Nine Hunters Win Incentive Tags

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Nine people who hunted in Washington state last year and reported the results of their hunting activity on time will get special incentive hunting tags for 2003 seasons.

To be eligible for the 2003 tag drawing, all deer, elk, black bear and turkey hunters were required to report to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) within 10 days of making a kill - or by Jan. 10, 2003 if they were unsuccessful. In return for their timely reporting, those hunters were eligible for the drawing for two westside elk permits, two eastside elk permits and five statewide deer permits.

The winners of eastern Washington elk permits are Dale Bonner, of Hamilton, and Audrie Mille, of Clayton. Michael Scott, of Aberdeen, and Gale Sisson, of Longview, won western Washington elk permits. James Pease, of Mansfield, Nate Patterson, of Renton, David Appelhof, of Zillah, James Kelly, of Spokane and Howard Sonneson, of Enumclaw, all won a statewide deer permit.

The special incentive hunting permits can be used from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2003, which is significantly longer than any of the standard hunting seasons.

Winners were randomly selected from a pool of more than 64,000 hunters who complied with the WDFW reporting requirement in a timely manner, said Dave Ware, WDFW game division manager. Ware added that the drawing for incentive hunting tags is part of the department's effort to get a more complete picture of hunting activity within the state.

"Data collected from hunters, whether they were successful or not, allows us to better manage the resource and determine the impacts of season changes," Ware said.

Hunters who have not reported their 2002 hunting activity must do so before a 2003 hunting license can be issued. Reports can be made by calling toll-free, (877) 945-3492, or via the Internet, at