The modern firearms hunting season for white-tail and mule deer starts Saturday (Oct. 14) and continues through Oct. 24.
Okanogan County is in hunting District 6 of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). It includes game management units (GMUs) 203, 204, 209, 215, 218, 224, 231, 233, 239 and 242.
“District 6 supports perhaps the largest migratory mule deer herd in the state and Okanogan County has long been prized by hunters for its mule deer hunting. The district also supports significant numbers of white-tailed deer, particularly in GMUs 204 and 215,” according to district wildlife biologist Scott Fitkin and assistant district wildlife biologist Jeff Heinlen in their 2017 report on hunting prospects for the district.
“Despite the recent massive fires and moderately tough winter, district deer populations are doing fine, thanks in part to high-quality summer range and greater-than-normal fall green-up in recent years,” the WDFW reports says.
Fitkin and Heinlen said that with the possible exception of GMU 209, all District 6 units “support significant numbers of deer, including large blocks of accessible public land, and offer good to excellent deer hunting opportunity.”
In 2016, general season hunters harvested 2,717 deer in District 6, down from the “banner harvest of 2015,” the report says. Still, the 2016 harvest is within the five-year average, according to the report. “Total harvest and success rates are anticipated to be near the 2016 numbers and around the 10-year average,” the report says.
According to the report, the Diamond Creek Fire burned in at least one GMU. The authors advise checking with the U.S. Forest Service for updates on road conditions and trailhead closures.
For detailed information on the hunting outlook, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/2017/district06.pdf.