Results came out today for special permit applications in Washington. I went 0-4 after applying for a Quality Deer Tag, Quality Elk, Bull Elk, and Antler-less Elk special tags. I paid the five bucks to keep earning points for Antler-less deer, but didn't actually apply for any hunts this year.
Antler-less elk should be self-explanatory. The difference between Quality Elk and Bull Elk tags is more subtle...Quality Elk offers a 'better quality' hunting experience...earlier in the season and fewer hunters in the woods. Failing to draw any special elk tags means I am on the hunt for a spike elk only....the area where I have hunted the last few years with my buddies has a 3% success rate. I have not seen a living spike elk for the three years I have hunted this area.
It might be time to shift back to black powder.
I am not as nihilistic over not drawing a special deer tag as not drawing an elk tag. If I decide to try white-tail with my boss in the North East corner of the state this year, I am limited to a 4-point or better white-tail, or I can go Central Washington where I am limited to a 3-point or better Mule Deer. That's during the general season. If I don't get one then, I have another shot in Mid-November, when most areas shift to any buck for a week before wrapping everything up.
Not good news, but it means hunting season is one step closer to being here. I already put in for my time off at work. Having been here less than a year, I don't have a huge time off balance yet...but I have enough that I am going to make 4 long weekends out of it....2 for deer and 2 for elk.
That will still leave me enough left over for a day or two with the family....see the sacrifices I make?