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Guy Norman

Regional Director

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Vancouver, WA 98661

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Southwest Washington Wildlife Reports Archives
December 2008

December 1, 2008

GAME DIVISION

2008/09 SW Washington Goose Season Area 2a: The initial Canada goose hunting season closed November 23rd in Area 2A. The first hunt period offered average success among those choosing to participate in the hunt. Collectively the State-operated hunter check stations located in Vancouver, Ridgefield, Woodland and Cathlamet reported a total of 341 hunters having harvested a total of 687 geese during the first hunt period (Wednesday, Saturday, and Sundays only, November 8 through 23). This makes an average of 2.0 birds per hunter among those who brought birds to the check stations. Cackling Canada geese are the primary sub-species within the harvest summary, with Taverner's Canada geese comprising the second-highest portion of the take.

Goose season will re-open on December 3rd and continues on the 3-days per week schedule until January 25th 2009. Those interested in participating in the Area 2A goose hunt are encouraged to review the special requirements that are detailed in the Waterfowl Hunting Pamphlet. The special seasons in 2A are designed to protect populations of the Dusky Canada goose. Additionally, new for 2008-09, those hunters that harvest "light" geese (greater white-fronted or snow geese) in Area 2a, are required to report to State goose check stations with these birds as well.

December 1, 2008

GAME DIVISION

2008/09 SW Washington Goose Season Area 2a: The initial Canada goose hunting season closed November 23rd in Area 2A. The first hunt period offered average success among those choosing to participate in the hunt. Collectively the State-operated hunter check stations located in Vancouver, Ridgefield, Woodland and Cathlamet reported a total of 341 hunters having harvested a total of 687 geese during the first hunt period (Wednesday, Saturday, and Sundays only, November 8 through 23). This makes an average of 2.0 birds per hunter among those who brought birds to the check stations. Cackling Canada geese are the primary sub-species within the harvest summary, with Taverner's Canada geese comprising the second-highest portion of the take.

Goose season will re-open on December 3rd and continues on the 3-days per week schedule until January 25th 2009. Those interested in participating in the Area 2A goose hunt are encouraged to review the special requirements that are detailed in the Waterfowl Hunting Pamphlet. The special seasons in 2A are designed to protect populations of the Dusky Canada goose. Additionally, new for 2008-09, those hunters that harvest "light" geese (greater white-fronted or snow geese) in Area 2a, are required to report to State goose check stations with these birds as well.

December 15, 2008

GAME DIVISION

Hunter Access: Region 3 Biologists Keller and Hand assisted Region 5 Biologist Holman by conducting the habitat related portion of the contractual duties to maintain hunter access to Hancock Forest Management lands in Klickitat County. Keller and Hand used ATVs to plant 400 pounds of a grass/legume seed mix along approximately 5 miles of disturbed roadbeds. The seed mix is purchased by Hancock and planted by WDFW staff. The resulting grasses and forbs provide forage for elk, deer, and turkeys while stabilizing areas of exposed soil.

In addition to the habitat related activities mentioned above, Hancock Forest Management has allowed walk-in access to their Klickitat County forest lands for more than ten years. Foot, horse, and bicycle access beyond the gates into approximately 85,000 acres is facilitated by this relationship. Additionally, Hancock has been an active participant in the re-introduction of bighorn sheep into the Klickitat River basin and various turkey management efforts.

Thanks to lead Forester Jim Schleusner for his efforts to continue access for hunting on Hancock lands, improve habitat for wildlife, and for his commitment to the future of hunting through his work as a hunter education instructor. Finally, thanks to Hand and Keller for their willingness to travel to help keep this important hunter access program in place.

Hoof Rot: District Biologist Miller, Biologist Prince, Officer Martin, Officer Holden, WDFW veterinarian, and WDFW veterinary assistant toured the Boistfort Valley in preparation for the upcoming elk hoof rot study. Over multiple years, landowners in the area and Officer Martin have observed many limping elk in the valley. An agency study of the causes and type of hoof rot affecting these elk will begin in January of 2009. This study will involve the collection of infected elk as well as a control group of uninfected animals. During the tour, staff identified potential collection sites and talked to local landowners about what they have observed in the local elk herds. The wildlife program would like to thank Officer Martin for all of his assistance and knowledge with this project

Mt. St. Helens Mudflow Winter Elk Count: Biologist Prince and District Biologist Miller conducted the first winter elk count on the Mount Saint Helen's Wildlife Area; 33 elk were observed. Weather conditions in the area were mild for this time of year and more elk are suspected to arrive as more snow falls in the higher elevations. Hunter kills were also marked in an effort to distinguish true winter kills from bone piles left by hunters.

December 23, 2008

REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS

Klickitat Wildlife Area:
Snow:
Manager VanLeuven has been shoveling/plowing about 2 feet of snow at the KWA headquarters to keep it open for public access.

GAME DIVISION

Mountain Goats: Biologist Anderson reports that the mountain goat that swam the Columbia River from Oregon in 2006 is now on Mt Adams in the south Cascades. This goat has taken a fascinating adventure as it was first reported by ODFW on Sept. 28, 2006 when it was on the west side of the John Day River. It turned out to be a yearling male and was suspected to have originated from the Elkhorn Mountains near Baker City; a distance of around 120 miles.

The goat eventually moved to the Deschutes River country where it spent approximately one year. ODFW biologists Keith Kohl placed a radio collar on the animal in December of 2006 and the goat eventually swam the Columbia River and was located in Klickitat County, Washington on Nov 2, 2007.

Over the past year the goat has spent the majority of its time in the lower Klickitat River drainage eventually moving into the White Salmon drainage early this fall. On December 11th the mountain goat was found with 7 other goats on the east side of Mt Adams. This wayward goat took a long journey, crossing the Columbia River from Oregon and making its way into the south Cascades. We thank Keith Kole of ODFW for keeping us updated on the telemetry locations of this goat.

Additional Mt. St. Helens Mudflow Winter Elk Count: Biologist Prince and District Biologist Miller attempted to conduct an additional count of elk on the mudflow to monitor elk use of the Wildlife Area given the winter storm. Unfortunately, the valley floor was obscured by fog. After several hours the fog became worse and a complete survey was not possible. The next winter monthly count will be attempted next week dependent on weather conditions.