Rather than venturing into the frozen-food aisle of the grocery store, many hunters in the state plan to get their turkeys the old fashioned way.
The hunting season for wild turkey begins Nov. 20 in Eastern Washington.
And though turkey may take the center of the Thanksgiving Day table, it isn’t the only protein option.
November is prime time to head outside and hunt for game, or cast for fish at lakes throughout the state.
Hunters can go afield for deer this month, while hunting seasons for ducks and geese get into the full swing in parts of the state.
And with tens of thousands of trout recently stocked in lakes, anglers should have plenty of places to enjoy great fishing.
The state Department of Fish & Wildlife will stock about 45 lakes with catchable-size trout this fall. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of smaller fry and fingerling trout will have grown to catchable size since they were stocked in the spring.
Fishing for chinook salmon began Wednesday in marine areas 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner) and 9 (Admiralty Inlet). Anglers can keep one hatchery chinook.
Coho salmon are still found in a number of the region’s rivers, including the Nooksack, which is open for salmon fishing with a daily limit of two salmon, plus two additional hatchery coho.
Anglers must release wild coho and pink salmon.
Several areas of Puget Sound are open for late-season Dungeness crab fishing.
Areas remaining open seven days a week through Dec. 31 include 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner) and 9 (Admiralty Inlet), except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.
The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches.
Crabbers may also catch six red rock crab of either sex per day with a minimum carapace width of 5 inches.
Sport crabbing will not reopen in marine areas 10 (Seattle/Bremerton), 11 (Vashon Island), 12 (Hood Canal) and 13 (South Puget Sound).
November is prime time for waterfowl hunting in the region as more birds are expected to arrive as the month progresses. Typically, opportunities for hunting migrating birds pick up along with the wet and windy weather.
The seasons for snow, Ross, blue and white-fronted geese in Goose Management Area 1 (Island, Snohomish and Skagit counties) are underway and run continuously through Jan. 28.
For Canada geese in Goose Management Area 1 and all geese in Goose Management Area 3, hunting runs through Jan. 28. Duck hunting continues through Jan. 28.
Upland bird hunters have through Nov. 30 to hunt pheasants and quail in Western Washington, while the forest grouse season runs through Dec. 31.
The modern firearm season for elk is open through Nov. 15, and the late-season modern-firearm hunt for black-tailed deer will run Nov. 16-19.
Archers and muzzleloaders also have late-season hunting opportunities in select game management units. Archery and muzzleloader hunts for deer and elk open Nov. 22 in select Western Washington units.
The general hunting season for black bear continues through Nov. 15 in the Puget Sound Zone. Hunters are allowed two bears during the general season, only one of which may be taken in Eastern Washington.
Successful hunters are required to submit a bear tooth to Fish & Wildlife to determine the animal’s age.
The early cougar hunting season continues through Dec. 31, and hunters may use any legal weapon. Some GMUs in North Puget Sound that provide cougar hunting opportunities include 448 (Stillaguamish), 450 (Cascade), 460 (Snoqualmie) and 466 (Stampede).
More and more birders are making their way to the region to view snow geese, which continue to arrive in increasing numbers.
Thousands of snow geese winter in Western Washington each year. Most congregate in the Skagit Valley, staying through early May.
A great place to view snow geese is at the Fir Island Farms Reserve Unit of Fish & Wildlife’s Skagit Wildlife Area.
Birders throughout the nation are making preparations for the 118th Christmas Bird Count, scheduled for Dec. 14, 2017, through Jan. 5, 2018.
Sponsored by Audubon, the annual event enlists tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas to count and categorize the birds they see for science.