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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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March 02, 2007
Contact: Mick Cope, WDFW, (360) 902-2691

Spring turkey season extended;
new law affects tag purchases

OLYMPIA — A thriving turkey population has allowed the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to extend the spring 2007 turkey-hunting season by two weeks.

For the first time, Washington’s turkey hunt will run April 15 through May 31. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the extension last year.

“Turkey hunting has become very popular in Washington,” said Mick Cope upland game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “The birds are doing very well, especially in eastern Washington, and we’re pleased to offer an extended season for hunters.”

Cope said hunters gearing up for the season should take note of the following changes and rules:

  • License changes: The first turkey tag is no longer included with the purchase of a small-game license; hunters must pay for each tag. The price of each turkey tag has been reduced from $19.71 to $15.33 (the first tag is free for youth hunters). The small-game license is $32.85.

    Two thirds of the turkey tag revenue is dedicated to turkey and upland bird management.

  • Spring season limits: During the spring season, hunters may harvest up to three tom turkeys (turkeys with visible beards). A total of two birds may be harvested in eastern Washington, but only one can be taken in Chelan, Kittitas and Yakima counties combined. One turkey may be harvested in western Washington, except Klickitat County where two birds may be taken.

  • Tag raffle: A turkey tag raffle drawing will be held March 18 at the Bighorn Show in Spokane. One winner will receive three additional tags, which will be good for an extended hunting period from April 1 through May 31. Raffle tickets, which must be submitted by March 17, can be purchased from local National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) chapters. Contact Dave Braaten, state chapter president, at 253-279-2450 or daventessathome@comcast.net for assistance.

  • Early fall permit for northeastern Washington: Turkey hunters may apply for an early fall permit in addition to hunting a general fall season in northeastern Washington (Sept. 22 – Oct. 5). The applications will be available May 15, with a June 28 submittal deadline. Hunt choices will be published in the WDFW Big Game Seasons and Rules pamphlet and will be posted on the WDFW web page at http://wdfw.wa.gov/.

  • Late fall hunt: A late fall drawing will be held for 800 special permits to hunt turkeys from Nov. 20 through Dec. 15 in northeastern Washington. Applications for the late hunt will be sold in August, with winners drawn in early September. Hunters can participate in both fall hunts regardless of their spring season harvest. Hunters are allowed one turkey of either sex during fall seasons.

While turkey the harvest has increased in many parts of the state, northeastern Washington continues to be a key area for hunters, noted Cope.

“However, southeast Washington and Klickitat County also produce a good number of turkeys,” Cope said. “Huntable turkey populations can also be found in Yakima, Kittitas, Chelan and Okanogan counties, and southwest Washington.”

Hunters must report their hunting activity through the state's Hunting Activity Reporting Program (HARP). Hunters may make their reports either by telephone (877-945-3492), or on the Internet at http://www.fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/. The report information is used by WDFW to better monitor hunter effort, distribution, harvest and trends.