collapse

Advertisement


Author Topic: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice  (Read 1783 times)

Offline levihoward17

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Pilgrim
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2019
  • Posts: 4
  • Location: seattle
San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:43:36 PM »
Hello all, I am an 18 year old just trying to get into deer hunting. I have shot a few deer in Virginia where part of my family lives however I am yet to cut my teeth in Washington. I feel a little guilty about asking for help on my first post but I have to start somewhere. My family often sails over to the San Juans during the summer months and I couldn't help but notice the seemingly large population of deer.

Upon doing some basic research I see that the a large part of the challenge is finding a place to hunt. I see that there is some public access here and there including Lopez Hill and the majority of Cypress. I am have also read through some older forum posts regarding the San Juans and I see that there is possibly a WDFW program allowing hunters to gain some access. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no experience with where the deer are and how they behave outside of the months of July and August. I would love to start to process of reaching out for land access however I feel like I need to get a better understanding of where these deer are throughout the season. Living on the mainland somewhat hinders my ability to spend a lot of time scouting. I am wondering if anyone has any experience hunting these areas or would be willing to share any additional advice or information.

If there is anyone interested in letting me tag along on any of their hunts I would be thrilled. My main goal is to really just learn as much as I can. I honestly am not even interested in shooting anything this season, rather my focus is just to gain some knowledge. Unfortunately my time to hunt is constrained by school. I am a full-time student at UW so my hunting time is restricted to weekends or before the 20th of September.

Again I feel a little bit guilty asking people to share their hard earned knowledge. I am in no way asking you to send me to coordinates to your secret spot, just simply a push in the right direction. I think that part of the fun is figuring it out on your own, and I hope those of you reading this will help me along the way.

Offline overthefalls

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Pilgrim
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2020
  • Posts: 16
  • Location: Whatcom County
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2021, 07:30:29 PM »
I have yet to hunt the San Juan, but will be doing so next season. Cypress has access, send me a PM and we can exchange info.

Offline RB

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2326
  • Location: Arlington, washington
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2021, 07:41:32 PM »
Cypress is easy access, which equals a lot of hunters, but it has Deer on it. I have hunted it several times, but have not taken home a Deer. Found lots of sign and one little pygmy goat Deer that had baby carrots for horns sticking off it's head and that is it! IF you have time scout the island and see what is there. Best of luck it is a fun hunt!
IAFF #3728

Offline cm2cb4

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Pilgrim
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2015
  • Posts: 25
  • Location: Port Orchard
  • Groups: NRA, RMEF, TU
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2021, 06:38:11 AM »
Years ago you could contact the Friday Harbor Water Treatment Company and depending on if you knew someone on the island, they may issue you a limited permit (certain days and specify weapon type [no centerfire though]). It’s a good ole boys system on that island. Other option hop on the ferry and drive around for a while, you’re bound to hit eventually

Offline Special T

  • Truth the new Hate Speech.
  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • Legend
  • ******
  • Join Date: Aug 2009
  • Posts: 22277
  • Location: Skagit Valley
  • Make it Rain!
    • Silver Arrow Bowmen
    • Silver Arrow Bowmen
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2021, 07:31:25 AM »
Contact Rob Wingaurd from the WDFW he is the private lands manger and manages the land access program.
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline jamesfromseattle

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Scout
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2014
  • Posts: 431
  • Location: Seattle
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2021, 09:18:14 AM »
Contact Rob Wingaurd from the WDFW he is the private lands manger and manages the land access program.

It sounds like WDFW has been making an effort to secure more private land access up there and has some money to spend on it.  My recollection was that it was slow going to get properties enrolled, but it looks like there are a few reservation-only properties up there now.  I hope things go well and more folks enroll their property. 

For the properties I'm familiar with, at least (which is not all of them), I think they would hold deer if you could get a reservation at the start of the season. 

I used to try to hunt up there, but eventually just decided I'd rather spend time scouting in the mountains than dealing with private land.  Seems like it should be a gimme if you have access up there, but there're a lot of ways to have an unsuccessful hunt on small parcels like they have up in the islands.

Also done Cypress a couple times without success.  It doesn't have the feed (i.e. flower beds and gardens) that the other islands have--and also no logging--so it's more of a typical western WA blacktail density area than the other islands.  It's a fun logistical hunt if you're into that sort of thing, but I think a lot of people who hunt there end up disappointed that it is actually a low odds hunt.  The access points are also limited so I think you probably need to walk a ways and bust some brush to be consistently successful.

First time I hunted there was before there was anything on the internet about it and I thought I discovered some secret and easy hunt that nobody else had thought of.  Was wrong on both accounts.

Offline Bob33

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2009
  • Posts: 19796
  • Groups: SCI, RMEF, NRA
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2021, 09:37:52 AM »
There are a few hunting by permission properties in the San Juans.

https://privatelands.wdfw.wa.gov/private_lands/type/56/

Reservations can be made two weeks in advance; you are allowed to reserve up to three properties at one time. The few spots available often get reserved quickly.

Good luck.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline hunterednate

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Scout
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2017
  • Posts: 263
  • Location: Tacoma
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2021, 09:38:39 AM »
Contact Rob Wingaurd from the WDFW he is the private lands manger and manages the land access program.

