With the holidays just around the corner, gift givers are reminded that some of the best presents for anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers can be purchased without leaving home.
Annual Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fishing and hunting licenses and vehicle parking permits for state access sites can be purchased over the Internet or by telephone. The documents can also be purchased at retail license vendors statewide.
To purchase a license electronically, go to http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ on the Internet. Only the license holder's Washington Interactive Licensing Database (WILD) identification number (or name and birthdate) is necessary if the individual is currently licensed in the WILD system. (If the recipient is not currently licensed, the purchaser also needs to provide the license holder's address, telephone number, Social Security number, height, weight and eye color).
Licenses can also be purchased by telephone by calling 1-866-246-9453. For those interested in buying a license in person, a list of license vendors is available on the WDFW website or by calling local WDFW offices.
The rates for fishing and hunting licenses remain unchanged from last year. Including transaction fees, the resident adult freshwater fishing license is $21.90; saltwater is $19.71; shellfish/seaweed is $10.95; and a combination license is $41.61. Resident hunting licenses vary with package options, ranging from a small game license at $32.85 to a deer/elk/cougar/bear combination license for $72.27. All license fees are subject to a 9.5 percent transaction fee and any applicable vendor fees.
New fishing and hunting licenses are valid from April 1, 2004 through March 31, 2005.
Also available for purchase is the WDFW vehicle use permit for $10.95, which is required for use of WDFW water access sites and wildlife areas. This is a good gift for wildlife watchers or other using WDFW lands and water access sites. The decal is free with the purchase of a fishing or hunting license.
For those who prefer to enjoy the outdoors closer to home, a WDFW Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary packet is available for $5. The packet includes information about creating year-round backyard habitat that attracts birds and other wildlife for viewing enjoyment. It covers landscaping, supplemental feeding, nestboxes and other specifics. The packets also include applications for registering a yard as a backyard wildlife sanctuary.
To order a BWS packet send the recipient's address with a $5 check payable to WDFW. On the east side of the state, mail to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program, N. 8702 Division St., Spokane, WA 99218 . On the west side, mail to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek, WA 98012.