OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept public comments on big-game hunting seasons and other issues during its March 4-5 meeting in Spokane.
The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene at 8:30 a.m. both days in Room 206 A/B on the second floor of the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
A complete meeting agenda is available on the commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.
On March 4, the commission will consider approval of land transactions and amendments to Puget Sound recreational clam and oyster seasons. The commission will also be briefed and take public comment on:
- Bald eagle protection rule amendments.
- Landowner hunting permits to increase access for deer and elk hunters to private lands in Asotin County.
- Public-conduct rules on private lands open for hunting under cooperative agreements.
On March 5, the commission will be briefed and take public input on 2011-12 big-game hunting seasons and game management unit boundaries. The proposed changes include:
- Increasing spring black bear hunting by permit in western and northeast Washington to help reduce timber damage bear nuisance activity.
- Adjusting moose and bighorn sheep hunting permits and maintaining mountain goat hunting permit levels.
- Simplifying Game Management Unit boundary descriptions for deer and elk hunting.
- Adjusting elk and deer special-permit levels.
Several proposals would modify hunting rules in northeast Washington for white-tailed deer to address population declines from recent harsh winters. WDFW has proposed reducing antlerless deer hunting in the region, while maintaining some hunting opportunities for youth, senior and disabled hunters.
In addition, the commission will consider whether to adopt a proposal to impose antler-point restrictions in some units or maintain the status quo.
Details on proposals are available on the commission website at Game Regulations for 2011.
The commission is scheduled to consider adoption of 2011-12 hunting seasons at its April 8-9 meeting in Olympia.