Any Washington Elkers out here


New member
Jan 8, 2001
Sammamish WA
I will be moving to the beautiful state of Washington later this year
I was hoping to get some insite to the hunting there.

I noticed on the WDFW web site that in the past years Elk hunting success numbers are not very good

Is this because of the Elk populations, terrain, hunting techniques, access? It looks like the success rates are only around 10%.

Can anyone lend a newbee a hand just in case I get up there in time for this years hunt?


Welcome to Hunttalk Fullabull !!!
Sorry about the fact you have to move to Washington....LOL...Where you moveing to?
Hey Fullabull sorry to hear your moving to this state,most people are trying to get out.Me included but Im married and the wife wont leave so there ya go.Elk hunting in this state is pretty much Spike only especially if ya Rifle hunt.If Im not mistaken it possibly is still any bull on the West side of the state but East side is Spikes,unless you draw a any bull tag.It is pretty country here but the hunting stinks and the state is raising the fees AGAIN.More money,less hunting here.
Kevin named a lot of the biggest reasons I moved out of there, he didn't mention the fact of the light traffic flow's and the inhearantly nice attitude of most of it's city dwellers.
Guys he's coming from California so Washington might be an improvement for him
Fullabull, I assume you will be living on the west side of the state? Over here most units are 3 point minimum. And like Kraven said, eastern Wa. is spike only, except for the very northeastern corner of the state. So basically where the most elk are, and the easiest hunting, would be on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, from Interstate 90 south to Yakima. All those units are spike only. That is the reason for the low success rates, that and the fact that the number of tags is unlimited so there are lots of hunters. Or, at least a lot of guys buy tags, I'm not sure how many actually go hunting for spikes. I know I don't, and before I started bow hunting I would buy the tag just so I could apply for the permits. Hunting western Wa. can be extremely tough but you can hunt every year so if you're willing to work hard and you get to know an area you can do good. Just be prepared to have lots of company in the woods, anywhere there are good populations of elk. I don't think there are any secret spots in this state anymore.
Thanks everyone for both your warnings and helpful information
I will be moving to the Sammamash/Issaquah area. The traffic for me will be a breeze compared to here in Cal. Plus for the first time in my life I will be working most of the time out of my home.
At least there are Elk in Washington
I can't even think about it here. So it looks like I will be archery hunting the West side of the state and trying to draw for the good tags. Are there a lot of archery hunters up there? It looks like the Deer hunting is pretty good up there. But after taking my first elk, deer just don't seem to measure up anymore. I would like to take a real trophy deer though!

I look forward to further discussions with you all on hunting in Washington in the future.

Thanks all,

Well from where you'll be living, your best bet would be hunting in one of the units south of Cle Elum, or you could go a little farther east and hunt the Colockum herd north of Ellensburg. Hunting with a bow, both cows and spike bulls will be legal in most units. The seasons are kind of up in the air right now...archery has been opening on September 1st and going to the 14th, but it's looking like they may change it this year. I'm hoping they do. One of the options will have archery opening on October 1st along with the muzzleloader season, and splitting the units between archery and muzzleloader, and going till rifle deer season opens, which can be anywhere from about the 11th to the 15th. Probably won't know what the wildlife department decides for 2 or 3 months.
Man find another place to move to.....westren washington flat out sucks.... It used to be a real nice place.. I lived there in the late 70's... Hunting was great and not to many people to bother you... not to mention NO traffic..... Went back in 93( I think it was 93 sisters wedding) and I vowed never to go back for anything ever again... The people are total a-holes, the traffic is worse than southern ca, The hunting well its like kraven said(still good in some spots) the fishing is going to hell fast, house's are outrageous, power bills are a high if not higher than CA, on top of that most of the people there are anti hunters(figures though most came from CA)....

Still not bad to live on the olympic pennisual, its not as crowed as most of the other parts of the state.. what used to be 30-45 min drive to north seattle now takes up to 3 hours or longer... most of the nice little towns are big cities governed by Ca people and thier politic's.......
Heck its worse than phx,az... I like kraven and trying to get out of AZ, but my other half wont move...

Good luck, I hope your not employed by boeing and have a job transfer from them cause you will likely be looking for a job in a year or 2... Boeing is going down the tubes fast...

Guys, have to tell ya. I have lived in Cal all my life and have had enough of what goes on here. Schools rank 49 out of 50 in the US! Talk about sucks! Let me tell ya, jobs are not very plentiful here either. I'm a bit of a conservative so at least I'll help to balance out the other California do gooders

Would have moved to Colorado but the accounts for my job are almost all up there. We normally go to CO to hunt elk. See a lot of animals and usually are pretty lucky. Might end up out there again this year since I might not be in Washington in time to be a resident for three months prior to hunting season

Maybe I can make a late hunt of some kind.

