All Washington deer, elk, black bear, and turkey hunting tag holders, whether they hunted or not and whether successful or not, must report their 2001 hunting season activity by Jan. 31, 2002.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has mailed a reminder about the new reporting requirement to deer, elk, black bear, and turkey hunters.
The mandatory reports, approved last year by the Fish and Wildlife Commission, are intended to improve the state's harvest statistics. Hunters have been strong supporters of mandatory reporting, according to opinion surveys and public comments collected over the past two years.
"Hunters, as well as biologists, have recognized the inadequacy of the department's harvest data for some time," said Dave Ware, WDFW game division manager. "Better and more complete data allows us to manage future hunting seasons more precisely, and that can mean more liberal seasons for hunters."
Ware and other WDFW staff worked with hunters and evaluated several options before forming a technical group to oversee the development of the new reporting system. "The agency's new license system makes reporting easy," he said.
Hunters must file harvest reports for each elk, deer, black bear, or turkey tag they purchased either by calling the automated, toll-free telephone line, 1-877-945-3492 or by using the Internet at www.fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov. Hunters should have their WILD (Washington Interactive Licensing Database) number, printed on all their license documents, available before attempting to file either by phone or Internet. Hunters will also need to know which Game Management Unit they hunted and their birth date.
The new reporting requirement, along with the specific information asked for in the phone and online systems, is provided on page seven of the 2001 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules pamphlet. The Game Management Unit map is on pages 48 and 49.