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Author Topic: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID  (Read 14838 times)

Offline Todd_ID

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How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« on: June 19, 2014, 01:18:02 PM »
As part of the 3 year season setting process I've been crunching a ton of numbers in order to make sure archers are getting a fair shake for seasons based on harvest numbers across the state.  In running the numbers I started to wonder how Idaho compares overall to Washington for archery elk hunting. 

I know the reasons many hunt Idaho instead of, or in addition to, hunting Washington archery elk.  I do so myself for all those reasons: the biggest one being the hope that I can shoot a good bull in a general archery season.

I looked up the numbers for Idaho's archery hunters to see just how they compared with our numbers.  We all know the general argument about why ID seasons are so much better than WA seasons: less hunters and more elk.  Well, the more elk part is certainly true.  From the RMEF 2011 hunting forecast, ID has 103,000 elk; WA has 60,000 elk.  The less hunters is not true.  ID had 20810 archery elk hunters last year; WA had 16,088.  ID hunters had 12.7% success by taking 2636 elk; WA hunters had 9.9% success by taking 1592 elk.  The biggest difference comes in the bull:cow harvest ratios.  ID bull harvest was 2097 at 75.5% of the total harvest; WA bull harvest was 707 at 44.4% of the total harvest.

I think we could sell way more archery tags if we could find a way to get our success rates and bull:cow harvest percentage more in line with those seen in Idaho.  As long as the archery harvest doesn't inhibit the overall herd health, then I think it'd be a win-win for WDFW and archers to make that attempt.  I personally would hunt only in WA if I had a chance at a bull; now, I hunt 5 days or so in WA in hopes of getting a cow and then head to Idaho to try and bugle in a bull FOR THE REST OF THE MONTH.  I know the small towns in ID love seeing hunters' money coming and staying for long stretches; the small towns of WA could be the recipients of that money with some simple changes.
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Offline WSU

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 01:29:48 PM »
I think the problem with your theory is that Washington just has too few elk.  Harvesting an additional 1,300 archery bulls a year wouldn't be a problem if we had an additional 43,000 elk like Idaho does.

Offline jackelope

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 01:34:28 PM »
I think the problem with your theory is that Washington just has too few elk.  Harvesting an additional 1,300 archery bulls a year wouldn't be a problem if we had an additional 43,000 elk like Idaho does.

You're talking about a relative percentage of bulls though, not a total quantity matching Idaho's numbers. ~400 less cows and ~400 more bulls is what the number would be roughly, if I'm not mistaken, to match Idaho's bull elk success rate.

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Offline WSU

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 01:47:45 PM »
I think the problem with your theory is that Washington just has too few elk.  Harvesting an additional 1,300 archery bulls a year wouldn't be a problem if we had an additional 43,000 elk like Idaho does.

You're talking about a relative percentage of bulls though, not a total quantity matching Idaho's numbers. ~400 less cows and ~400 more bulls is what the number would be roughly, if I'm not mistaken, to match Idaho's bull elk success rate.

Could be.  I understood his point to be that more people would hunt here if you could kill bulls and seasons were better.  More people plus a higher success rate equals more dead bulls. 

Offline jackelope

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 01:59:42 PM »
Agreed. I don't know if I think it's a good or bad concept either. Not sure more hunters is a great idea from a selfish standpoint.


I think we could sell way more archery tags if we could find a way to get our success rates and bull:cow harvest percentage more in line with those seen in Idaho.  As long as the archery harvest doesn't inhibit the overall herd health, then I think it'd be a win-win for WDFW and archers to make that attempt. 

I need to hear Todd's explanation on why more sold tags/more archery hunters is a win for other archery hunters in this state.

:fire.:

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Offline Todd_ID

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2014, 03:05:02 PM »
The WIN for the hunters is better seasons, more areas, and more opportunity at a bull.  The WIN for the state is hunters like me will spend our money in WA and not go to ID if the opportunity is equivalent.

The key to this idea is the part about not hurting the population with any changes that are made.  If WA were to decide to attempt to compete with ID for those hundreds of thousands of dollars, then it would mean opening different areas and different season structures which would alleviate the hunter/unit crowding we now have during archery seasons in areas like Nile, Bumping, Lick Creek, Manastash, Packwood, etc. 

