Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Deer Hunting => Topic started by: jstamsch on September 28, 2017, 06:51:54 PM

Title: Brand New Washington Hunter, thinking about trying to hunt Vashon
Post by: jstamsch on September 28, 2017, 06:51:54 PM
Sorry if the following questions are stupid. I have lived in West Seattle for the last 3 years, and I'm missing having venison in my freezer. I've never hunted in Washington, and I'm getting confused by all the GMU's, regulations, and don't know how exactly to go about purchasing a license, etc. Where I'm from, it is fairly simple, and all tags are just purchased over the counter.  I'm looking at Vashon, primarily because it is close to home, and I can probably get in the field before work a couple of days through the season. I don't really care about shooting a monster, I just want meat in the freezer.

1.  If I did want to hunt Vashon, how would I go about getting a tag?  I know that there was some recent discussion about allowing hunting in Island Center Forest, but I'm not sure if a decision was made to allow hunting here or not yet. If it is allowed, is anybody just allowed there?

2. If I understand correctly, Vashon is shotgun/slug only? That is another positive for me, if so, because that is the only way I have ever hunted deer.

3.  Is it necessary to shoot a buck before a doe, or can doe tags be purchased?

4. Any advice for hunting island center forest, if it is available?

Thanks so much in advance for your help!
Title: Re: Brand New Washington Hunter, thinking about trying to hunt Vashon
Post by: JDHasty on September 28, 2017, 07:31:47 PM
It is a bit late to get a plan to hunt IC going because you don't know the lay of the land.  It is still doable though.  Finding and knowing escape trails and being able to be in place when others are in the park pushing the deer out is the secret for consistent success. You have two weeks to learn the park and put together a strategy. 

Still hunting blacktails is a tough game, particularly if you have no experience with the amount of underbrush we have here.  Basically, go as slow as you think humanly possible while looking through and around every bit of cover with a good binocular, and then go about half that fast and you are starting to get the idea. 

And get Boyd Iverson's book and read it through like four times this week.   You can shoot a doe on your tag and that makes it much easier if you are after any deer. 
Title: Re: Brand New Washington Hunter, thinking about trying to hunt Vashon
Post by: 2labs on September 28, 2017, 07:36:39 PM
Grab some regs, call yer lawyer. It's lib land and I want your wallet!
Title: Re: Brand New Washington Hunter, thinking about trying to hunt Vashon
Post by: fishnfur on September 28, 2017, 10:14:44 PM

If you read the deer section of regs, you will find they give the dates the seasons are open for 1)archery 2)Muzzleloader 3) Modern Firearm.  Once you've found the season you plan to hunt (sounds like MF with a slug gun), you can find the sections broken out by species of deer you're hunting.  Most western units have 14 - 31 Oct for the MF season, and then there is an additional four days open in November called the Late General Season, (or Late Buck in general usage) 16 - 19 Nov. this year.

Read the rest of the regs and it will start to make some sense.  Ignore all the special hunts pages.  They did the drawings for those hunts in May or June. No one wins those anyways.  :chuckle:  Legal hunting hours are listed deeper in the regs, after the bear, goat, cougar sections. 

Vashon (and every other Western WA unit) has only Blacktail.  The unit number of Vashon is 422 - and you can kill a buck or a doe there.  The tag can be purchased at most sporting goods stores OTC, but you can use that tag anywhere in the state as long as you adhere to the season dates and legal animal for the unit you're hunting in.

Island Center Forest is only open for a couple of weeks.  No late season.  You can verify the dates with a little effort on Google - Try something simple like "Island Center Forest 2017 Hunting season" and see what comes up.  " Everything else on the island is private and you will need to find access by knocking on doors or knowing somebody with land there.  Difficult situation for most. 

Personally, I'd also recommend you check out the hunting section of and on the drop down options at the top, go to the hunting maps/Go Hunt mapping feature.  If you select public lands in the upper right corner of the map showing all the units, you can find all the DNR and National Forest lands open in your area.  You can view roads, topography, and satellite views to pre-scout the area you want to hunt.
PM me if you have further questions.