Washington DFW Considers Changes to Deer Hunts in GMU 117 and 121

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host four public meetings in August to review proposals to modify Washington white-tailed deer hunting regulations in northeastern Washington game management units (GMU) 117 and 121.

The meetings, which will run 7 - 9 p.m., will take place:

  • Aug. 19, Pierce County Library, PAC Room A & B, 3005 112th St. E., in Tacoma.
  • Aug. 24, Colville Campus of Community College of Spokane, 985 S. Elm St., in Colville.
  • Aug. 25, Center Place Regional Event Center, Great Room, 2426 N. Discovery Place, in Spokane Valley.
  • Aug. 26, Yakima Convention Center, Room A, 10 N. 8th St., in Yakima. (Due to construction, visitors should access the convention center from the Yakima Avenue entrance or the North Parking Lot entrance.)

The proposed changes include restricting harvest of bucks to white-tailed deer with four antler points or more. Under current rules, any buck can be harvested in GMUs 117 and 121.

The antler-point restriction was requested last spring by the Stevens County Fish and Wildlife Advisory Committee in a petition to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. The nine-member citizen commission, which sets policy for WDFW, requested that the department seek additional public input prior to consideration for the 2011-12 hunting season.

WDFW staff, the county advisory committee and other stakeholders met last month to develop specific proposals for public review. WDFW staff will incorporate stakeholder and public input into a final proposal, which will be part of a recommended 2011-12 hunting season rules package.

The commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the 2011-12 hunting season rules package during its March meeting. The commission is expected to take final action on the rules package during its April meeting.

Comments

4 point min in GMU 121

I don't understand the logic behind making GMU 121 a 4-point min GMU.  I've hunted there for the past 15 years, spend a LOT of time out in the brush and have only seen a few 4-pointers in all those years. I am a disabled hunter and can no longer trek up into the areas where big bucks might hang out. But I hunt for the table, not for a rack. Thus, I've done very well putting meat in my freezer hunting in GMU 121.

By making my buck choices 4-point or larger ... AND ... by shrinking the Disabled Hunter Doe season to 4 days, you REALLY dump my chances of putting venison in  my freezer.

Are these changes being proposed for the 'health of the herd' (which can be a good thing) or is it to grow more trophy bucks for the big city hunters?

An alfalfa farmer I talked with in the GMU 121 area said he loses 20% of his crop to deer each year. To my untrained eye there seem to be a lot of deer in the farmers fields in early morn and dusk. I still see a lot of deer hits on HWY 395, Orin Rice Rd, and other roads in the area. Thus there SEEM to be plenty of deer.

I just want those of you making policy decisions to remember SOME OF US HUNT FOR MEAT.  I will never be a trophy hunter but I'm OK with those who chose to ...... as long as it doesn't affect those of us who want a deer, not a wall mount. Again, I'm all for monitoring and tending the herd. Otherwise we wouldn't have good hunting.

Thanks for your attention.