OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced that brant goose hunting will be allowed in Skagit County later this month.
Brant hunting in the county is set for Jan. 17, 18, 21, 24 and 25. The decision to open a hunting season came after a recent aerial waterfowl survey confirmed enough birds are present on the bays and estuaries to support a harvest.
WDFW biologist Mike Davison counted more than 7,580 brant on Fidalgo, Padilla and Samish bays, well above the 6,000-goose minimum needed to move forward with a hunt.
All hunters interested in harvesting brant must have prior written authorization and a brant harvest report form from WDFW, as well as a current state hunting license, to participate in the season. There is a two-bird daily limit for brant geese.
Hunters must immediately record all harvest information once a brant has been taken. Hunting data must be reported to WDFW no later than Jan. 31. Brant hunters who fail to report their activity by the deadline will not be eligible to participate in the 2004-05 season.
Brant geese are smaller than the more common Canada geese. They feed mainly on eelgrass and other marine plant life, and rarely stray from saltwater areas.
Additional information on brant hunting is available on page 8 of WDFW's 2003-04 Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons pamphlet.