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Give thanks for turkeys, ducks, elk, razor clams

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, thousands of hunters are gearing up for the fall turkey season in Eastern Washington.

The season opens Wednesday, Nov. 20, in a number of eastside game management units, giving hunters a full week in the field to bag a bird for their holiday table.

Throughout the state, November is also prime time to hunt ducks, geese, elk, deer, pheasant, forest grouse and other game, any of which would make a fine addition to a holiday table.

“Waterfowl hunting usually picks up around the middle of the month, when the wet and windy weather starts pushing more migrating birds into the area from the north,” said Don Kraege, waterfowl manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

November is also prime time to hunt deer and elk on both sides of the Cascades.

For anglers, Thanksgiving traditionally marks the start of winter steelhead fishing in western Washington, where Coho and chum salmon are also moving in from the ocean. On the eastside, anglers are still reeling in hatchery-reared summer steelhead on the upper Columbia and Snake rivers.

Rather serve shellfish? Most areas of Puget Sound are currently open for crab fishing, and two multi-day razor clam digs are scheduled at various ocean beaches in November. For details on upcoming digs, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife razor clam webpage at http://goo.gl/8I23K2.

Meanwhile, birders throughout the nation are making preparations for the 113th Christmas Bird Count scheduled Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 through Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. 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.

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