OLYMPIA – General cougar-hunting seasons in Klickitat County will change next month in response to state approval of the county’s request for a new pilot cougar hunt with the aid of dogs.
The new pilot cougar hunt, approved Aug. 9 by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, will allow hunters to use dogs to hunt cougars in Klickitat County from Dec. 1 through March 31.
But the commission’s action also will affect general cougar hunting seasons already in progress, said Donny Martorello, carnivore specialist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“The measure approved by the commission effectively moves the hunt from one set of regulations to another,” Martorello said. “We want to make sure hunters are aware of those new rules, especially since the general season is already under way.”
Under current regulations, general-season hunters can hunt for cougar without the use of dogs with any type of weapon Aug. 1 through March 15. But those regulations, printed in WDFW’s Big Game Hunting pamphlet, will change Sept. 9, when the new regulations take effect, Martorello said.
Under the new rules, the general-season cougar hunt will be restricted to hunters using muzzleloaders and archery equipment from Sept. 9 through Oct. 10. The same will be true for the period from Nov. 20-30.
The only remaining period when hunters can use any type of weapon – including modern firearms – to hunt cougars during the general season is Oct. 11 through Nov. 19.
Martorello noted that the new regulations are included in WDFW’s Cougar Hunting Seasons pamphlet (http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/bear_cougar/), which was printed after the general Big Game pamphlet went to press.