2023 Spring Bear Rule Making

Rule-making status: Preproposal

Rule Making Reference# P2022-09
Amendments would be needed to set season dates and permit numbers in order to offer a 2023 spring black bear season. In addition to providing recreational hunting opportunity, a special permit season could assist the department with addressing specific management needs that include, but are not limited to, tree damage on industrial managed timberlands, human-bear conflict and damage, and harvest distribution.

At this time, a spring black bear hunt is not offered in Washington.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission voted on July 15, 2022 to prioritize Commission consideration of spring black bear policy and amend their previously adopted approach. The vote means the agency’s spring bear hunting policy will be updated first, prior to scheduling rulemaking meetings that would establish future spring black bear hunting seasons. This process will provide Commissioners the opportunity to have detailed discussions and receive public input on the future of spring bear hunting in Washington. The timeline for developing a policy has yet to be established and will be discussed at a future Commission meeting.

On January 27, 2023, the Commission voted to deny a petition to begin rule making for spring black bear management hunts for 2023 and beyond.

These decisions on the spring bear special permit rule do not impact the fall black bear general season. For more information on black bear hunting, please visit the Big Game hunting webpage.

Public comments

To submit comments, please visit the 2023 Spring Black Bear Preproposal CR101 public engagement page.

You may also leave comments by sending an email, either with or without an attachment to 2023SpringBearCR101@PublicInput.com or voicemail to 855-925-2801 project code 4328.

For more information

For questions contact: Heather Bonagofski at heather.bonagofski@dfw.wa.gov

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