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Newspaper Archive of
Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
News of Mason County, WA
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January 2, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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January 2, 2014
 

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Late season archery deer From the Field Columbia blacktail deer hunter Garry Greenwalt glasses an opening while looking for a buck. By KELLY RIORDAN kellyr@masoncounty.com ig game seasons are all but over in Wash- ington. Only a few select areas will be open until the last day of 2013 for deer. This last opportunity was taken recently for Eastern Wash- ington resident Garry Greenwalt. This is his second year making the seven-hour car ride to hunt the elusive Columbia blacktail deer. Last year he was in Mason County as well. Garry spent four days battling freezing tempera- tures, snow and ice to finally tag out on his last day. Prospects were not looking good this year for the hunt. There was no nasty weather around to keep the deer moving during the daylight hours. I spent several days scouting for any sign of the deer commonly known as the "Grey ghost." Deer sign was at an all time low. Even finding This is a climber-style tree stand used for elevated deer hunting. tracks that were semi-fresh was a chore. Finally on December 26, I found an area that had some really great deer sign. Both fresh tracks and buck rubs from this years rut were in the area. I placed trail cameras near the edge of a clear- cut, just off a well-used deer trail. My son, Wyatt, and I hiked into the area a day later and also at- tached my Ol' Man climbing tree stand to a large hemlock tree. All was in order for Garry's hunt. The first hunt day arrived and I took Garry to the hunt location. We checked the trail cameras for photographic proof that deer were in the area. No bucks were found on the photographs, but three doe had visited the trail that passes by the camera. Blacktail hunting for me is done via the do it yourself, public land method. There are no high fences or fancy food plots, this is the same area that anyone can hunt. Because of that, I told Gar- ry that he might see other people in the area. The tree stand was on Green Diamond property. The timber company allows the public to recreate on most of its land via walk, bike or horseback in. The area we hunted did not allow vehicles or ATV's. That afternoon was spent doing a little more scouting and some spot and stalk hunting in the general area of the tree stand. Only one deer was seen and it was a doe. Garry wanted to hold out for a buck even though the area we were hunting was an "any deer" area as designated by the Washing- ton Department of Fish and Wildlife. Hunting continued for Garry and only a select few doe were seen. The last evening arrived for Garry's hunt. The afternoon of Dec. 29 arrived and it was Garry's last chance at a blacktail deer. The afternoon turned out to be a sunny and calm. Garry climbed the tree and got comfortable in the tree stand. It was my job to wait by the phone at home. I was on-call to help him if he got a deer, plus I had to watch the Seahawks destroy the Rams. My cell phone beeped a text about 2:30 p.m. Garry had seen his first action of the afternoon, a darn person riding through the area on a quad. Yes, the person was not legal riding the ATV on Green Diamond land, but it happens often. I told to him to stick it out because the deer are somewhat used to quad riders so they may still come by. He agreed and decided to stay 25 feet up the tree where he was hunting. Text beep again blaring, I picked up my phone at 3:30 p.m. to see that Garry had again seen something. This time it was another hunter. Gar- ry watched as the other hunter stalked along the opposite edge of the large clearcut. I again told Garry to stick it out as the hunter might push deer out of the clearcut and toward the tree stand. Minutes later, the other hunter did in fact push a deer toward Garry. It was a doe and Garry really wanted to hold out for a buck. Light began to fade and I left the house with my oldest daughter, Tianna, to pick Garry up. We walked in past the gate and vere about a quarter mile in when we ran into the other hunter. He told us that he hunted the area often and there hadn't been many deer around. Just another quarter mile and we met Garry. He was out of the tree stand and ready to go. We gathered up the trail camera and tree stand and headed for the truck. There was no deer tag filled or any whopper bucks even seen. That didn't matter as Garry was already planning another trip to fill a tag on the elusive Columbia blacktail deer. Non-Members Welcome Memberships Friday Jan. 3, 6:00pm: Available Bullseye .22 Pistol 6 targets, runs about an hour. $3.00 for members $5.00 for non-members 60 rounds Sunday Jan. 5, 9:00 am USPSA Match, shooters & spectators welcome, must wear eye and ear protection. Tuesday Jan. 7, 5:30 pm PPC pistol, .38/9mm or larger 50 rounds Target shooting league, $8.00 non-member See website for equipment list. Wednesday Jan. 8, 7:00 pm Club business meeting, open to the public. Thursday Jan. 9, 6:00 pm Winchester Marksmanship .22 pistol program Self-paced reward based shooting all ages welcome. ****We now have infrared HEAT in the range**** ***See our WEBSITE for more information*** Coming up: January 11, Saturday 10:00am-2:00 pm Open Range day, range open to the public for $12.00 per lane, two may share a lane. Most pistols and .22 rifles are welcome. Paper targets only please. January 18 Saturday 10:00am-11:30 am: Prospective new member orientation, call 360-280-7333 for questions or information. No equipment, funds, or appointment is needed. March 1, 2014 First Steps Pistol Class Gallery .22 rifle will start up again in March. MASON COUNTY SPORTSMAN" S ASSOCIATION W. 521 Business Park Rd., Shelton Message Phone 427-1102 l www.masoncountysa.com lll Mason County Journal - Thursday, Jan. 2, 2034 - Pa0e 0-3