Time is running short for hunters planning to apply for special hunting permits for fall deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep, and turkey seasons.
Hunters have until midnight May 26 to submit applications for permits that qualify them to hunt at times and places beyond those authorized by a general hunting license.
Permit winners will be selected by random drawing conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in late June.
Applications may be purchased from license vendors statewide or on WDFW's website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/wdfw/special_permits.html . Applications must be submitted on that website or by calling 1-877-945-3492 toll-free.
This year's applications include a range of new hunting options for deer, elk, moose, and big-horn sheep recently approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, said Dave Ware, WDFW game division manager.
"Hunters have told us they want to be able to apply for a specific type of hunt – say, 'buck deer' or 'second deer' – rather than have all deer permits drawn from the same pool," Ware said. "This new application process gives them that option."
Under the new system, hunters can submit applications in multiple special-hunt categories, Ware said. "Points" accrued by hunters toward special permits in previous years have been applied to each of the new permit categories created under the new system.
Instructions and details on special-permit hunts are described in the 2010-11 Big Game Hunting Seasons & Regulations pamphlet, available at WDFW offices, license vendors, and online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regs_seasons.html . Additional information is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/permits/2010_changes_faq.html .
Before applying for a special-hunt permit, hunters must purchase an application and any necessary hunting licenses and transport tags online, by phone, or from a licensed dealer for each species they wish to hunt. The cost for each application is $6.50 for residents, $60.50 for non-residents, and $4.10 for youth under 16 years of age.
Ware reminds hunters to update their mailing address in the system when purchasing their special hunting permit applications and licenses. Each year, hundreds of special hunting permits are returned due to invalid addresses. Results of the special-permit drawing will be available online by the end of June at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/wa/specialhuntlookup . Notification postcards will be sent via mail by the middle of July.