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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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August 28, 2018
Contact: Wildlife Program (360) 902-2515

Hunting Prospects now available
to plan for upcoming seasons

OLYMPIA – September marks the start of hunting seasons for deer, elk, waterfowl, and upland game birds in many areas of the state. To help hunters have a successful hunting season, The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has released its annual Hunting Prospects, which provide guidance and hunting information for each district.

The Hunting Prospects can be found on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/.

"Local wildlife biologists compiled these reports to serve as a resource for hunters," said Anis Aoude, WDFW game division manager. "The Hunting Prospects contain a lot of useful information and provide a good place to start planning your season whether you're an experienced hunter or a beginner."

WDFW has also launched a hunting regulations web map, which allows hunters to find permit and general season hunts based on location, date, weapon choice, and more. The web map is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/.

Although some game populations are still recovering from the harsh winter of 2016-17, recent surveys indicate 2018 should be another good year of hunting. However, like anyone venturing into the backcountry, hunters do need to be aware of land access restrictions around the state due to fire conditions.

"Hunters should check current conditions before getting out into the field," Aoude said. "Some hunters may need to find alternate hunting locations or different routes."

Fire prevention restrictions on WDFW's wildlife areas and water access sites remain in place statewide. Details on those restrictions are available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/aug0218a/.

The state's waterfowl populations continue to rebound from lows in 2015, and we're expecting another good brood this season, said Kyle Spragens, WDFW waterfowl manager.

"Similar to last year, hunters will focus on local birds until the northern birds arrive from Canada and Alaska later this season," Spragens said.

Aoude asks that hunters pay special attention to several new rules that will take effect this year:

  • Muzzleloader regulations: Primers designed to be used in modern cartridges are now legal to use with muzzleloaders.
  • Black bear identification test: Hunters who wish to harvest a bear in GMUs 101, 105, 108, 111, 113, 117, 203, 204, 209, 215, 418, and 426 must first pass the bear identification test (through the WILD system) with a score of 80 percent or better.
  • Youth-only hunts: Special youth seasons have been scheduled on different weekends in western and eastern Washington to give hunters under the age of 16 an opportunity to participate in openings on both sides of the state.
  • Southwest Canada goose mandatory harvest reporting: New this year, hunters must fill out the required harvest record card information for any goose taken in Goose Management Area 2 – Coast and Inland.

These and other hunting regulations are described in WDFW's Big Game Hunting pamphlet or Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game pamphlet, available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/.