OLYMPIA - A strong return of brant geese to northern Puget Sound means a five-day hunting season will proceed as scheduled later this month.
Hunting brant will be allowed in Skagit County on Jan. 22, 23, 26, 29 and 30. The daily bag limit is two brant.
Mike Davison, a wildlife biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), counted more than 11,400 brant geese during a recent aerial survey of Padilla, Samish and Fidalgo bays. A count of 6,000 or more brant is required before hunting is allowed.
"The birds are well-distributed throughout the marine areas, and hunting should be good this year," Davison said.
All hunters participating in the brant season must have prior written authorization and a harvest report form from WDFW. Hunters must record their harvest information immediately after taking a brant. The harvest report must be returned to WDFW by Feb. 15; failure to do so means hunters will be ineligible to hunt for brant in the 2005-06 season.
More information on brant-hunting requirements is available in WDFW's Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons hunting pamphlet, which can be found at hundreds of retail outlets throughout the state, and online on the Internet.