This is good advice. I've been hunting the islands for deer for the last 3 years and enjoyed it. If you get the chance this summer, knocking on doors of island farms is not a bad tactic. You may get told "no" 19 times out of 20....but you might get on some good property, too. Don't neglect the small parcels, either. You don't need a huge expanse of land to kill a deer on the islands.

Offline Special T

  • Truth the new Hate Speech.
  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • Legend
  • ******
  • Join Date: Aug 2009
  • Posts: 22277
  • Location: Skagit Valley
  • Make it Rain!
    • Silver Arrow Bowmen
    • Silver Arrow Bowmen
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2021, 11:28:17 AM »
I put the sucess of the programs Fred with Rob. He is funny has broad shoulders and makes folks laugh. He credits his successful attitude  from his time being a bouncer in a mobile home converted to a bar in Montana.  I have seen him taken more b.s. from folks and he takes in stride. The WDFW would do well to hire more like him.
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline luvmystang67

  • Past Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2010
  • Posts: 1893
  • Location: Coeur d'Alene
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2021, 12:18:45 PM »
I'm from up there and access is tough, even for me.  Keep in mind that its firearm restricted, and that many people up there aren't too fond of hunters.  You might have some luck wandering around pre-season and asking for archery permission, like was mentioned here, you never know.

The good ol boys club does have it pretty much on lockdown, so it is likely difficult to find a place.

Even being from there, I enjoy hunting blacktail on DNR and forest company property more than the island.  The animals are larger, the hunt is more challenging and you don't need to walk around asking for permission.

If you really want to eat deer, just drive around the island and pick one off the side of the road!


Offline fishnfur

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2014
  • Posts: 3637
  • Location: longview
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2021, 11:53:37 PM »
Hard to imagine that these islands that are overrun with deer can provide such poor hunting, but yet we hear that over and over again.  You might want to consider an archery tag and hunting the first week of September when the deer are still in Summer mode and at least a few of the bucks will still be in velvet and less invisible. 
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline Special T

  • Truth the new Hate Speech.
  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • Legend
  • ******
  • Join Date: Aug 2009
  • Posts: 22277
  • Location: Skagit Valley
  • Make it Rain!
    • Silver Arrow Bowmen
    • Silver Arrow Bowmen
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2021, 09:21:37 AM »
I heard the rumor they were considering allowing  a 3rd deer option on the islands to try and increase harvest. Add to that some orgs that arn't so friendly to hunters are willing to let deer hunting happen on their property because the overgrazing has effected the butterfly population.
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline h2ofowlr

  • CHOKED UP TIGHT
  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Old Salt
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2008
  • Posts: 8562
  • Location: In the "Blind"! Go Cougs!
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2021, 10:46:35 AM »
Cypress is easy access, which equals a lot of hunters, but it has Deer on it. I have hunted it several times, but have not taken home a Deer. Found lots of sign and one little pygmy goat Deer that had baby carrots for horns sticking off it's head and that is it! IF you have time scout the island and see what is there. Best of luck it is a fun hunt!

I hunted Cypress 4 times and never notched a tag.  Lots of walking and just didn't see the deer.  Think the deer were hanging more around the homes on the island vs. the north end.
Cut em!
It's not the shells!  It's the shooter!

Offline fishnfur

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2014
  • Posts: 3637
  • Location: longview
Re: San Juan Islands Blacktail -- New hunter looking for advice
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2021, 08:16:43 PM »
Probably should have tried hiding and sitting still.   ;)
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

 


* Advertisement

* Recent Topics

Novagrade Digiscoping Adapter by johns8168
[Today at 09:23:24 PM]


WTT h1000 updated by swanderek
[Today at 09:12:22 PM]


Bow press options by Sutherland
[Today at 08:56:07 PM]


2021 Bears by trophyhunt
[Today at 08:30:18 PM]


DIY turret press by Norman89
[Today at 08:16:29 PM]


WTB stainless ruger 10/22 by bugs n bones
[Today at 08:03:50 PM]


Kodiak canvas 10x 10 great shape, only used a few times, no holes,tears or burns by calib
[Today at 07:50:09 PM]


FS or Trade 380 Hornady CD by emac
[Today at 07:28:37 PM]


2021 Turkeys!!! Let see those birds. by denali
[Today at 07:22:45 PM]


New X-bolt Hells Canyon Speed all set up by Westside88
[Today at 07:17:54 PM]


Garmin Rino 610 by Tball77
[Today at 07:11:14 PM]


Iso: sinclair nt die by 7mmlong
[Today at 06:54:31 PM]


WTB atv by Boss .300 winmag
[Today at 06:41:21 PM]


Idaho to kill 90 percent of wolves by grundy53
[Today at 05:57:48 PM]


Coyote noses by Kain
[Today at 05:54:54 PM]


2021 sheds.... Post them here. by dmoua
[Today at 05:46:32 PM]


Trailer brake controller questions by BD1
[Today at 05:40:42 PM]


Best handheld long range radios? by Bob33
[Today at 05:26:51 PM]


Regs are out. by HillHound
[Today at 05:26:42 PM]


Machias' 2021 Idaho Bear baiting by bearmanric
[Today at 05:10:46 PM]