Hunting Season Dates and Rules Meetings

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The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to adopt hunting seasons and rules for 2003-05 when it meets April 11 and 12 in Moses Lake.

The meeting is scheduled to get under way at noon April 11 in the Moses Lake Convention Center, 1475 Nelson Road, and to resume at 8:30 a.m., April 12.

The hunt rules package, most of which is scheduled to be heard on the second day of the meeting, includes provisions that would:

  • Offer additional opportunity for disabled, youth and senior hunters. The package calls for issuing over 125 permits for disabled hunters, 2,000 for youth and 500 for senior hunters, out of a total of 13,000 permits issued statewide.
  • Improve allocation of deer hunting opportunity among modern firearm hunters, muzzleloaders and archers statewide.
  • Maintain the status quo, any buck season for white-tailed deer in northeast Washington.
  • Adjust deer and elk special hunt permits for 2003 in response to population changes and damage complaints.
  • Ban the use of night vision equipment and laser sights for hunting elk and deer.
  • Change the date of the early archery elk hunt to open the Tuesday after Labor Day and to run for 14 days.
  • Provide additional wild turkey hunting opportunity by increasing the number of fall permits in permit hunt areas with increased bird populations.

The hunt package proposals were developed following a public comment process earlier this year. Additional public input will be taken at the commission meeting.

In addition to the three-year hunt package, the commission is also scheduled to:

  • Adopt rules clarifying language regarding disabled hunters, and those who accompany them.
  • Consider rules that would prohibit the sale of salmon eggs without the salmon carcass, except for troll fisheries.
  • Be briefed on the status of the habitat conservation plan being developed by the Foster Creek Conservation District in Douglas County. The plan would affect a one million acre agricultural area that is habitat for several federally listed endangered and threatened species. A draft plan is expected to be complete early next year.

A complete preliminary agenda for the upcoming meeting is available on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.