Washington FWC Hears 2011-12 Hunt Proposals

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The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission heard public input on proposed 2011-12 hunting season rules, adopted amendments to Puget Sound recreational clam and oyster seasons and approved three land transactions during its March 4-5 meeting in Spokane.

The proposed 2011-12 hunting season rules will be considered for final adoption at the commission's April meeting in Olympia. The hunt proposals include:

Landowner hunting permits to increase deer and elk hunters access to private lands in Asotin County.

Public-conduct rules on private lands open for hunting under cooperative agreements with WDFW.

Increases in spring black bear hunting seasons and permits in western and northeast Washington, to help reduce timber damage and bear nuisance activity, and to expand recreational opportunity within management guidelines.

Adjustments in moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat hunting permit levels, based on population surveys.

Simplification of Game Management Unit boundary descriptions for deer and elk hunting.

Adjustments in elk and deer general seasons and special-permit levels, in response to population increases or declines and/or crop and property damage problems in various parts of the state. The modifications include proposals to reduce antlerless white-tailed deer hunting in northeast units, while maintaining opportunities for youth, senior and disabled hunters. There also is a proposal to implement antler point restrictions for white-tailed deer in two northeast Washington game management units.

The commission also approved modifications to 2011 Puget Sound recreational clam and oyster seasons, based on annual species surveys and expected sport fishing effort. The changes will result in longer seasons on eight public beaches, shorter seasons on four beaches, and a shift in season timing on one beach. Details of the season modifications are available on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2011/03/mar0511_04_clams_oysters.pdf .

Comments

groovy mike's picture

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has been busy.

 

Thanks for sharing the information.   The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has been busy.  I’m all for increased hunting access so I support the Landowner hunting permits to increase deer and elk hunters access to private lands.  And for increasing the spring black bear hunting seasons and permits in Washington.  I applaud Washington state for choosing hunting as the most efficient and effective vehicle for both reducing bear related timber damage and bear nuisance activity.  It never makes sense to me when other methods are tried.  Hunting has proven effective and efficient while putting money in the state’s coffers and meat on hunters’ tables.  It seems like hunting as the solution to deal with a game population’s over abundance is a win and win solution every time. 

Adjustments in moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat hunting permit levels, based on population surveys just make sense for proper population control and herd management to sustain (not just reduce) game animal populations too.  I’m not sure if they are trying to micromanage populations of elk, mule deer and white tail deer herds in small sections of the state, but it is probably good that they are at least paying attention to the herd management in general.  If the game population doesn’t support current levels of hunting then I don’t mind proposals to reduce antlerless white-tailed deer hunting, but I am glad to see mention of maintaining opportunities for youth, senior and disabled hunters. Washington game management units.  Simplification of Game Management Unit boundary descriptions for deer and elk hunting is a worthy goal.  But you are right Jerry.  It’s definitely not as simple as you would think it would be!    

Overall it seems to me that these are positive developments for both game and hunters of Washington state. 

 

jaybe's picture

Whew! That's quite a few

Whew! That's quite a few changes that have been considered. It looks like a lot of hunters and clam and oyster gatherers are going to be having to read their new rulebook really close this year.

A lot of the changes involve things that hunters won't notice as changes because they are either increases or decreases in the number of permits. But some of the others will be more important for them to take note of.

Seems like all the fish and game management departments keep tweaking things in a effort to meet various population levels and other goals that they set for themselves. It's not nearly as simple as it used to be, eh?