Fall hunters are in the midst of their season of choices with the state fish and wildlife department's annual controlled hunt drawing application period.
In this process thousands of special hunting permits will be doled out for limited entry opportunities (involving fixed numbers of hunters) for deer and elk as well as permits to hunt other "specialty" big game such as mountain goats, moose and bighorn sheep.
The deadline for tossing your hat into any of the broad selections of drawings is Wednesday, May 22.
SLIDE MOUNTAIN GATED
The Washington Department of Natural Resources has closed and locked the gate at the bottom of the Slide Mountain/Racehorse Creek road system off the North Fork Road.
A spokesman for the state agency said the lockout is in response to continued littering as well as the presence of active spring logging slides in the area.
The gate may be reopened by mid-summer, though severe fire danger could keep it closed.
For the how tos of entering controlled hunt drawings and more details the Slide Mountain/Racehorse Creek and other potential road closures plus more fishing and hunting news, read Sunday's Outdoors column.
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/outdoors.