Washington DFW Will Accept Public Comments on Proposed Hunting Rules Through Feb. 21

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Hunters and other members of the public will have through Feb. 21 to comment on new hunting rules proposed for the 2012-14 seasons.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting written comments on more than a dozen proposals, ranging from allowing waterfowl hunters to use electronic decoys to adding a day to western Washington elk seasons.

Those proposals, posted at http://bit.ly/qZ6EMZ, have been developed after a series of public meetings and online discussions that began last summer, said Dave Ware, WDFW game manager.

“Many of these proposals are based on suggestions received from hunters and other members of the public since last spring,” Ware said. “This is a chance to comment on the department’s final recommendations.”

Written comments may be e-mailed to wildthing@dfw.wa.gov or mailed to: WDFW Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501.

Ware noted that the number of hunting season proposals was significantly lower this year, largely due to a moratorium on new rules set by the Governor’s Office. Only rules necessary for resource conservation, required by state or federal law, or requested by those affected were considered by WDFW.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a nine-member citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, is scheduled to hold a final round of public comments during a meeting set March 9-10 in Moses Lake.

The commission is scheduled to vote on the new hunting rules during a meeting April 13-14 in Olympia.