OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking comments on proposed alternatives for 2021-23 hunting seasons.
The comment period runs through Sept. 15. The public can learn more from WDFW’s website, attending live webinars, and — a new option that the department is testing for the first time — by text message.
“This process is how we attempt to understand the type of hunting experience our hunters want, and we need your feedback to help us determine the path forward,” said Anis Aoude, WDFW game division manager. “We’re looking at how we can bring in more participation even as we’re having to contend with current restrictions on public gatherings. We’re grateful to the hunters who already logged in this morning to provide feedback."
The season-setting information and feedback opportunities are available on the department’s season setting webpage: wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/season-setting.
To provide your feedback by text, send a message to 855-925-2801, using just one of the following keywords: “deer,” “elk,” “small game,” “waterfowl,” “bighorn,” or “general.” Using the keyword “bighorn” will give participants the opportunity to answer questions about bighorn sheep, boundaries, and mountain goats, and using the keyword “general” will allow people to answer questions about equipment and licensing. If participants would like to provide feedback on all the above topics via text, they must complete one section at a time before texting in the next keyword.
This year, WDFW has also scheduled a series of virtual public meetings by topic to discuss the 2021-23 hunting season alternatives. The revised meeting dates are scheduled from 6-7 p.m. on the following days:
Tuesday, Aug. 25 — Small game, upland game, furbearers
Thursday, Aug. 27 — General, equipment and licensing
Tuesday, Sept. 1 — Waterfowl
Thursday, Sept. 3 — Elk
Wednesday, Sept. 9 — Deer
Thursday, Sept. 10 — Bighorn sheep, boundaries and mountain goat
The public can attend the events and ask questions in real-time by using the links above, which are also available from the department website.
“The proposals are posted on our website for you to review,” said Aoude. “We’ll provide an overview and answer your questions about these proposals in real-time during our season setting meetings.”
There will be an additional public review process with updated proposals in January 2021. Final recommendations will be presented to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission for adoption in the spring of 2021.
Members of the public who have limited or no internet connections may call the Wildlife Program Customer Service Desk at 360-902-2515 to request a print version of the survey (limited copies available). Written comments may be mailed to:
Wildlife Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, PO Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504.