Three Year Hunting Season Comments Sought

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is soliciting public comments through Dec. 8 on preliminary options for 2003-2005 hunting seasons.

The options and a response questionnaire are posted on the department's website on the Internet.

The Internet questionnaire seeks respondents' views on hunting options for a number of game species, including possible shifting of the archery elk season later in September from its current Sept. 1 opening; changing the lifetime selection restriction for special-permit species such as big-horn sheep, mountain goat and moose; and establishing additional fall turkey hunting opportunity in northeast Washington.

Responses received on the preliminary options will be used to guide WDFW staff in developing draft season alternatives.

Those alternatives will be the subject of eight public meetings that will be held across the state in January. Specific locations will be announced at a later date for the meetings, which all will run from 7 to 9 p.m. and are scheduled for Jan. 20 in the TriCities, Jan. 21 in Wenatchee, Jan. 22 in Spokane, Jan. 23 in Ellensburg, Jan. 27 in Fife, Jan. 28 in Mill Creek, Jan. 29 in Aberdeen and Jan. 30 in Vancouver.

Comments taken at those meetings will be used to develop draft recommendations for presentation to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission for action next April.