OLYMPIA-The results of a random, computerized drawing for 2007 special-hunt permits are available on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/permits/
The special-hunt drawing was conducted July 18. An earlier drawing conducted July 14 was not validated because that drawing did not incorporate points accumulated by some hunters. The computerized recreational licensing system operated by Outdoor Central, the private contractor that provides recreational licensing services to WDFW, failed to include points for many applicants. This year's permit drawing was the state's first using a computer system developed by an outside vendor.
State regulations (WAC 232-28-291) require that points accumulated by hunters be applied in special-hunt permit drawings. Points are awarded when hunters enter special-hunt drawings but are not successful, and those points are then applied in future drawings. In some cases, bonus points are awarded to hunters who report poaching violations.
Some hunters who made calls to WDFW offices earlier this week seeking results of the first drawing were given information from the first drawing that had not been validated, WDFW Deputy Director Larry Peck said.
"This situation was very unfortunate, and we regret the confusion and inconvenience it may have created for applicants," Peck said.
"However, points equate to hunters' odds of being drawn for special hunts, and it was essential that they be applied, not only to meet legal requirements, but also for the sake of fairness."
Nearly 67,000 hunters submitted 143,000 applications for this year's special hunts, for species including turkey, big horn sheep, mountain goat, moose, deer and elk.
Besides posting results of the validated drawing on the department website and notifying successful applicants by mail, WDFW will telephone applicants who were drawn for August special hunts. For more information on special hunt permits see the WDFW Big Game Hunting rules pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations