March 18 is the application deadline for Blue Mountains spring black bear hunting permits and the last day to buy raffle tickets for Washington spring turkey hunting permits.
Raffle tickets, permit applications, and 2001 season hunting licenses and tags will only be available via the new computerized licensing system—Washington Interactive Licensing Database (WILD)—starting March 1 at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offices and license dealers. Interested hunters should mark their calendars now to avoid missing the relatively short application and ticket sales period.
The special permit black bear hunting season for any legal weapon (modern firearm, archery, muzzleloader) is April 15 to May 31 in seven game management units in the Blue Mountains of southeast Washington. A total of 105 permits will be drawn: 30 for Wenaha unit, 15 each for Blue Creek, Dayton, Mountain View, and Lick Creek units, 10 for Tucannon unit, and five for Grande Ronde unit. No bait or hounds may be used to hunt black bears.
Applicants must have a valid Washington big game license that includes black bear and purchase an electronic permit application ($5 for residents, $3 for youth hunters under 16, $50 for nonresidents). Starting March 1 applicants must use the Internet www.huntfish.dfw.wa.gov or telephone (1-877-945-3492) to complete and submit their application. Completed applications for 2001 spring bear season must be submitted by 12:00 a.m. (midnight) on March 18. Instructions for submitting permit applications electronically using the new WILD system will be available by March 1 at license dealers and WDFW's website.
Permits will be drawn and permittees notified by March 31.
The two winners of the spring turkey hunting raffle drawing will each receive a permit that allows them to hunt from April 1 through May 31, a full month longer than the standard April 15 - May 15 season. In addition, the winning hunters receive three turkey transport tags that can be used to take up to two bearded turkeys in eastern Washington and one bearded turkey in western Washington (one turkey/day bag limit). Raffle winners can also purchase standard turkey tags (one included with a small game license and two additional tags) allowing them to harvest up to six turkeys. Winners must purchase a 2001 small game license to receive raffle permits and raffle tags. Standard hunting methods (shotgun or bow and arrow only) apply to the raffle season along with all other turkey hunting regulations.
Tickets for the raffle cost five dollars and can be purchased several ways. Mail order forms, which will be accepted through Feb. 28, will be available soon at license dealers, in the spring turkey pamphlet, and on WDFW's website. From March 1 through midnight on March 18, raffle tickets can be purchased in person at hunting license dealers statewide, by calling toll free at 1-866-246-9453, or online at www.fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov
The turkey raffle drawing will be the first conducted with the new WILD system. The drawing on March 19th will be electronic (like standard permit drawings) so there will be no paper tickets. Winners will be notified by phone (if they provide a phone number) or mail.