Southcentral Washington's popular Alkali unit for special permit deer hunting has later seasons and limited scouting this year, due to increased military training and restricted access on the U.S. Army's Yakima Training Center.
With the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) hunting rules pamphlet now available and hunters applying for special permits through June 23, WDFW district wildlife biologist Jeff Bernatowicz is fielding dozens of calls from hunters questioning the date changes.
"This is a very popular hunting unit," Bernatowicz said, "and we want to alert hunters to these changes so permit holders are not caught by surprise."
Game management unit (GMU) 371, Alkali, in Kittitas and Yakima counties, has modern firearm deer permit hunts Nov. 28 - Dec. 7, muzzleloader deer permit hunts Dec. 8-15, and an archery deer permit hunt Dec. 16-29, as described on pages 32-33 of the rules pamphlet. All of those season dates are significantly later than usual because access to the Yakima Training Center, which encompasses most of GMU 371, will be extremely limited before November 28.
Hunters who are successful in drawing permits will not have much, if any, scouting opportunity in the area prior to the seasons. Information on hunting and other recreational opportunities on the Yakima Training Center is available at http://www.lewis.army.mil/yakima