We'll see...
FullaBull... all califorians arent bad, Heck I married one from Ca(yes elkchsr its a female I married
)... If your basing it on your job go where you have to , to stay alive....I think I would pick washington over Colorado, but maybe cause I know washington a little better than co....

good luck

I don't know what all the fuss is about?
The hunting is great and the traffic is even better.
I have lived here all my life and would never consider leaving. Places like Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming don't hold a candle to this place.

The best place I know to get a nice bull is out on the penninsula in the Upper Hoh Rain Forest. Hell a couple years back they filmed a world record roosevelt for National Geographic.
The fact that the Olympic National Park Service laid claim to this land is a mere technicality. Don't let this be a deterent, I mean after all you have around 27 tribes, with quite a few state wide that have no boundaries, seasons, or guidlines in which to follow; therefore making it even better for the dumb ass, run of the mill white caucasion, to flush more money into the State of Washingtons' hands for proper fish and game management. Reminds me of a woodpecker on an aluminum pole. What more could we possibly ask for?

Oh ya did I mention the fact that they harvest more game by poaching than all the seasons combined?

Hold it hold it hold it, but what about the three point or better units you ask? No woriies there as I have been talking to a buddie of mine that sais the Blue Mountains that are permit only for the big nasty are being well managed by poachers. They are doing quite well in most parts where the big bulls have been known to be. They have got the numbers down quite nicely for all of us. No worries as the dept. of Fish and Game is right behind them every step of the way in the resolve of this matter!!

Fu@@ me; Does it get any better than this??
Hell yes I say, Hell yes. The fact that we have the highest unemployment rate in the nation as well as one of the highest rape factors in the nation for taxes makes me wonder why this place is not a complete cluster FU@@ for population explosion. The only thing I can figure is most just haven't heard about this area yet!
You said it Ray, but you only scratched the surface. Did you hear about the 7x7 bull that the wdfw introduced into the Brinnon herd last year to expand the gene pool?
Im sure it looks good on that Native American kids wall that shot it right before the permit season started. Thing is around here that the hunting would be fantastic if the tribes would just follow the management plan that we all do. But they dont , its almost like they blast everything just to tease us , not that they need it, they just do it because nobody can stop them and they know it pisses off Joe sportsman. Anyway welcome to Washington.
hey, if you guys don't stop i'll cross washington off my list of "states to move to" and be greatful to live in oklahoma!
Well, I'm at least glad to hear there are hunters in Washington who care
Do any of you ever head south to Oregon? It has the second largest Elk population in the US!
I at least hope to hunt elk as a resident in Washington. I can't even do that here

Thanks for the welcome. I guess I will be joining the fight to bring good hunting back to Washington
The reason the hunting sucks here is there is no limit on the number of hunters. Tags are over the counter and unlimited. If they'd make all deer and elk hunting by permit only, it would be a whole lot better, but you just may not be able to hunt every year. And most hunters in this state are not willing to sacrifice one or two seasons of hunting. Also I think the fish and wildlife department would be worried that they would lose money if they cut the number of tags.
It is AAALLLL about the money to the Dept. of Fish and Game. Yes there are good men within the dept but unfortunately most are like puppets on a string. It doesn't matter what is right, it matters what is monitarily gainful. Hunting only scratches the surface of their revenue source. Around 80% comes from the fishing industry. As bad as we all know the fishing is, this is why they will never manage it properly. If they did it would break the bank. Instead, they wait till all the licences are bought and then impliment emergency closures. When there is a budget cut they cut the management end of it, not the staff. Here is an example; Men we are faced with an 11% budget cut this year, therefore we will need to drop the summer run steelhead program on the Bogachiel river. No need to get rid of anyone, because after all we worked 11% harder than we should have for the year. In fact we had better employ a budget cut staff to manage the budget cut!!

We have biologists out there doing studies that get thrown on the back burner because others don't care. Hell we can't even get them to follow thier own recomendations for fear that they may offend some extremist on how a bear, bobcat, or cougar can be harvested (or killed). It's ok to kill it for management(or subsistence)purposes, it's just not ok to kill it with the use of hounds, as killing it is inhumane with the use of hounds. (I thought killing was killing and the end result was the same); Dead is dead no matter how you look at it.

What about them poor fricking lobster that get boiled alive. If we are going to get technical then let's play Fu@@ing ball people. Let's ask those same people who voted against the use of hounds if they have ever ordered lobster and picked the one they wanted.
Technically they just murdered the poor bastard because they told the waiter to have its ass thrown into a hot boiling mass of water. You wanna talk about inhumane!! Hell you can even hear it scream before it dies. But you know what? That thing was sure tastey wasn't it!!
Oh let's not forget about the fresh fruits and vegetables.
Can you imagine what it must feel like to get eaten alive bit by bit. Is this not inhumane too? It would be the sh-ts growing up to be a fruit or vegetable wouldn't it?

How could a responsible management program ever let the uneducated general popultation overrule the recomendations of state biologists.

I have to let the kids finish their school year before I bring them up. I might get a place up there before then, move up and let the family come when their our of school. We'll see

So if I'm not up by June I probably won't make the archery season this year. But at least I'll have a year to scout.

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