Grousers of all ages have already hit their roads as of the first of September and this weekend young hunters, age 16 and under, focusing on both field- and fen-dwelling feather quarry, hit their stride in a two-day special opportunity.
Hunters of pheasants of the senior ilk (specifically age 65 and older) are next in line getting a special five-day head start on ringneck pursuits beginning Monday, Sept. 23.
Pheasant releases for both opportunities are being made on the Lake Terrell and Alcoa Intalco units.
NEW ACCESSIBLE BLIND READY
Thanks to the Whatcom Chapter of the Washington Waterfowl, a new fully accessible waterfowling hid is now available at Lake Terrell, reports Whatcom Wildlife Area Manager Richard Kessler.
Not only did the locale web-foots hunter cadre build the blind and its access, club members say they're willing to provide, with some advance notice, would-be duck hunters intent on using the new set spot with some good canine and perhaps other assistance, Kessler said.
This particular waterfowling hid must be reserved for use in advance by calling Kessler at 360 384-4723.
HIGH COUNTRY TROUT
Recent rains should be cooling and refilling foothills and high country lakes and streams sufficiently to reinvigorate their trout, making catch and release less of a perilous experience for the finny critters.
High temp and low oxygen conditions can stress hook-stung fish making their recovery after release problematic so fall fishing is preferable to heat-of-summer efforts.
The early fall window always brings an upswing in forest and alpine lake trout activity before waters get too cold and the snow flies, therefore packing a fishing rod on a hunting trip now makes sense.
For more details about the youth and seniors hunts, changes for these bird hunting season and suggestions for fall backcountry trout angling 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://pbogs.bellinghamherald.com/outdoors.