Now

Cascade F&S Club range on Hayward Hill is open for public sighting-in at certain times. Info from President Brad Coffey at 509-607-0738.

Durr Road shooting area is again open for your sighting-in pleasure. Please pick up afterwards.

This Saturday

The 32nd annual Swauk Teanaway Grange Hunters Breakfast is a grand tradition. Ham, eggs and hotcakes with homemade apple butter, coffee and orange juice are on until 1 p.m. $8 for adults and $4 for 12 and under. Ballard Hill Road (look for signs at Teanaway Road and Hwy 970).

Waterfowl and modern firearm deer hunting open, too. Weather rules, of course, but reports of plentiful ducks and geese in the Columbia Basin. Check access and closures on the DFW web (wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations/prospects) to find more than 850,000 acres of private accessible land across eastern Washington.

Next weekend

Opening day of pheasants is Oct. 19. Info on sites in our part of the world from the Yakima office at 509-575-2740 or at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations (select a link). Some good opportunities scattered across eastern Washington.

Fair to good numbers on the Yakama Reservation (call Sandra at 509-865-5121, ext. 6307 about hunting tribal lands). Tribal permits are available for hunting ducks, quail and pheasants.

CWU Kittitas Connect Days are still happening. Activities include next Saturday’s Olmstead Cleanup (10/19). This is the 45th year of such outdoor play and work activities, which often include snacks and lunch. Check out www.takeactioncwu.com and be part of this or other outdoor related events in the next few weeks.

Coming

Free Elk Hunters Breakfast on the Friday morning before modern firearm Elk season. Oct. 25, 7 to 10 a.m. at PSE’s Wild Horse Visitors Center. Pick up current area maps, and learn about the Field & Stream Club. Breakfast generally includes eggs, sausage, potatoes, biscuits, fresh fruit, coffee and juice. DFW officers and the TIP (Turn in a Poacher) trailer will likely be on hand, too. Donations are welcome to support the work of the Kittitas County Field & Stream Club in Paradise.

King of the Reach live capture fishing derby happens 10/25 through 10/27. All entries filled up at the moment, but wait list is available. No license required for this chance to help catch salmon broodstock and win great prizes. Find out more at www.ccawashington.org/KingoftheReach.

Boy Scout Banquet, 6 p.m. Nov. 8, at the Armory (our fairgrounds), supports the Grand Columbia Council. Guest speaker is world-renowned mountain pro Jason Edwards, Certified Alpine Guide and Emergency Medical Tech Jason Edwards. His talk promises to be never forgotten. $50 tickets are available from Dustin Brunson at 509-929-1854. You are invited.

General hunting information

Hunting access info is at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations (select a link) and on the webmap program at the same web site.

Remember to report your hunting as soon as your season is finished. Toll-free at 877-945-3492 or wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/harvest-reporting.

Fishing

The Yakima has been good to great, with some very fine fish. My spies recommend Parachute Adams, Quiglies, sparkle duns and paracripples, as well as nymphs. Current info from the guys at Evening Hatch (962-5959 or www.theeveninghatch.com).

Decent fishing reported still for ‘bows in Fiorito North and South, Mattoon, Hanson and Kiwanis Ponds and McCabe.

This may be the best time of the year for trout in the Columbia Basin. Potholes (reports of four-pound ‘bows from shore and boats along Medicare Beach and the resort area) and the seep lakes south of Moses Lake are producing everything.

Tips from www.salmonuniversity.com for salmon all over the Northwest. AND there are some great opportunities for weeks to come — some are close to home.

Wildlife and family fun

Our “Hawk Watch” is underway. Closest good migration spot is Red Top Mountain, on Teanaway Ridge, west of Mineral Springs Resort off Blewett Pass road (FS road 9738 to 9702). Wear the blaze orange if you are hiking around.

Thanksgiving bird count is fun, simple and only one hour. Count in a 15-foot diameter “count circle.” Check out www.utahbirds.org/cbc/ThanksgBirdCount.htm for info and instruction.

Now is the time for backyard bird feeders. Vary the food, keep the water fresh and put the cat away. Also provide nearby escape cover for protection from raptors who learn that bird feeding stations can provide food for them, too.

Guidelines for cougar, wolf or bear interactions with people, pets and livestock in Washington are online at wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/living (scroll down to the link).

It is never too cold or cloudy or wet to get kids outside, learning a survival skill. Wear the blaze orange or pink in the hills. Take along lunch, cameras, optics and some house-bound soul, and make the kids enjoy themselves.

— JH

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