Hunting on Lopez Hill 2014

There has been hunting on Lopez Hill for many generations. Ever since the major predators of deer (wolves and mountain lions*) were removed from the islands, the deer population has grown unsustainably. Today hunting is the best current hope for keeping the deer population down. The hunting season on Lopez Hill extends for half of the time for the rest of the state, in a compromise between safety and deer population control.

The hunting seasons for Lopez Hill are:

Archery: September 1 – 27
Muzzleloader: September 28 – October 6
Modern Firearms: October 11 – 31

Other areas will have a longer hunting season, with a late season for modern firearms from November 14- 17, archery November 27 – December 31, and muzzleloaders November 28 – December 15. These areas include Chadwick Hill, Point Colville, Iceberg Point, and private property. No hunting is allowed at Odlin South this year.

Wearing ‘hunter orange’ is a good idea during the next couple of months in the woods. As always, please respect others and what they do. We all love the Hill, for various reasons, and we all work to improve it in various ways. We can’t burn bridges on an island.

Thanks to those who work on, use, and just enjoy our more wild areas. We may all be needed to save these places.

—Tim Clark, Lopez Land Bank Steward

* We were informed by Madrona Murphy at Kwiáht that “we’ve never seen reliable reports of mountain lions in the islands in the past. Good records for wolves though.”

Firearm Restrictions

Firearms restrictions are in effect in all of San Juan County. From the Washington State Big Game Hunting Pamphlet:

It is unlawful to hunt wildlife in the following firearm restriction areas with centerfire or rimfire rifles, or to fail to comply with additional firearm restrictions, except as established below.

In firearm restriction areas, hunters may hunt only during the season allowed by their tag.

  • Archery tag holders may only hunt during archery seasons with archery equipment.
  • Muzzleloader tag holders may only hunt during muzzleloader seasons with muzzleloader equipment as defined by department rule.
  • Modern firearm tag holders may hunt during established modern firearm seasons with bows and arrows; crossbows; muzzleloaders; revolver-type handguns; or shotguns, so long as the equipment and ammunition complies with department rules.
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2 thoughts on “Hunting on Lopez Hill 2014

  1. Your words and actions don’t do hunters justice…You take more huntable areas away yearly. And local islanders treat hunters like they have the plague, or just plain rude! We’ve spent lots of money there.. and feel your coldness…20 years of hunting there…with groups up to 20 people camping. buying gas and grub, and using the hotel there.. I would say me and my family have spent upwards of $15000. there… Thanks for screwing us out of Odland…That’s where we handicapped liked to hunt. Now it’s a long walk and drag if successful, or no parking for half a mile or better…you liberals shure know how to screw up a good thing! It’s a shame my Daughter has taken several bucks there…now she refuses to go there because of RUDE liberal idiots making rude comments and yelling in the woods to scare off animals! Fact is, that’s happened the last 3 times in a row… Have fun running over your inbreed deer! we will NOT be back!
    Sincerely John Covington!

    • John, I am sorry that you have not been treated well on Lopez Island. The Friends of Lopez Hill have always supported hunting on the Hill, for two reasons: one, for ecological necessity and two, because it is a traditional use of the land. We made sure that the Management Plan would continue to allow hunting on the Hill–and in fact the San Juan County Land Bank made Lopez Hill its first preserve to allow hunting. There are people here who don’t like hunters but that is no excuse to be rude or to disrupt legal hunting. Long time residents know that hunting is important for the health of the deer herds, and many of them still hunt to put food on the table.

      The Friends of Lopez Hill were not involved in management decisions to close hunting at Odlin South. It is now administered by San Juan County Parks and they are currently drafting a management plan for the parcel. I can’t tell you exactly why hunting was closed there but I had heard that it was primarily due to concerns by neighboring residents. As you have been coming here for 20 years you know that the island’s population has grown quite a bit, and areas that used to be very sparsely populated now have many more houses. That said, it’s unfortunate that the only accessible hunting on the island is no longer available to handicapped.

      Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experiences. Again, I am sorry that people here treated you rudely.

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