With late muzzle loader drawing to a close, and me still having a 2nd deer tag left unfilled, I figured I had at least make a half-hearted attempt to fill the tag.
Half-hearted it was. The late season actually opened last Wednesday, but I had to go spend Thanksgiving with my family instead of deer hunting. Since I missed that week, I also missed the opportunity to hunt an area I was semi-familiar with. Instead, I headed out early this morning to the Colfax area, the hArt of the Palouse.
From above, there isn't a lot of difference between Pomeroy and Colfax...it's wheat fields and rolling hills, for the most part, although the Colfax area has neat areas of mesas and tableaus courtesy of Glacial Lake Missoula.
On the ground, the big difference is the wheat fields around Colfax have a lot more fences, limiting the opportunity for guys like me to find a place to shoot deer. With no real research opportunity, I spent most of the day driving...hooray road hunting!
I only saw 6 deer for my efforts, which is about 3 gallons of gas per deer. The four I saw in the morning were about 250 yards away, with the distance increasing rapidly. The two I saw at sun down were much closer, in fact they were highly shootable, if they had been the right species.
Stupid mule deer.
We are lucky enough here in Washington to have several different species of deer. For the most part, the white tails live in Northeastern Washington, the mulies in central and south east washington, and the black tails live out on the coast. In some areas of Central Washington, these species mingle, which leads to micromanaged hunting rules. For instance, today I could shoot a white tail doe, but not a mulie doe. If I had been 10 miles further north in the Cheney GMU, I would have been able to shoot a mule deer doe OR a white tail doe.
Don't think I wasn't temped though. Not too tempted though, since I was less than half a mile from a house with a State Patrol cruiser parked in the driveway.
The day wasn't a total loss...there was some nice country, and I marked a few really nice chunks of land to call for permission for next year.
Plus, I got to have chicken fried steak for a late breakfast at the Top Notch Cafe in Colfax.