For four years, Skagit Valley bird hunters have had no local option for hunting pheasants after the flooding of their former long-running stomping grounds at Skagit Wildlife Area Headquarters for chinook salmon.
This fall, however, an agreement with the Washington Department of Natural Resources has opened a 500-acre parcel of state forest land located just west of Interstate 5 and the Bow Hill Road interchange (Exit 236).
This block, known as the Bow Hill Designated Pheasant Release Site, is about a half mile west of the freeway lying north of Bow Hill Road between Ershig and Hobson county roads and has many of the same habitat attributes as the Lake Terrell, Intalco and BP Cherry Point release sites.
LANDS FOR SEEKING DEER
Extension of ultra-dry conditions into October is affecting access, camping and use of open flames on many public as well as private lands here in Northwest Washington as well as elsewhere in the state.
Temporary smoking and fire restrictions are in place for both federal and state lands in Whatcom County and some private timberlands normally closed only to motor vehicle traffic may be off-limits entirely until fall rains come.
For more details about the Skagit County designated pheasant release site together with a rundown of locale lands access and conditions for the modern firearms deer season plus more fishing and hunting news, read the Outdoors Column in the Sunday Herald.
Doug Huddle, the Bellingham Herald's outdoors correspondent since 1983, has written a weekly fishing and hunting column that now appears Sundays. Read his blog and contact him at http://pblogs.bellinghamherald.com/outdoor.