Regulations & Seasons
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2015-2017 Hunting Season Setting Process

It's that time again…

It's time to begin the process of developing the 2015-17 hunting seasons. Major hunting changes to objectives and season structures are set on a three-year cycle with minor adjustments made during the off years. The process for developing a three-year hunting season package is an expanded version of the annual season-setting process. The exception is the major migratory bird hunting seasons, which are all set on an annual cycle to coincide with federal season-setting processes. Establishment of all hunting seasons is guided by goals, objectives, and strategies contained in the draft 2015-2021 Game Management Plan.

As outlined in the timeline below, there will be several opportunities for you to provide your input throughout the process. Your first opportunity to participate will be in late-June. The Department has asked for your help identifying the major issues that are important to you for the next three-year hunting season cycle.

Watch this website for regular updates on the season-setting process!  We will also be communicating via email throughout this process to hunters that have purchased a license within the last couple of years. If you have not recently purchased a hunting license, but would like to receive email notifications of news and upcoming events we encourage you to subscribe to our e-mail distribution lists.

Season Setting Timeline:

Phase 1 & 2 - Issue Scoping: June 2014 – July 2014

    • Public Comment Period: June 13, 2014 – July 19, 2014

      An online "Scoping Survey," was used to solicit input on major issues and alternatives to address those issues.

      Hunters and other members of the public will now have an opportunity to help further shape the 2015-17 hunting seasons at a series of public “open house” meetings planned by the WDFW in August. Public comments received at the meetings and through the survey will play an important role in shaping hunting seasons and associated hunting regulations for 2015-17.  The Department wants to hear people’s concerns, especially those that address a significant conservation or management issue.

Phase 2 – Refining Alternatives: August 2014 – November 2014

      • Public Comment Period: August 18, 2014 – September 22, 2014

        After the initial issue-scoping phase, Department staff will refine the issues into preferred alternatives based on public comments received.

Phase 3 - Developing Recommendations

      • Public Comment Period on specific rule proposals: February 4-24, 2015

        • After public comment, department staff will develop recommendations for consideration by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in March and April 2015. These recommendations will be based on the biological needs of a species and information collected after the public comment period.
      • Commission Meetings:
        • March 20-21, 2015, Moses Lake (public input accepted)
        • April 9-10, 2015 (TBD) (Fish and Wildlife Commission decides on and adopts rule proposals)