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

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April 14, 2008
Contact: Susan Yeager, (360) 902-2267

Hunting rules for 2008 adopted
by Fish and Wildlife Commission

PASCO The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted hunting rules for the 2008 season at a public meeting April 11-12 in Pasco. The nine-member commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), heard comment from hunters and then approved minor changes to hunting seasons and regulations for the third year of a three-year rules package.

Complete hunting season details will be available next month in pamphlet form and on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations. Changes include:

  • Adjustments to general-season and special-permit hunts for deer and elk to address wildlife population changes, agricultural damage, winter mortality and other issues.

  • Modifications to moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunting permits and unit boundaries to address wildlife population changes.

  • Expansion of fall turkey hunts to help control increasing turkey populations in eastern Washington, including a new early season in northeast units for beardless turkeys only.

  • Expansion of the mourning dove hunting season from 15 to 30 days, based on an increase in the birds population.

  • Restriction of the use of radio telemetry equipment to hunt game animals.

  • Classification of exotic Eurasian collared doves to allow year-round hunting, helping to control the population.

Commissioners reminded hunters that discussion will begin this summer on the next three-year hunting seasons and rules package, covering 2009 through 2011, when major changes might be involved. The Commission also approved several land transactions, including:

  • Acquisition of about 52 acres for the Lower Union River Estuary Project in Mason County, for management under WDFWs South Puget Sound Wildlife Area, funded by the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP);

  • Acquisition of approximately 46 acres along the Methow River in Okanogan County, and a near-eight-acre island in the river, for management as part of WDFWs Methow Wildlife Area, funded by WWRP;

  • Transfer of 40 acres in the Ohop Valley of Pierce County to the Nisqually Land Trust for salmon-restoration;

  • Transfer of nearly two acres of land on the south fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend (King County) from the state Department of Transportation for use as a public fishing easement.