OLYMPIA – Hunters have until June 18 to apply for special fall hunting permits, but wildlife managers suggest they submit their applications as soon as possible to avoid potential delays and complications.
The permits, available to winners of a random drawing, afford special hunting opportunities for deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep and turkey not otherwise available with a general hunting license.
“We strongly encourage hunters to apply for these special permits as early as they can,” said Dave Ware, game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “It’s best not to wait until the last minute, when the system can become busy and complications can occur.”
Application instructions and details on special-permit hunts are described in the 2008 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Regulations pamphlet, available at WDFW offices, license vendors, and online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations.
Hunters will be notified of the result of the random drawing for special-hunt permits by July 31, Ware said.
Before applying for a special-hunt permit, hunters must purchase an application and any necessary hunting licenses and transport tags on line, by phone, or from a licensed dealer for each species they wish to hunt. The cost for each application is $5.48 for residents, $54.75 for non-residents, and $3.29 for youth under 16 years of age.
Ware reminds hunters to update their mailing address in the system when purchasing their special hunting permit applications and licenses. Each year, hundreds of special hunting permits are returned due to invalid addresses, he said.
All applications must be submitted online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov or via a toll-free telephone number (1-877-945-3492). Paper applications will not be accepted.
Ware noted that this year’s special fall hunting permits include:
- Continuation of expanded permit levels for antlerless elk in the Mt. St. Helens area.
- An increase in branch-antlered bull permits in the Blue Mountains.
- An increase in moose special permits in the Mount Spokane, 49 Degrees North B, Huckleberry Range and Hangman hunt units.
Ware noted, however, that permits for Game Management Unit 371 have been dropped from this year’s hunt because the U.S. Army recently scheduled expanded training exercises at the Yakima Training Center this fall.
Mick Cope, WDFW upland bird and turkey manager, said applications for both early fall turkey permits and late fall turkey permits must be submitted by June 18.
The early fall turkey permit season is Sept. 27-Oct. 3 in units throughout much of eastern Washington. The late fall permit hunt is Nov. 20-Dec. 15 in northeast GMUs 101-124 only. Details are in the 2008 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Regulations pamphlet (page 64).