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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
ATT: WA hunters need your help.

Washington hunters could really use some help and support right now. The F&W Dept is proposing to close down all public lands to hunting in August. The proposed closure includes all state and federal lands.
This is a knee jerk reaction to an unfortunate shooting incident last fall.

Proposal from the “Green Sheet”
(1) For BBMUs that open Aug 1, the Aug 1-31 period is limited to
hunting on private lands only. The justification for this change is to reduce conflict with other recreational users on public lands during the summer while still allowing bears to be harvested for damage reasons (e.g., orchard damage).

This is a straight across ban of hunting bears in August on public lands. Not just rifle hunters, but all weapons groups.

There have been no alternatives given such as:
Hunting by permit only
Master Hunters only
Archery or Muzzle Loader only

If you could find a couple minutes of time to write an email to the WA Dept of F&W at the email addresses below and let them know that closing any public lands to hunting is unacceptable, we Washington hunters would be grateful.

Thanks.

The one who is pushing this is donny.martorello@dfw.wa.gov

commission@dfw.wa.gov
director@dfw.wa.gov
wildthing@dfw.wa.gov
peter.goldmark@dfw.wa.gov
cpl@dnr.wa.gov

CVC
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3587
ATT: WA hunters need your help.

Unfortunately, this knee-jerk reaction is to be expected and the blame falls squarely on the shoulder the hunter that acted in a reckless manner and killed the grandmother who was hiking.

I agree with you that there are alternatives to closing down hunting on public lands, but it is not unexpected that they would opt to close it to all hunting.

This illustrates the responsibility each of us bear when we hunt. We must observe the laws, hunt safely and be sensitive that there are those that would be happy to ban all hunting.

For those not familar with the incident, it appears that a 14 year old boy who apparently was unsupervised shot this 54 year old woman while she was sitting in a meadow. He mistook the woman wearing a bright blue poncho for a bear and killed her.

Offline
Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
ATT: WA hunters need your help.

Close, but not quite accurate.

It was blue poncho, but not bright blue. Actually closer to dark blue. It was raining and foggy. The boy was with a 16 year old relative. Both should not have been out there by themselves. They were part of a larger group of two families who had a "bet" on who would kill the first bear.

Yes, the shooter is the one who should shoulder the blame.
Not me, nor my childeren. Shutting hunters out of the woods due to public pressure only means that September is next, then all hunting.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 2050
ATT: WA hunters need your help.

Hey CVC what page are you on? It is horrible what happened to the grandmother, but where was the 14 year olds father or mentor. You do not stop hunting on PUBLIC LANDS because of an accident. People are forgetting that these lands are ours and we should be in control not these beaurocrats that think they learned something in a book in school, or maybe being payed by these tree huggers on the side. IF they stop hunting on PUBLIC LANDS in Washington were will it stop. There have been many hunting accidents in Colorado but its still safer than driving in your car or playing football. EVERYBODY should write these people in Washington. Everybody should get involved and take back our PUBLIC LANDS, there already not OURS anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CVC
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3587
ATT: WA hunters need your help.

What do you mean 'what page am I on?

You don't think it is a knee-jerk reaction to a tragic death? I believe that is what I said. Or don't you agree that the blame for this falls on the hunter who did not properly identify his quarry.

Or maybe you don't agree with my statement that there are other alternatives to just closing the area to hunting?

How about clearly posting that it is hunting seaon and making hikers wear blaze orange - that is an alternative to closing the season or limiting riflie hunting to areas not near hiking trails, and making those areas archery only?

What page are you on?

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Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 635
ATT: WA hunters need your help.
elkkill06 wrote:
Hey CVC what page are you on? It is horrible what happened to the grandmother, but where was the 14 year olds father or mentor. You do not stop hunting on PUBLIC LANDS because of an accident. People are forgetting that these lands are ours and we should be in control not these beaurocrats that think they learned something in a book in school, or maybe being payed by these tree huggers on the side. IF they stop hunting on PUBLIC LANDS in Washington were will it stop. There have been many hunting accidents in Colorado but its still safer than driving in your car or playing football. EVERYBODY should write these people in Washington. Everybody should get involved and take back our PUBLIC LANDS, there already not OURS anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elkkill I think you misunderstood CVC.

