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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. This is the second year I have paid for a permit to enter those lands by foot.
After parking at a gate north of the Kalama River Road on a cool, cloudy late-January day, I spent five hours hiking logging roads as I looked for elk in the upper Gobar Creek drainage.
Above 2,000 feet there was snow on the roads and indications of a few elk in the area. Soon I got caught in an intense, but happily, short rain squall.
As I was drying out, I spotted four Roosevelt Elk in an older clearcut. Sad to say, the good-sized bull spotted me at the same time and they were soon long gone. Still it’s always enjoyable seeing them in the wild.