OLYMPIA – Hunters may now purchase and submit applications for a 2017 spring black bear hunting permit, applicable to specific areas of western and eastern Washington.
To be eligible for a permit, hunters must purchase and submit an application to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) by midnight Feb. 28.
A drawing will be held in mid-March for 305 permits in western Washington and 509 permits for hunts east of the Cascade Range. Permit winners will be notified no later than March 31. Applicants may also check the results of the drawing by accessing their account on the WDFW licensing website at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/
To apply for a permit, hunters must purchase a special permit application and a 2017 hunting license that includes bear as a species option. Hunting licenses, bear transport tags and bear permit applications may be purchased:
Special permit applications, which require a correct hunt choice number, may be submitted online at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ or by calling (866) 246-9453.
Hunters should be aware that private timberland owners in some hunt areas are limiting access or charging fees for access. If you cannot secure access in advance, do not apply for these hunts.
Those interested in hunting on the Kapowsin Tree Farm should contact the tree farm to determine which areas are open before submitting an application. Hunters selected for the Kapowsin Tree Farm hunt must purchase an access permit from Hancock Forest Management by calling (800) 782-1493.
Hunters selected for the Copalis hunt must obtain a Recreational Use Permit and should contact Rayonier at (855) 729-4868 during regular business hours or online at http://www.rayonierhunting.com/
More information about hunts scheduled on both sides of the state is available on page 70 of the 2016 Big Game Hunting Rules pamphlet (http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/).
Any legal weapon that can be used for big game seasons can be used for spring black bear hunts. Bait or hounds are not allowed in these hunts.