WA Bird Hunting Books

teej89

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It's complicated.
Pretty sure everyone knows my story so far about moving... anyways I'm trying to help lower the learning curve before moving out there. My duck hunting experience is minimal but I've chased pheasant and woodcock with my 4yr old lab who's a tank of a hunter. I'm looking to get full bore into upland and waterfowl in WA because I think the opportunity is going to be much greater than the slim public land waterfowl hunting opportunities we have here(mostly private ponds) and stocked pheasants. I'm a hair nervous with upland birds out west because the pup goes all out and can wear himself out fast. The small fields of PA it's fine because the birds are concentrated, it's going to be a learning curve for him(and me to train) to go slow and steady.

I'm already on the mailing list for when they produce the upland/waterfowl regs too.

I was looking into some books for some information and guidance, has anyone read either of these/know of any other books that may be of help? The Wingshooters Guide sounded promising until I read the reviews....

https://www.amazon.com/Season-Wing-Shooting-Hunting-Tales-Washington/dp/1425789234

https://www.amazon.com/Wingshooters-Guide-Washington/dp/1885106750

108488108489
 

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
Sorry apparently I missed this when you first threw it up. No need for a book, just Onx. Ditch parrots are pretty much only found around irrigation in E WA (there are exceptions but those places don't get shared... and I have yet to find one). Chukars are the easiest to find. Literally any steep rocky hill with cheatgrass. If you just hike around you'll hear them, some of us have gone away from using dogs to hunt them as they can be pretty spooky (they can also hold pretty tight sometimes too). Upper Douglas Co has a couple of endanger game birds (sage and sharptail) that you're not allowed to hunt so a lot of people avoid those areas. Quail will likely be in your backyard, they can be difficult to find outside of the suburban setting, but they'll plenty of them at your bird feeder. Grouse is a fun one to chase with a dog, you can get into ruffs in the alders (along creeks) and blues dominate the east side pine/alpine areas.

Ducks are anywhere you have water, but the getting is best the first week and the last weeks of season, plus during any big storm. I don't know much around the sound but I know there's areas to hunt. I used to hunt north of seattle near the Canadian border but the last time I was up there it was super crowded. Eastern WA has TONs and TONs of good walk in access but again the best spots will be a little crowded on the weekends. Doesn't mean you can have great shoots but it just is what it is. I know I've gone to only hunting on weekdays or Sunday afternoons unless the weather is really bad, then I'll gamble and head out. WDFW also has a decent program for accessing private lands, but you really have to scout them if you want to hunt them for waterfowl as they're mostly ag fields and it'll either be great or dead. Also, goose hunting is SW WA requires a test as we have a sub-species that you can't shoot.
 
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teej89

Active member
Joined
Oct 7, 2015
Messages
872
Location
It's complicated.
Sorry apparently I missed this when you first threw it up. No need for a book, just Onx. Ditch parrots are pretty much only found around irrigation in E WA (there are exceptions but those places don't get shared... and I have yet to find one). Chukars are the easiest to find. Literally any steep rocky hill with cheatgrass. If you just hike around you'll hear them, some of us have gone away from using dogs to hunt them as they can be pretty spooky (they can also hold pretty tight sometimes too). Upper Douglas Co has a couple of endanger game birds (sage and sharptail) that you're not allowed to hunt so a lot of people avoid those areas. Quail will likely be in your backyard, they can be difficult to find outside of the suburban setting, but they'll plenty of them at your bird feeder. Grouse is a fun one to chase with a dog, you can get into ruffs in the alders (along creeks) and blues dominate the east side pine/alpine areas.

Ducks are anywhere you have water, but the getting is best the first week and the last weeks of season, plus during any big storm. I don't know much around the sound but I know there's areas to hunt. I used to hunt north of seattle near the Canadian border but the last time I was up there it was super crowded. Eastern WA has TONs and TONs of good walk in access but again the best spots will be a little crowded on the weekends. Doesn't mean you can have great shoots but it just is what it is. I know I've gone to only hunting on weekdays or Sunday afternoons unless the weather is really bad, then I'll gamble and head out. WDFW also has a decent program for accessing private lands, but you really have to scout them if you want to hunt them for waterfowl as they're mostly ag fields and it'll either be great or dead. Also, goose hunting is SW WA requires a test as we have a sub-species that you can't shoot.
Thanks for the input! I was looking at the harvest reports and it looks like there were 5 times as many quail shot as chukar, I'm wondering what skewed that. I think i'm going to use the harvest reports as an indication of what counties to look at and then from there narrow down public land. It looks like for chukar and quail chelan and grant counties have the highest harvest. I'll definitely get out east at some point and see if I can find the pheasants, make a weekend out of it and camp out with the pup and if it's not too cold the lady as well ha!

Really excited to get out there with all this opportunity compared to PA. I may not give waterfowl a shot this year, I've hunted them a handful of times and with the lack of decoys(my dad carves, use to carve competitively) and zero calling experience I think that task will have to be tackled next year.
 

neffa3

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Wenatchee
Haha that's perfect then!
Remind yourself of that when the first covey rise occurs while you're in mid fall after slipping on loose rocks and you just sprained your ankle and filled the end of the barrel with dirt/snow... Seeing 100 chuckars in a day is still possible, shooting 10 times, might be possible, hitting and finding 6 birds (the limit) is damn near impossible.
 

neffa3

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Wenatchee
Remind yourself of that when the first covey rise occurs while you're in mid fall after slipping on loose rocks and you just sprained your ankle and filled the end of the barrel with dirt/snow... Seeing 100 chukars in a day is still possible, shooting 10 times, might be possible, hitting and finding 6 birds (the limit) is damn near impossible.
Or when you're struggling to figure out how you hold onto the slope with one hand and shoot with the other... Or if crampons are warranted... all the while you'll hear them laughing at you from the cliffs just out of range...
 

teej89

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Oct 7, 2015
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872
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It's complicated.
hahaha see this sounds like my kind of hunt. The pic in the snow is of a secret pheasant spot I have here in PA and I've only taken 2 guys that are sworn to secrecy on it. Basically it's thick as all hell with briars while on the side of a hill. They go in here in the late season as the snow mats the field down and there's no more cover.

I go in hands and knees with the dog and those two walk the sides(still thick as hell) and take em as we flush them. The highlight of my fall last year was shooting one flying over me while laying on my back ha! I came out of the brush the one time and they're like dude your ear! Apparently I ripped my ear open and had blood from my ear down to my neck haha!

To me it's trips like that that make the hunt fun and memorable. Just walking a field and kiling your limit is great and all but a good ole struggle and laughing our asses off the entire time during it is what makes the hunt fun and memorable.
 

406LIFE

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Bitterroot Valley, MT
Your best bet is going to be finding some locals. There are a few active WA Waterfowl FB pages if no one on here hits you up. If you're in wester WA and want to get into sea ducks on big water, don't try learning that by yourself, it can get dangerous quick. Canadas in the farm fields of Central WA are easy: knock on door, set up field dekes, wait till they land on your head.

If it were me as well, I'd try to get my harlie drake ASAP, always talk of that getting shut down.
 

neffa3

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Wenatchee
Good grief! Pretty amazing photos neff! To be honest this isn't what I imagined chukar country to be like, looks like trill haha! googling "life insurance policies"

If this is chukar country, what's quail country look like?
Google suburban backyard. I've already seen a dozen or more from my office window this morning.
 
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