I read about this. I feel very sorry for the kid. He is going to have to live with that the rest of his life. I would hope that the supervising adult gets the full brunt of this. That boy is going to need theoropy, not charges.

billy, I'm not from your state, but I will send an email. Are there any organizations involved in this? What about local legislature? Do they have any conviening authority on the issue, or is this a wildlife commision only issue?

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 2050
ATT: WA hunters need your help.

I did misunderstand where you were coming from. I actually know someone who was hunting when he was 14 years old and was with an 18 year old and his younger brother, he actually accidently shot a man from texas and killed him. He was in youth detention until he was 18, and he has to live with that for rest of his life. I thought you were saying it was ok to shut down hunting season on public land. Sorry for that one! It is a horrible thing for this to happen, I feel that everyone enjoying the outdoors during hunting season should be aware and take propper percautions.

CVC
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Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3587
ATT: WA hunters need your help.

You are right. It is a tragedy for both families. I came across news clips and the family of the grandmother expressed concern for the boy.

This is a burden he'll have to live with for the rest of his life. It is very sad.

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
ATT: WA hunters need your help.

Well according to "an insider" there is really nothing we can do about this proposal and we are lucky that we didn't lose all hunting on public lands in the summer.

http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,20754.msg241938.html#m...

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
ATT: WA hunters need your help.

It looks like the "Insider" was wrong. It also seems that our response was heard.

So it looks like we may have dodged a bullet this year. We still have a couple meetings to go through but by early April we shall know if we can still hunt bears in August on public lands.

http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,21500.0.html

From WDFW
“The Department has received numerous comments on
this recommendation and all of the comments do not
support the change to the August bear season. Because
we’re “on the bubble” in terms of the biological
justification for reducing bear harvest, the Department
has altered our recommendation to open the 2009 fall
bear season August 1 (for the subset of Bear
Management Units). The revised recommendation tries
to balance the emerging biological concern, provide
early fall hunting opportunity, and address public input.
We will continue to monitor bear harvest trends and
biological information and provide the Fish and
Wildlife Commission with a recommendation for the
2010-2011 fall bear hunting season in March 2010.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission does not have the
authority to regulate hikers.”

Here is what it says on page 268 of the revised version.
"The change is due to public input supporting the August portion of the fall bear seasons for 2009 to the maximum extent possible within biologically sustainable limits. The Department plans to recommend the 2010-2011 fall bear hunting seasons to the Fish and Wildlife Commission in March 2010."

I could be way off, but I read this as "we need to back off this year, but next year we will push this through with the "bear population" angle instead of the "hunter/nonhunter angle".

Many hunters are leery of the biological/population standpoint of banning August bear hunting only because other options have not been proposed. Many feel that this is a result of the accidental death of a non-hunter during last years bear season.

WDFW is now telling us that too many sows are being killed and that they are younger then they would like. If that is the case then most would agree that something needs to be done but why take away the only portion of bear season that is bears only? There are other options that make more sense.

Second bear tag.
If the population is not doing good then immediately eliminate the second tag.
Currently we can kill two bears a year. Most rational people would assume that if you can get two tags that the population must be doing good. If the population is doing good and you can kill two bears most will not wait for the large trophy boar. (I actually prefer two younger “meat” bears.)

Cutting back on incidentals.
When the hound/bait ban went info effect they started extending the season. August 1st has been the start date for decades on the Westside. (Used to be July and then year round in years prior) Eventually they extended the season through the middle of November. Combine this later end date with the cheaper or “free” bear tag that is given when you by the big game package you end up with a much larger group of deer and elk hunters with tags and a larger number of incidental bears killed in the late season. Many of these could be pregnant sows. Shorten the season on the back end to reduce incidental harvest.

August Primitive/Firearm Restricted Season.
Make August shotgun, archery and muzzleloader only. I am primarily a rifle hunter and all my bears have been killed with rifle, most in August. But I could support a month long primitive/restricted season if it was that or no August season at all. These weapons are short range and I believe the harvest numbers would drop dramatically with this option.

Hopefully when we revisit this next year we can count on support from the members here. Remember, you do not have to be from Washington to send an email.

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