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Weyerhaeuser owns vast amounts of private timberlands in the Pacific Northwest. The land is accessible to hikers, hunters and others by a limited number of permits.
West of Mt. St. Helens their holdings are great habitat for elk, and other animals.
After parking at a gate north of the Kalama River Road on a cold (24 degrees), sunny Sunday in early March, I spent four hours hiking logging roads as I looked for elk in the Gobar Creek drainage.
Near the end of Road 6360 there was quite a lot of old elk sign in the area but no elk. As I turned around in the foot-deep, crusty snow, a Boeing 737 took off from a tree nearby – – – okay, it was a blue grouse but it sure sounded loud as it flew back into the forest. Every deer and elk hunter knows the feeling.
A few hundred yards down the road, I spotted a young coyote. It was long gone by the time I raised my camera.
And, to add insult to injury, a blacktail deer had crossed the road over my tracks while I was exploring the area.
Nonetheless, it was a fun outing.