OLYMPIA– Black bear and cougar hunters are reminded that they are required to report all hunting of those species to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
That means that anyone who purchased a 1999-2000 black bear and/or cougar hunting license package (tag) needs to file a report whether or not they actually harvested any of those animals.
Reporting cards distributed with those licenses may be completed and mailed to the Wildlife Program, WDFW, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
For convenience, hunters also have the option of completing their reports on the Internet by accessing the hunting section of the WDFW website or by telephone toll-free at 1-877-968-4263.
The black bear and cougar reports provide valuable information which wildlife biologists use to develop models indicating the population trends of those two species.
Under a requirement set by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 1998, bear and cougar hunters are required to file their reports within 10 days after the hunting season closes for the affected species. The cougar hunting season continues until March 15. Bear hunters who did not file their report after black bear season ended in November still must do so.
"It appears many hunters are not yet aware of this new requirement," said WDFW Game Division Manager Dave Ware, adding that the information is critically needed by WDFW for black bear and cougar management.