Hunting Washington Forum

Other Hunting => Waterfowl => Topic started by: YoungFowler on January 28, 2020, 06:02:48 PM

Title: Palouse
Post by: YoungFowler on January 28, 2020, 06:02:48 PM
Hi all!

So I've grown up in Western Washington and hunting ducks plenty around here, but next year I'm attending the University of Idaho to study Wildlife Resources. Duck season for this year is over, so I'm already thinking about next year and trying to build up a bit of knowledge about the area and where to begin my scouting. I plan to continue hunting the Washington side, so that I don't have to buy a non-resident Idaho licence. I've read a lot that the Palouse region is dead zone for waterfowl and that I would be better off chasing big game or pheasants, but ducks and geese are my thing so I'm planning to put in the work to find them. I also have a kayak that I regularly use for hunting, but I'm still figuring out if I'm going to be able to store that or not. I do have a couple questions though:

*Disclaimer* I fully intend to do my own scouting and am in no way asking for spots, just general guidance. :)

1. Compared to what I'm used to, there isn't a ton of water around Pullman, but the Snake isn't too far away. I noticed that most of the land along the river is owned by the Corps of Engineers. Is this public land? A quick google search said yes, but I wanted to double check.
2. In terms of field hunting geese, does the area around Pullman/Colfax typically have any migration of birds, or would I be better off heading in a different direction?

Thanks!
Ben
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: elkboy on January 28, 2020, 06:12:58 PM
 I'm no waterfowler, but Canada geese do visit the fields.  Find the green winter wheat. I am sure someone can advise you on Snake River hunting. I'd be happy to advise you on deer if you like.
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: YoungFowler on January 28, 2020, 06:26:20 PM
I'm no waterfowler, but Canada geese do visit the fields.  Find the green winter wheat. I am sure someone can advise you on Snake River hunting. I'd be happy to advise you on deer if you like.

Thank you! That's great to know about the geese. As for deer I haven't hunted in years and don't have a rifle or means to store a deer while in college, but if I ever decide to take it up, I might have to take you up on that. Thanks!
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: Mfowl on January 28, 2020, 06:45:34 PM
Will you be in Boise? I have never hunted Idaho but I would pay for the non res license and put my effort down in S Central Idaho along the Snake River. It is a natural migration route and they see plenty of birds. There is also lots of AG lands that can keep birds on the Snake through the season. By the time you travel far enough back in to Washington for consistent decent hunting you will spend more in fuel than the non res license (I'm guessing.) :twocents:
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: YoungFowler on January 28, 2020, 07:53:53 PM
Will you be in Boise? I have never hunted Idaho but I would pay for the non res license and put my effort down in S Central Idaho along the Snake River. It is a natural migration route and they see plenty of birds. There is also lots of AG lands that can keep birds on the Snake through the season. By the time you travel far enough back in to Washington for consistent decent hunting you will spend more in fuel than the non res license (I'm guessing.) :twocents:
I'll be in Moscow right on the border, a good 5 hours from Boise, but that's something to consider. Thanks!
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: andersonjk4 on January 28, 2020, 09:07:02 PM
I grew up in Colfax (15 miles north of Pullman) and did a fair amount of jump shooting geese and ducks along the Palouse river. I wouldnít call the Palouse a dead zone, but it definitely doesnít see the action of the major flyway areas. The geese along the Palouse seem to mostly be locals, but that also makes them predictable. Access is the key issue. The snake river has a decent number of birds and more public ground on the banks than the Palouse. The lakes to the north between Colfax and Spokane can also have decent numbers at times. From past experience itís seems like the colder the weather gets the better the numbers of birds on the Palouse gets. We also hypothesized that as the lakes/ponds up in and around Turnbull freeze over the birds move south looking for open water along the rivers.

I live just south of Spangle now (pretty much due East of Turnbull) and I can tell you that the waterfowl numbers  up around the Turnbull area can be very good. And their is a good variety of species too.

Take some scouting drives when you get over this direction and Iím sure you wonít have any trouble locating birds. You might not find spots where there is flock after flock moving all day long, but if you stay mobile you can get into multiple flocks a day.

Good luck next season.
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: HaydenHunter on January 28, 2020, 11:31:30 PM
Washington Snake River.

If you meet up with some guys who hunt Idaho check out the bottom of Coeur d'Alene Lake (Chatcollet, Benewah, Round Lakes).  Probably 40 miles or so from Moscow.

Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: KP-Skagit on January 29, 2020, 08:40:37 AM
We used to get a few ducks out of creeks, rivers and ditches while pheasant hunting north of Pullman. Also would occasionally find a dumb goose sitting in a feel free to hunt field. We saw plenty of geese down by the Snake River, they roost on some of the islands in the river. Be careful crossing the river in any kind of small boat, if the wind blows up it can be dicey.

All of this said, after growing up in Skagit County and hunting ducks my whole childhood my four years in Pullman got me interested in deer hunting.
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: h2ofowlr on January 29, 2020, 09:07:31 AM
I went to WSU Pullman.  I chased the birds around the Palouse River.  Waders and a 4x4 rig were a must in most of those locations.  Also hit the snake and would get some, but that required a canoe at the time to retrieve them.  Also would drive north and hit Sprague Lake.  I ended up hunting a lot of chucker and pheasant as well.
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: Mfowl on January 29, 2020, 09:37:15 AM
Will you be in Boise? I have never hunted Idaho but I would pay for the non res license and put my effort down in S Central Idaho along the Snake River. It is a natural migration route and they see plenty of birds. There is also lots of AG lands that can keep birds on the Snake through the season. By the time you travel far enough back in to Washington for consistent decent hunting you will spend more in fuel than the non res license (I'm guessing.) :twocents:
I'll be in Moscow right on the border, a good 5 hours from Boise, but that's something to consider. Thanks!


Yeah, that commute is probably not feasible. I'd look up toward Spokane/Cheney in that case.
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: YoungFowler on January 29, 2020, 03:41:05 PM
Thanks for all the input! I'm taking a trip over that way in March and will probably do some looking around/scouting to get the lay of the land in the places mentioned. Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: RobinHoodlum on January 29, 2020, 07:31:14 PM
I know you said ducks and geese are your thing, but I'd encourage you to think outside the box and consider upland options while you live in that area. I was at WSU for a couple years and never tapped into the great pheas and chukar opportunities there. Now I wish I had. Just a suggestion!
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: dwils233 on January 29, 2020, 09:33:46 PM
Definitely Branch out and get some upland. You'll never have to compare the upland now to "the good old days" buts it's still fun hunting with opportunity

Someone else said access is key on the palouse and that's definitely true. If you can get on the river, you'll get into ducks and geese all season. The little ponds up by Spokane do ice up pretty early and that could just push them a little further south because I see plenty of geese in fields and ducks down in the Colfax area all season.

No advice on the snake expect Corp of Engineer land can be hunted.

Reach out to the WSU BHA group when you get over there. Bunch of other young folks getting after it could give you some more info I bet
Title: Re: Palouse
Post by: YoungFowler on February 01, 2020, 08:59:21 PM
Thanks! It sounds like I would be missing out if I didn't upland hunt, so I'll have to look into that