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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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January 09, 1998
Contact: Madonna Luers, (509) 456-4073; Mike Judge, (360) 902-2407

Pubic input sought on simpler Washington hunting seasons

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials are holding 15 meetings across the state Jan. 19 through 30 to seek public input on proposals for simpler 1998 hunting seasons.

The season simplification proposals mostly address deer and elk hunting. The most significant change under consideration is establishment of statewide general seasons, with special permit seasons by counties or portions of counties rather than by Game Management Units (GMUs).

Copies of the proposals can be obtained from Mike Judge, WDFW Public Involvement Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, (360) 902- 2407. Written comments can be sent to Judge by Feb. 6. No decisions will be made on any hunting seasons until April 3-4 when the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission meets in Colville.

The public meetings will be held at the following locations, dates, and times:

- Spokane (Spokane County): January 19, 7 - 9 p.m., Inland Northwest Wildlife Council meeting room, 6116 N. Market St.

- Addy (Stevens County): January 20, 7 - 9 p.m., Northwest Alloys Training Center, (across highway and directly south of Northwest Alloys Plant on Zimmer Rd.)

- Dayton (Columbia County): January 21, 7 - 9 p.m., Columbia County Fairgrounds, Youth Building, Commercial & Pine streets

- Puyallup (Pierce County): January 21, 7 - 9 p.m., Tacoma Sportsmen's Club, 16409 Canyon Rd. E.

- Bremerton (Kitsap County): January 22, 7 - 9 p.m., Olympic Community Center, Humanities Bldg. Rm.#103, 1600 Chester Ave.

- Kennewick (Benton County): January 27, 7 - 9 p.m., Benton Public Utility District (PUD) auditorium, 10th & Ely streets

- Mt. Vernon (Skagit County): January 28, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Skagit County Courthouse, Administration Bldg. Hearing Rm. C, 2nd & Kincaid streets

- Longview (Cowlitz County): January 28, 1998, 7- 9 p.m., Lower Columbia College, Student Center Rooms A & B, 1600 Maple St.

- Okanogan (Okanogan County): January 28, 7 - 9 p.m., Okanogan County Public Utilities District (PUD) auditorium, 1331 2nd Ave. N.

- Montesano (Grays Harbor County): January 28, 7 - 9 p.m., Montesano City Hall, upstairs meeting room, 112 Main St.

- Port Angeles (Clallam County): January 29, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., City Council Chambers, 321 E. 5th St.

- Wenatchee (Chelan County): January 29, 7 - 9 p.m., Chelan County Public Utilities District (PUD) auditorium, 327 N. Wenatchee Ave.

- Ellensburg (Kittitas County): January 29, 7 - 9 p.m., Hal Holmes Center, 201 N. Ruby

- Mill Creek (King County): January 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m., WDFW Mill Creek Regional Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd.

- Vancouver (Clark County): January 30, 7-9 p.m., City of Vancouver Water Resources Education Ctr., 460 SE Columbia Way

Among the proposals to be discussed at the meetings are:

* Statewide general deer and elk hunting and special permit hunting by Washington's 39 counties or portions of counties. Currently both general (mostly buck and bull) hunting and special permit (mostly antlerless) hunting are based on 132 Game Management Units (GMUs).

* Seven statewide (hunt anywhere) deer seasons, with 28 days for modern firearm whitetail (including nine days for mule deer and 15 for blacktail deer), 45 days for archery (including 30 days for mule deer), and 10 days for muzzleloader. Currently there are about 48 season/rule/GMU variations on general deer hunting, with no more than 21 days in one area at a time for modern firearm, no more than 35 days for archery, and no more than 20 days for muzzleloader.

* Four statewide (hunt anywhere) elk seasons, with nine days for modern firearm, 21 days for archery (including seven late season days), and seven days for muzzleloader. Currently there are about 67 season/rule/GMU variations for elk hunting, with nor more than nine days in one area at a time for modern firearm, no more than 20 for archery, and nor more than 20 for muzzleloader.

* All hunters in all user groups to apply for all permits in a single pool. Currently the number of special elk and deer hunting permits vary between user groups (modern firearm, archery, muzzleloader) depending on numbers of hunters and success rates.

* Hunters who draw special antlerless deer or elk permits can only harvest antlerless animals. Currently hunters who draw special antlerless deer or elk permits can harvest a buck or bull if they do not fill their tag by the end of their permit season.