A quick look at the periodicals on display shows that the popularity of hunting is both alive and well. Inside the many magazines are articles upon more articles of hunting exotic game in exotic places. Most of these hunts are a pipe dream that most working Joe’s and Jane’s can only afford to live vicariously through the ink and photos of those ones lucky enough to get to travel the world enjoying the chase. But to be a traveling hunter or huntress doesn’t have to be only a dream. There is hope, and luckily for you, you won’t have to travel as far you thought to do it!

The Pacific Northwest is home to a vast array of mix big game animals. Sure the licenses and tags are more money for out-of-state hunters than for in-state, but it’s a much more economical endeavor than an Alaskan sheep or an African kudu hunt. Right here in Grant County we can hunt cougar, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mule deer, whitetail deer, black bear, Rocky Mountain elk and Rocky Mountain goat. Elsewhere in the state we add blacktail deer and Roosevelt elk. There are a plethora of upland game birds, migratory and waterfowl and, of course, turkeys! Just across the Snake River in Idaho you can hunt all of the above plus Shiras moose and wolves.

While it may take a year or two or three to save up enough coin to pay for all of the proper state paperwork, there are other considerations one must take into account. For example, do you have the proper clothing and gear for the climate? Are you in good enough shape for the required physical activity? Do you need to stock up on medications or for special dietary restrictions? Have you practiced shooting at the proper distances for the particular type of game and terrain with your weapon of choice? Are there ammunition or weapon restrictions? Can you get the time off from work? Where will you be staying? Will you want a guide? Do you plan to tip for food, lodging and guide services? How will you store and transport the meat and trophy (antlers, horns or hide) back home if successful? Do you need it professionally butchered or will you do so at home? Is there room in the freezer? Are there any travel or state line transport restrictions?

There are other questions one may consider not listed above, but as you’ve likely gathered by now, a hunting trip can involve a lot of planning. However, the better you plan, the more enjoyable your trips will be. Make sure you don’t forget your skinning knife or your camera. You may need both at a moment’s notice.

Have you hunted outside of Grant County? Do you visit Grant County to hunt away from home? Write to us at shootingthebreezebme@gmail.com!

Dale Valade is a local country gent with a love for the outdoors, handloading, hunting and shooting.

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