Washington fish and wildlife commission to set hunting season

Washington fish and wildlife commission to set hunting season

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to approve new hunting seasons through 2020 for deer, elk, waterfowl, and other game species during a public meeting April 12-14.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will meet in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building at 1111 Washington St. S.E. in Olympia. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on April 12 and at 8 a.m. the following two days.

Changes in hunting rules proposed by WDFW wildlife managers for the commission’s approval include:

-Scheduling special seasons for hunters under age 16 so they can participate in hunts for game birds on both sides of the state.

-Reducing the time bowhunters can hunt for antlerless elk in the Yakima and Colockum elk herds during the 2018 early general season to six days from 13. This change, as with previous reductions in permits for hunts with modern firearms and muzzleloaders, is designed to meet and sustain population objectives for those herds. The season for bull elk would not be affected by this change.

-Providing hunters an opportunity to take antlerless white-tailed deer in game management units 101-121 in northeast Washington. Special permits would be available to seniors and hunters using modern firearms, while other hunters could take antlerless deer during general hunting seasons.

-In other business, the commission will consider a proposal by WDFW to purchase 1,276 acres of land in Chelan County from the state Department of Natural Resources to conserve habitat for wildlife and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation.

-The commission will also hear public comments on several new rules proposed by WDFW to meet the objective of the American with Disabilities Act, review the department’s role in killer whale recovery, and discuss progress in recruiting a new director for the department.