An aerial count of brant today indicated there are enough birds to allow a Skagit County hunt to begin Saturday (Jan. 8) as planned, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced.
The inventory indicated 7,110 birds are in the area. State wildlife biologists had set 6,000 as the minimum number of birds to allow the hunting season to proceed. The brant hunt takes place over nine days through Jan. 23.
State biologists have set conservative hunting seasons for the birds because brant wintering in Washington come from a small Canadian Arctic population that is vulnerable to breeding failure in unusually cold weather.
Brant hunters were required to complete a state authorization form by last Nov. 10 in order to participate in the hunt. They also are required to return a harvest report card distributed with that form by Jan. 31 in order to be eligible to hunt next year.
A brant season also will take place at the same time in Pacific County.
The brant bag limit is two birds per day.