Unless weather forecasters are way off and rain soaks the woods in the next few days, hunters should expect to have few opportunities when the modern rifle deer season opens Saturday.
It's the single most popular hunting season: last year, more than 11,000 modern rifle hunters sought deer in Cowlitz, Lewis and Wahkiakum counties.
Because of the record drought, most private timberlands in Southwest Washington are closed to all entry.
Weyerhaeuser Co. has closed all of its lands in Washington and Oregon. Weyerhaeuser is the largest private timber holder in Southwest Washington.
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"We want to make our lands available to hunters," said company spokesman Anthony Chavez, but the fire danger won't allow it.