How’s the hunting in Washington?

hwy1strat

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Aug 9, 2016
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Colorado
Currently live in Colorado, but I’ve taken a job in Spokane. I’ve never looked into hunting up that way, so I was just looking for some info on what I can expect. I hunt everything and I’m just looking for broad generalizations. Is it hard to get tags for big game? Is it crowded on the public land? Is the hunting better on the western side of the state? Should I live on the Idaho side so I can get residency in Idaho instead of Washington? Any help would be greatly appreciated. And if someone cares to help me out, I’d be happy to return the favor and help explain Colorado hunting and spots
 

JeffRaines

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Oct 24, 2015
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Deer hunting isn't bad here - there's certainly deer for those who want to work for them. Same with Elk. Bear hunting is pretty damn good. All are available OTC.

The issue, as always, is pressure. Our hunting isn't so great that we see a ton of out of staters - most of the pressure is from residents. Obviously, modern firearm and archery take the cake when it comes to pressure during season, but even then, depending on where you hunt during archery you may only see a few people... modern season is an absolute zoo everywhere that's easily accessible... and even in places that aren't so easily accessed.

If it were me moving to Spokane, I'd probably opt to live in Post Falls/CDA so I could hunt Idaho as a resident... but even those guys are starting to get overrun with new residents hunting... and they have out of staters to contend with as well. It's not that we don't have out of staters, it's just that you don't see very many of them.
 

Pacific_Fork

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They say the same things about all the west coastal states. Hunting sucks and is over crowded. Compared to the other states in the Rockies? For sure true, but if hunting is a lifestyle to you and not just a weekend hobby you’ll fill tags every year whether in CA or WA.
 

JeffRaines

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They say the same things about all the west coastal states. Hunting sucks and is over crowded. Compared to the other states in the Rockies? For sure true, but if hunting is a lifestyle to you and not just a weekend hobby you’ll fill tags every year whether in CA or WA.
Yep... by no means is it bad, but if you're used to having areas to yourself there's gonna be an adjustment period and some pressure shock. You have to learn to use other hunters to your advantage.

Not such a big deal in archery or muzzleloader, but during modern for deer or elk its absolutely a thing.
 
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hwy1strat

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Colorado
How’s the turkey and upland bird hunting? The turkey hunting looks to be pretty good from the number of harvest pics I have come across
 

JeffRaines

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How’s the turkey and upland bird hunting? The turkey hunting looks to be pretty good from the number of harvest pics I have come across
Turkey hunting is good, especially in the NE corner. Some pressure but not incredibly bad.
 

DirtJones

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Oct 4, 2021
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I'm new to Westside WA, and my few scouting days have been busier then I ever imagined. But I'm coming from a low pop state, so there's that.
I'm counting on the long backpacking hunts to separate myself from most crowds. Maybe that isn't necessary as much on the Eastside archery season, but everything I've seen/read about Westside is crazy busy.
 

FLATHEAD

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Spent a few days on the outskirts of Spokane a couple years ago.
Quail EVERYWHERE, and Deer not far behind.
 

FLATHEAD

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Yep, first day there was a herd of turkeys in the motel parking lot.
 

CG86

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Sep 17, 2016
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ID
Agree Deer on the east elk on the west. WA is a good spot to hunt. Honestly eastern WA isn't much different than Northern Idaho anymore. I would be more worried about the driving than the huntinging.
 

CG86

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Meaning. Live close to where you work and hunt close to where you live. You will have more time for hunting if you spend less time driving.
 

Night_owl

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Jun 16, 2017
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south western WA
Deer in Washington is a state wide tag, elk you will have to choose east or west side. west side rossies.. eastside rockies. west side has a lot of options for otc branch bulls and few quality controlled hunts. the east side has lots of quality controlled hunts and few options for otc branch bulls. 3 main season rifle, archery and muzzle loader. rifle season sees extremely high pressure in most regions. all in all Washington is not horrible the worst part is there are a lot of other great seasons in other states to go take advantage of if a person is able to.
 

Vaultman

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Mar 30, 2019
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OREGON
i lived and worked in Spokane from 02-07. If I could of swung it I'd of moved to ID (Post Falls) but I worked at the far N side of Spokane.
Living in WA though, I enjoyed hunting a lot. Hunted national forest s near Natches for Elk, and near Mt. Spokane / Deer Park for deer. Did pretty well.
I still think I'd of faired better hunting in ID, but the commute would not work.
Best of luck to you in the Inland Northwest!
 
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