The fact remains that 10% of the bowhunters are going to account for 90% of the harvest: that 10% is already hunting archery seasons, so large increases in archery hunters would bring only small increases in harvest.  It takes HOPE to obtain those large increases in sales and to keep hunters here.  The current season structure contains very little hope for the 90% who will harvest the 10%.

Archery is a good way for the state to be able to offer more opportunity, thereby enticing hunters to either start hunting or switch from modern without substantially increasing the harvest and upsetting herd dynamics.  Also, archers tend to spend more days afield than other user groups because it's simply tougher to harvest an elk with a bow.  A hunter switching from modern to archery will spend approximately 3 more days afield per year at roughly $100 per day in spending. (The average modern firearm hunter averages 4.5 days afield, and the average archer averages 7 days afield.)
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Offline jon.brown509

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2014, 07:50:17 PM »
 :twocents: Hate to be "that guy" but  It won't change. You have to look at it from the biologist side you want low success rates with low mortality.To change the season, would require to change muzzy and rifle.It sucks but the way the success rates are overall with the elk herds it's going pretty good for them and they have the most influence on the dates getting moved.

Offline D-Rock425

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 08:48:16 AM »
Idaho's elk to Hunter ratio is still better than Washington's. 

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 09:42:06 AM »
Your missing 1 major thing. It wont increase $ to the state at all. Why? Simply because the state would loose out on thousands of dollars from special hunt applications. The state isnt stupid they know where the $ is and if it was over the counter bull tags then they would have to make it up somewhere else, like raising the gas tax a few more times!!!!
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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 03:22:51 PM »
They need to put the early season back to Sept. 8th - 21st. This will keep more hunters here in WA. Right now archers are going to other states (I'm going to Idaho) because their chances of taking a bull are higher because of the ability to hunt in late September.

Offline northwesthunter84

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2014, 03:52:07 PM »
Why not allow herd sizes increase.  I know they set goals and these are based on biological factors such as available forage and such.  One problem is habitat availability and the human population of Washington.  I would like them to set projected bull:cow herd ratios higher and reduce damage hunts/permits.  One thing that I have noticed in this state when it comes to the non-hunting population is that they love their wildlife until it becomes inconvenient for them.  I also think that controlled burns should be brought back (stop spraying chemical) this would ultimately reduce fire danger levels due to less debris and would increase forage for animals in the area. 

Offline Mr Mykiss

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2014, 04:53:48 PM »
Idaho's elk to Hunter ratio is still better than Washington's.
:yeah:
I have to agree. I imagine that once you get away from the panhandle and into the rest of the state pressure is much lower and you can hunt bulls!!

Offline Elk☆Steak

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 10:06:25 PM »
I would like to see longer archery seasons stretching later into September with less antlerless/ spike tags and more three point or better units... what do you guys think? Oregon gets 4 weeks for their early season.
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Offline Stein

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2014, 10:16:57 PM »
WDFW already gets your money.  Their concern is not for the mom and pop hotel, so if you had better chances or a longer season the net extra money to WDFW is exactly zero.

It's kind of a zero sum game since you have to choose a weapon in WA.  More bow hunters usually means less rifle hunters.

At the end of the day, the herd is managed to target sizes.  If you want to take more animals in general, the herd size goes down.  If you take less cows and more bulls, the herd over populates and goes down due to starvation.

It would be interesting to have a breakdown in the number of animals on public vs private land for the western states.  There could be a huge difference there as well.  Some states may have fewer public land opportunities.

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2014, 10:23:24 PM »
LOOK at ALL western states get longer seasons than here!  I hunt NE corner and thats it will never hunt a cow or spike unit EVER! reason I hunt ID is the season! Hunt till sept 30th plus if you dont get one you get a rifle season then a archery season and a muzzy season!

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2014, 10:53:09 PM »
They need to put the early season back to Sept. 8th - 21st. This will keep more hunters here in WA. Right now archers are going to other states (I'm going to Idaho) because their chances of taking a bull are higher because of the ability to hunt in late September.

