OLYMPIA - Hunters are encouraged to apply as early as possible for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) special fall hunting permits before the June 28 deadline.
Application instructions and details on permit hunts for deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep and turkey are in the 2006 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules pamphlet, available at WDFW offices, license vendors and at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations . All applications must be submitted via a toll-free telephone number (1-877-945-3492) or the Internet website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov .
WDFW officials encourage hunters to apply early to avoid potential delays or other complications in phone or Internet submissions in the final days and hours of the application period.
Jerry Nelson, WDFW deer and elk manager, also recommends hunters take more time to read the pamphlet carefully to note several changes, all highlighted in red.
In the Eastern Region, the most significant change is the shift from a general late season on white-tailed deer bucks in Game Management Units (GMU) 127-142 to a new late season special permit only season (Hunt 1016 Palouse, Nov. 6-19). The change addresses a decline in older bucks (see details on regional webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/game/hunter/whtdeer_latehunt06.htm ). The new hunt offers 625 permits, more than any other permit hunt in the state.
In the Southcentral Region, the most significant change is the renumbering of Klickitat County GMU 588 Grayback to GMU 388 Grayback. The deer in that unit are now managed using hunting seasons consistent with other eastern Washington deer seasons. The change means both general and late season permit hunting in GMU 388 is more restrictive, including a three-antler-point minimum, to reduce the harvest of bucks. For more details, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/faq/muledeer_changefaq.htm .
In the Northcentral Region, there are several new special antlerless deer permit hunts this year for all user groups - modern firearm, muzzleloader and archery.
In the North Puget Sound Region, second deer opportunities by special permit have been added on a number of islands in Puget Sound.
In the Southwest Region, special permits for elk have been added to deal with agricultural damage.
In the Coastal Region, new elk special permits are available for prime hunting opportunities for bulls during the rut.
Nelson also noted a few corrections to the pamphlet:
- The number of permits offered for antlerless elk in the Taneum "A" hunt in GMU 336 should be 150.
- The legal description for Elk Area 3911 should read "east on Bear Road."
- Road management agreements that historically pertained to GMU 558 still exist even though that unit is now part of the larger GMU 560.
Mick Cope, WDFW upland bird and turkey manager, said applications for the early fall turkey permits must be in by June 28, but the new late fall turkey permit applications will not be available until August and are due Aug. 31. The early fall turkey permit season is Sept. 23-Oct. 6 in units throughout the state. The new late fall permit hunt is Nov. 20-Dec. 15 in northeast GMUs 101-124 only. Details are in the Big Game pamphlet.