With elk season a month away, I decided that it was time and then some to run up to the hills and see what I can see. Getting up early head up scouting always sounds like a fine plan at 2 in the afternoon when you are working out details, but at 4am when your buddy shows up, well...sometimes you question your decision.
As far as scouting trips go, it was much less confidence inspiring than my deer scouting trip a while ago. We saw about 20 elk, but they were right off Highway 410 eating alfalfa in a farmers field. Up on Bethel ridge, the closest I got an elk was a shiny pile of poop. We did see two nice looking mule deer bucks, but that was it for live animals.
I was stunned by how dry it was up in the hills. Bethel Ridge is in the Eastern Foothills of the Cascades, and is a dry pine forest as opposed to the western 'wet' foothills...but there is usually at least some dew on the grass in the morning...but not today. Bone dry and crunchy.
My confidence for elk season would increase if there was about 2 inches of rain, and a 25 degree temperature drop in the next two months...