    :yeah:  Personally this would be a major step in competing for my dollars.  Currently, the only reason I spend any money here is that Im pretty deep in the points game, and its cheaper than out of state points. I am sure there are others in a similar boat. The big kicker for me on the westside though has been the Timber Company Permits. I would need to spend 6 to 700 dollars in permits, to access my best areas and still dont know that it would be as productive as the "good ole days" of walk in only. Add in the timber company attitude and the poor season timing and its a no brainer to go out of state.

Offline Pueblo

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2014, 10:44:39 AM »
I think another aspect of the difference is less quantitative and more qualitative: When I think about a GREAT elk hunt I think big mountains, relatively open forests, mediocre pressure, but most importantly the chance to shoot the biggest bull that might show up.  In Washington to have this experience you pretty much have to pull a Blue Mountains special permit or maybe one for the upper Tieton and Naches drainages.  The westside hunting can have some of these features, like the ability to shoot a big bull, but it's generally jungle warfare and there are a lot of other guys out there.  I've hunted the Blues a number of times, usually in a spike only unit; I've had about 15 bulls in bow range and none have been spikes, so although it's fun, it's more like wildlife viewing than hunting.

In Idaho (and Oregon) you can buy an OTC tag, do your homework and have a good hunt that allows you to have a really good chance at taking a branch antlered bull in an awesome sunny, mountainous environment.  Many many choices to pick from spreads out the pressure. I've killed 2 elk in Oregon in little arid mountain ranges where nobody seems to go; Idaho has lots of these opportunities.  It may be that you have to work really hard at it, but it's available to all.  Every place in WA I can think of that has these characteristics  has the big bulls reserved for the fortunate few who draw tags.

I've tried some fringe areas where west meets east up in the cascades where a guy might butt up against the controlled eastern units but harvest a big bull under western regulations, and I've seen some great success photos from there, but I've generally found that these areas are hit very hard by hunters on horseback as this zone is VERY small in the scheme of things and people tend to concentrate.

My personal desire for WA would be to stop giving out the general spike/cow tags for the great units and instead go permit only and triple the any bull tags. We'd stop seeing the 400 inch monsters that the raffle tag winners get, but 3 times as many guys would have great hunts each year and still take some nice bulls.
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How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2014, 10:56:26 AM »
Quote
My personal desire for WA would be to stop giving out the general spike/cow tags for the great units and instead go permit only and triple the any bull tags. We'd stop seeing the 400 inch monsters that the raffle tag winners get, but 3 times as many guys would have great hunts each year and still take some nice bulls.


:yeah:   

And I'd take that even one step further- permit only elk hunting for the entire state. There are simply too many hunters for the number of elk this state has.

Offline grundy53

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2014, 11:08:47 AM »
Quote
My personal desire for WA would be to stop giving out the general spike/cow tags for the great units and instead go permit only and triple the any bull tags. We'd stop seeing the 400 inch monsters that the raffle tag winners get, but 3 times as many guys would have great hunts each year and still take some nice bulls.


:yeah:   

And I'd take that even one step further- permit only elk hunting for the entire state. There are simply too many hunters for the number of elk this state has.
That would certainly boost Idaho's tag sales.... :chuckle:

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Offline vandeman17

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2014, 11:12:57 AM »
Quote
My personal desire for WA would be to stop giving out the general spike/cow tags for the great units and instead go permit only and triple the any bull tags. We'd stop seeing the 400 inch monsters that the raffle tag winners get, but 3 times as many guys would have great hunts each year and still take some nice bulls.


:yeah:   

And I'd take that even one step further- permit only elk hunting for the entire state. There are simply too many hunters for the number of elk this state has.

What about permit only for the whole state for elk but not just for branched bulls? Increase the branched tags in some units but then offer other permits such as spike, cow, three point minimum etc. This would not only allow for some more hunter opportunity but allow the state to still manage each unit individually to try and hit desired numbers, ratios and stability. 
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Offline Pueblo

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2014, 11:21:04 AM »
Quote
My personal desire for WA would be to stop giving out the general spike/cow tags for the great units and instead go permit only and triple the any bull tags. We'd stop seeing the 400 inch monsters that the raffle tag winners get, but 3 times as many guys would have great hunts each year and still take some nice bulls.


