterfowl (and other animals such as dolphins) to rest half of their brain without having to completely fall asleep and be prone to predator attacks.(USFWS)

  • There is an old wive's tale about a duck's quack. It is not true that a duck's quack doesn't echo.  Much research by the staff of the site will corroborate the occurrence of these echos.

  • "Forbs, weed seeds, and insects are critical to (upland bird) chick survival, but herbicides and pesticides are heavily used to keep crops free of weeds and insects." WDFW Game Status and Trends Report

  • Ducks Unlimited purports to have 13,819 members in WA.  They raised $1,351,905 in 2007.  And 937,500 acres have been conserved by DU's involvement in the Pacific Flyway. (DU Flyer Sept 2008)

 OTHER INTERESTING FACTOIDS_________________________________________

  •  No one owns navigatable waterways in Washington State.  If you can legally access it and float a boat on it, it is open for public use.  However, the law does not allow you to illegally trespass on tidelands or shorelines.  You also cannot trespass land to get to land locked public lakes.

  •  The Seep lakes in central Washington were formed when Potholes reservoir was created.  Cracks and fissures in the bedrock fill the low spots in the channeled scablands with water supplied by the reservoir.

  • THE DEERHUNTER 1979 movie was partially filmed on Mt Baker here in Washington State.  All the scenes of them hunting the red deer (tame) are on the flanks of this cascade volcano.  There are no wild red deer in Washington.  The movie actually shows a few true blacktail bucks.

  • 3.5 mile long Spieden Island in the San Juan Islands was once an exotic game hunting reserve.  Hunting is no longer allowed on the island but the island holds numbers of Mouflon Sheep, Corsica Fallow Deer and Sika Deer.  They can be best observed by boat from the west side of the island.  The island is privately owned.

  • Shotgun gauge is the number of lead spheres with the diameter in question that you could make out of one pound of lead. For example, a 12 gauge shotgun has the inside diameter of one of the spheres formed by dividing a pound of lead into 12 spheres.

  • The fairly common .410 bore is unusual, being measured in inches, and would be approximately a 67 gauge.

  • Wind will typically curl back on itself when it hits an obstruction like a tall hill, stand of trees etc.  When hunting these areas have the wind at your side, not at your face as the air will just recirculate back through your position.

  • Take kids and new hunters small game hunting before they go in the field for hunting big game.  It is much easier to get the new hunter to enjoy their big game hunting if they are first successful on rabbits or birds.  They also will get over the “first kill” and should settle down for the big game hunt. (courtesy Randy K, Tacoma)

  • Bullets spin very fast coming out of a rifled barrel.  The bullet spin rate is a function of this formula. (bullet velocity x 720)/twist rate)  example 2500 feet per second x 720 / 8 turns = 234,375 rpms.  That is fast!

  • Here is the quote from the Forest Service website. "Both state and federal laws apply on National Forest System lands,
    so you also need to check on the state laws and county ordinances which may apply to the area you will be visiting. You also need to be in compliance with any general federal laws and regulations about weapons (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), etc). The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) and many commercial publications provide this information.

  • March/April 2011 edition of Ducks Unlimited magazine put Seattle as the number 1 Duck Hunting City.

    The only regulations specific to use of weapons imposed by the Forest Service is that you cannot discharge a weapon within 150 yards of any structure/development or occupied area, within or into a cave, across or on a road or body of water, or in any manner that endangers a person. You also cannot use any tracer or incendiary ammunition. Forest Service regulations require that you also comply with all State laws regarding the use of firearms while hunting.

    If you are planning on visiting a designated Wilderness Area, the Regional Forester or Forest Supervisor has the option to implement a special local order which additionally prohibits the mere possession of a firearm within that Wilderness Area. Although this prohibition is not common, you should contact the Forest Supervisor's office to find out whether such a restriction has been imposed.

    We encourage you to use designated shooting areas or ranges. However, if you choose to shoot in an undesignated area, please ensure that your shooting does not damage any facilities or natural resources, disrupt other uses, or endanger public safety, and ensure you remove any targets, wads, shells, brass and other refuse with you when you leave. Be sure your shooting target area is free of rocks, as wildfires have resulting from sparks from ricochets. Be responsible for your action and follow outdoor ethics, in other words always, Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! on federal lands.



Special Permit Application odds (2008)




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