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Discussion Starter #1
Hi i'd like to try varmint hunting cause i need something to do. however looking in my game pamplet theres a list of all the illegal animals to shoot and it looks like all of them are varmints. are there any varmints to hunt in washington state i'm afraid if i can't find anything to hunt i'll have to go fishing. and i'd rather be hunting
 

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Well, it kind of depends on what side of the state you live on. If you live on the wet (west) side of the state, the only real varmint to shoot is starlings. They are pretty much everywhere. There have also been reported nutria sightings, but they haven't been put on the "shootable" list yet. If you live on the dry (east) side of the state, you have a few more choices. You can shoot rockchucks, if they are still out at this time of the year. You can also shoot ground squirrels, if you have some rocky terrain near you where they can nest. The .17 HMR will do a number on these, guaranteed. When they are in season (Sept. 1), there are a buttload of bunnies in various areas of the state as well. Same with crows, gotta be in season. Probably your best bet is to find a spot with lots of ground squirrels - they are the most fun to shoot. Where are you at in Washington?
Loki
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i'm in thetri-citys area. i thought you couldn't shoot rockchucks or ground squirrels. well any good spots around here? my dad always said that you had to wait untill the first frost to shoot bunnies because they have worms or something is that true?
 

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Yes, you certainly can shoot rockchucks and ground squirrels. There is a protected rockchuck in our state, but it is only found on the Olympic Peninsula. Pretty much any chuck East of the Cascades is fair game. As far as squirrels go, blast away! The only squirrel that is protected is some species of tree squirrel - the western gray tree squirrel, I believe the regs say. Any ground nesting rodent is fair game as well. As far as the bunnies and their worms go, I have no idea. I just know they are around and shootable Sept. 1st. If you plan on eating them, it may be best to do as your dad told you. However, if you are ridding someone of a pest animal by shooting the rabbits, worms is no reason to keep you from shooting them - as long as they are in season. Now, if you know of a good rockchuck or ground squirrel colony that needs some thinning out, you just let me know, and I would love to help!
Loki
 

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Discussion Starter #5
intresting now i just need to find some colonys. thanks alot
 

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Not all ground squirrels are legal to shoot. Read page 19 of the 2005 hunting regs and rules, paragraph 8.
Stick with rockchucks only. Only 2 other kinds of ground squirrels: Columbian Ground and California Ground are legal game.
Also, the book( Mammals of Washington and Oregon, by Tamara Eder)I'm using for identification of these squirrels shows Hoary marmots as being east of the Cascades. These are protected as well.
 

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Okay, I stand corrected - sort of. The regs say this:
"Protected wildlife are: Cascade golden-mantled ground, golden mantled ground, Washington ground, red, Douglas, northern flying and western gray squirrels;"
Now, living in the Tri-Cities, you are nowhere near the habitat of these ground squirrels, according to the maps on the WDFW website - they are found primarily in Northeastern and Southeastern Washington. So, like I said, find some ground squirrels and start shooting - you won't be shooting anything that is protected. As far as the hoary and Olympic marmots are concerned, they are once again nowhere near the Tri-Cities. The Olympic marmot is found only on the Olympic Peninsula, and the hoary marmot is found in the Cascade mountains, as well as a very few of them in the Northeastern corner of the state. Got this off the WDFW website as well. The yellow-bellied marmot, also known as the rockchuck, is legal to shoot, and it is found only in the eastern half of the state. So, go find some 'chucks and do your worst. If you want to check on the distribution of the animals throughout the state, check out this link:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/gap/mammals.htm
If you click on the first column, it will show you a map of where to find each species. This should help you a lot.
Good luck,
Loki
 
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