:yeah:   

And I'd take that even one step further- permit only elk hunting for the entire state. There are simply too many hunters for the number of elk this state has.

What about permit only for the whole state for elk but not just for branched bulls? Increase the branched tags in some units but then offer other permits such as spike, cow, three point minimum etc. This would not only allow for some more hunter opportunity but allow the state to still manage each unit individually to try and hit desired numbers, ratios and stability.


Yes.....something creative like that.  Our people/land/elk ratios don't accommodate high tag numbers, but we certainly could stand to have some cow hunting. Look at the Nevada mule deer model.  Enough tags so that most people can hunt every other year or so but the hunt quality is quite good.  Yes....Idaho would sell more non-res tags!
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Offline Humptulips

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2014, 06:19:00 PM »
Quote
My personal desire for WA would be to stop giving out the general spike/cow tags for the great units and instead go permit only and triple the any bull tags. We'd stop seeing the 400 inch monsters that the raffle tag winners get, but 3 times as many guys would have great hunts each year and still take some nice bulls.


:yeah:   

And I'd take that even one step further- permit only elk hunting for the entire state. There are simply too many hunters for the number of elk this state has.

What about permit only for the whole state for elk but not just for branched bulls? Increase the branched tags in some units but then offer other permits such as spike, cow, three point minimum etc. This would not only allow for some more hunter opportunity but allow the state to still manage each unit individually to try and hit desired numbers, ratios and stability.


Yes.....something creative like that.  Look at the Nevada mule deer model.  Enough tags so that most people can hunt every other year or so
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Offline erk444

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2014, 08:50:43 PM »
Quote
My personal desire for WA would be to stop giving out the general spike/cow tags for the great units and instead go permit only and triple the any bull tags. We'd stop seeing the 400 inch monsters that the raffle tag winners get, but 3 times as many guys would have great hunts each year and still take some nice bulls.


:yeah:   

And I'd take that even one step further- permit only elk hunting for the entire state. There are simply too many hunters for the number of elk this state has.

What about permit only for the whole state for elk but not just for branched bulls? Increase the branched tags in some units but then offer other permits such as spike, cow, three point minimum etc. This would not only allow for some more hunter opportunity but allow the state to still manage each unit individually to try and hit desired numbers, ratios and stability.


Yes.....something creative like that.  Look at the Nevada mule deer model.  Enough tags so that most people can hunt every other year or so
Are you listening to yourself? To Hades with that! I don't want to wait years to go hunting!
Then you must never put in for special permits :chuckle:

Offline buglebrush

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2014, 09:03:08 PM »
Enough with all this special permit drivel!  Open up a lot more not less areas and lengthen the seasons.  You will have far more areas and wkend to spread the hunting pressure out.  Trust me that is why I buy an Idaho tag.  Longer seasons always reduce pressure.  Duh!

Offline sakoshooter

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2014, 01:10:58 AM »
Enough with all this special permit drivel!  Open up a lot more not less areas and lengthen the seasons.  You will have far more areas and wkend to spread the hunting pressure out.  Trust me that is why I buy an Idaho tag.  Longer seasons always reduce pressure.  Duh!


I agree with this. More areas means more opportunity for more hunters and less pressure/compitition. And let early archery run the middle of Sep or later.
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Offline BABackcountryBwhntr

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2014, 03:49:34 PM »
They need to put the early season back to Sept. 8th - 21st. This will keep more hunters here in WA. Right now archers are going to other states (I'm going to Idaho) because their chances of taking a bull are higher because of the ability to hunt in late September.


I also want longer seasons, but if you are in a good area and decent at hunting then with the current seasons you should have no issue getting a chance at a bull. I am no pro but I have had shots at bulls the last 6 years. every year I have had numerous chances and am into elk 95% of the time. I hunted 11 days this year. I saw elk 10 of those and never once saw another hunter. My wife arrowed a bull, my buddy killed one the same day one timber ridge up.. and I had 4 chances and missed a nice 5x5.

Offline elk247

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2014, 04:45:04 PM »
Quote
My personal desire for WA would be to stop giving out the general spike/cow tags for the great units and instead go permit only and triple the any bull tags. We'd stop seeing the 400 inch monsters that the raffle tag winners get, but 3 times as many guys would have great hunts each year and still take some nice bulls.


