OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept comments on proposed changes to state hunting rules for deer, elk, moose and other game species during a public meeting March 7-8 in Moses Lake.
The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene at 8 a.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Moses Lake Civic Center, 401 S. Balsam St. in Moses Lake.
An agenda for the meeting is available on the commission's website at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.
On March 7, the commission will be briefed and take public comment on proposed changes to hunting rules for 2014. Those changes, available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development.html, include:
- Reducing fees for multi-season deer permit holders; master hunters with special permits for deer or elk damage tags; special permit holders who purchase a second deer tag; and hunters who are issued damage prevention or kill permits for second deer tags.
- Decreasing elk hunting permits by more than 400 in the Mount St. Helens area now that the elk population is more in balance with area habitat.
- Boosting the number of antlerless elk hunting permits by 620 for the Colockum area, where the population exceeds management goals.
- Streamlining the process for issuing hunters with disabilities special use permits, which enable them to use modified hunting equipment.
The commission is scheduled to consider adoption of all the proposals at its April 11-12 meeting in Olympia.
In other business, wildlife managers will update the commission March 8 on the steps the department took in 2013 to implement the state wolf conservation and management plan.