Regional Reports-West

Lincoln County

For early season goose hunting, Lincoln County in east-central Washington offers some of the best action in the state. Hunting there is comparable to the excellent hunting in Alberta, but without the long drive (and the $50 Canadian fee for your firearms). Geese flock by the tens of thousands to the potholes of the Channeled Scablands and feed in the stubble fields of the surrounding dry-land wheat farms. A good place to start is Coffeepot Lake and the Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area, both on public land. Many farmers allow hunting with written permission. Most of the good hunting lies about 60 miles west of Spokane near the small towns of Odessa, Harrington, Davenport and Creston in Lincoln County. Take Route 2 west of Spokane to Davenport, then Route 28 south to Harrington and Odessa. Two access roads run between Odessa and Harrington, across the Coffeepot Lake area. Set decoys out before light and wait for big numbers of geese to drop in. Seeing flocks of 200 to 300 birds descending on decoys is not unusual. Be prepared for dry, cold, windy conditions. The state is looking at season dates similar to last year's season, which started the first weekend in October and ran through the end of the year. The late-season dates were not available at press time, but they should be established by late August. The early goose season this year had a daily bag limit of five Canada geese, with 10 geese in possession, and the late-season rules will most likely be similar. Remember you'll need to complete a Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey when you purchase a waterfowl hunting licence ($30 for residents). Washington also requires a state migratory bird stamp. Contact: Craig Richie Guide Service (509-374-0708); Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (509-456-4082).