:yeah:   

And I'd take that even one step further- permit only elk hunting for the entire state. There are simply too many hunters for the number of elk this state has.

What about permit only for the whole state for elk but not just for branched bulls? Increase the branched tags in some units but then offer other permits such as spike, cow, three point minimum etc. This would not only allow for some more hunter opportunity but allow the state to still manage each unit individually to try and hit desired numbers, ratios and stability.


Yes.....something creative like that.  Look at the Nevada mule deer model.  Enough tags so that most people can hunt every other year or so
Are you listening to yourself? To Hades with that! I don't want to wait years to go hunting!
Then you must never put in for special permits :chuckle:
Why would someone? You guys are saying have special permits to allow for cow, spike and branched bull harvests. We already have that now. Its called OTC. The only valid point I've heard so far is that the state will then be able to manage individual heards better. If they had a antlerless harvest say every 2-4 years in the 3+ units and additional bull harvests when there are too many bulls in a antlerless and spike unit to set the ratio straight elk hunting would improve across the state. To put it simply they can do all this already, they choose not to or believe that the elk are already being managed as well as can be expected. Bull to cow ratio=better genetics=healthy herd=better opportunity for all=increased revenue for wdfw. Obviously its not this easy because poaching/predator/and native harvest can be difficult to account for and dang near impossable to predict. For all intent and purposes Idaho faces the same issues we have here.

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2014, 02:26:51 PM »
No comparison in my book. Idaho takes the cake and eats it!!!!
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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2014, 12:55:17 PM »
Look no further than the hunting dates alone...archery gets the month of September. ..no brainer.
Washington is in a death spiral. ..general season spike only is not management. ..the east side deer is 3 point or better. ..have fun waiting 7 years to draw a tag...I'm gone.
Swamp buck Hunter

Offline Buckrub

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2014, 01:03:23 PM »
You want my money?
Open season September elk...all September.
5 point or better east side...3 point better west side.
we have plenty of ground for increased herds...the problem is management. ..the only way to get a bull cow ratio with the current management is to kill cows...Brilliant
Swamp buck Hunter

Offline motg9_6

  • These animals are gods gift first before government's possessions. If it is illegal for a man to fend for himself then he can not be a man in his own right!
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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2014, 01:31:30 PM »
I would like to see some of the Hanford bulls scattered around the state to help with the gene pool, granted this wouldnt work with Roosevelt's but if there was the quality of elk here as there (state wide not just a couple units) is in Idaho more people may stay as well.

Offline huntnnw

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2014, 06:48:18 AM »
Some units in E WA could have longer seasons since we have so many elk in some units to let the privliged master hunters hunt 22 days for them! :bash: Pisses me off to no end! No damn reason archers should have to quit hunting elk on Dec 8th but you can still be out chasing deer till the 15th and then let the Master hunters come in on the 9th during deer and run around screwing up archers hunts. :bash:

Offline stidsteak

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2014, 03:09:21 AM »
Fair shake? We have the shortest of seasons seeing as we are only allowed archery. There is barely anything beautiful about timberland strewn with logging roads. A permit for access can cost 200 dollars after the 100 dollar combo elk and deer. Kind of makes Idaho and Oregon a bargain at 500 and a better hunt. The only thing making WA good before was the access and the fact that once you're on elk you pretty much stay on elk. While I was in NC recently 6 either sex deer tags, 3 turkey, 2 boar, one bear, all birds, and all fishing/shellfish added up to 65 dollars for multisession. What is going on here!?

Offline stidsteak

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2014, 03:21:38 AM »
I almost forgot. Multiseason tags cost 300 dollars for elk+deer here if you don't care to have the shortest hunting season in the lower 48. Many other states: 1 September to New Years for deer. I do understand why that's not good idea for elk.

Offline stidsteak

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2014, 03:25:14 AM »
You want my money?
Open season September elk...all September.
5 point or better east side...3 point better west side.
we have plenty of ground for increased herds...the problem is management. ..the only way to get a bull cow ratio with the current management is to kill cows...Brilliant

That would be the way to do it.

 

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