You cannot report after the deadline. The deadline is important in order to give WDFW time to collate the data, develop preliminary reports, and provide the information to department biologists across the state so they can prepare for setting permit levels for the coming hunting season. These permit recommendations are presented to the public and a hearing is conducted in early March each year with adoption by the Fish and Wildlife Commission scheduled for early April. These timelines are tight.
Following the reporting deadline, WDFW still has interest in improving the accuracy of harvest estimates to compare to previous years. Once the deadline is past, WDFW no longer accepts sporadic reports because they don't help the statistical precision of the harvest estimate. However, WDFW takes the raw reports of harvest provided by hunters before the deadline and then adds in the estimate of harvest for those who do not report. The estimate from non-reporting hunters comes from a telephone survey of randomly selected hunters. It is the random nature of the follow-up survey that allows WDFW to accurately estimate the success rates of those who did not report on time.
For this reason, you still may be contacted for information in a subsequent hunter survey. If so, WDFW would appreciate you taking the time to participate in this phone survey, even though it is independent of the hunter reporting requirement and will not release you from the $10 administrative fee. WDFW strongly encourages you to submit your reports on time because it is important for management of wildlife in Washington State and support for hunting opportunity.
2nd of November, 2015