Chop a couple weeks off black bear season in three areas, close a couple Columbia River islands to deer hunting, open up the Blues to a general fall turkey season, allow bowhunters and muzzleloaders to carry handguns afield.
Just four proposals for Washington’s 2010-11 hunting seasons up for public comment through Feb. 24.
They, and a raft of others, can be found online.
The first rule above would move the fall bear opener from Aug. 1 to Aug. 14 in the Okanogan, South Cascades and Northeastern bear management unit. That’s because, according to WDFW, “indicators suggest that hunting seasons should be more conservative.”
The Okanogan bear area includes Okanogan County west of the Okanogan River as well as Chelan County lands on the north side of Lake Chelan. The South Cascades bear area includes the west side of the Cascades from I-90 south to the Columbia River. The Northeast includes the eastern half of Okanogan County, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille and Spokane counties.
As for the deer, Cottonwood Island (off the west side of Carrolls Slough) and nearby Howard Island would be made off limits to deer hunting because both “sites (are) proposed for Columbian white-tailed deer release to further Columbian white-tailed deer recovery.”
The unique species is protected under state and federal laws.
Also along the state’s southern border, but further east, WDFW proposes to switch from a fall permit turkey hunt to a general season in the Blues.
And they’d also like to add the Couse unit for spring permit bear hunting, with four tags on offer.
As for handguns for bowmen and blackpowder hunters, our colleague Dave Workman was filing a story for the March 1 issue of Gun Week that explains:
Prior to last year, neither bowhunters or black powder hunters were allowed to carry a handgun, with the exception of muzzleloader hunters carrying black powder revolvers or single-shot pistols. The new rule will allow the carrying of modern handguns, but still prohibit their use to dispatch a big game animal shot with an arrow or a muzzleloader bullet or ball.
Written comments can be e-mailed to Wildthing@dfw.wa.gov or mailed to Wildlife Program Commission Meeting Public Comments, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501
A public hearing with the Fish & Wildlife Commission is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on March 12-13, 2010, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, First Floor Room 172, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98504