OLYMPIA - Just in time for the holidays, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has something for the outdoor enthusiast who has everything.
Fishing and hunting licenses for the 2005-06 season are now available by phone, over the Internet and from hundreds of license dealers. The new licenses are valid from April 1, 2005 through March 31, 2006.
"The new season is still a few months away, but a lot of people are already planning next year's adventures," said Frank Hawley, WDFW licensing manager. "For those folks, a new fishing or hunting license can make a great holiday gift."
Another option is to enter a friend or family member in WDFW's quarterly drawings for a lifetime of hunting and fishing privileges, Hawley said. Tickets cost $6.50 for state residents and $12.50 for non-residents and are valid for all drawings within 365 days of purchase.
The rates for annual fishing and hunting licenses remain unchanged from last year. Including transaction fees, the resident adult freshwater fishing license is $21.90; saltwater is $19.71; shellfish/seaweed is $10.95; and a combination license is $41.61. Resident hunting licenses vary with package options, ranging from a small game license at $32.85 to a deer/elk/cougar/bear combination license for $72.27.
Also available are WDFW vehicle-use permits, which give the bearer access to more than 600 WDFW recreational access sites throughout the state. The annual cost is $10.95.
To purchase a license electronically, go to (http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/) on the Internet. Only the license holder's Washington Interactive Licensing Database (WILD) identification number (or name and birthdate) is necessary if the individual is currently licensed in the WILD system. (If the recipient is not currently licensed, the purchaser also needs to provide the license holder's address, telephone number, Social Security number, height, weight and eye color).
Licenses can also be purchased by telephone by calling 1-866-246-9453. For those interested in buying a license in person, a list of license vendors is available on the WDFW website or by calling local WDFW offices.
For those involved in the outdoors closer to home, a WDFW Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary packet is available for $5. The packet includes information about creating year-round backyard habitat that attracts birds and other wildlife for viewing enjoyment. It covers landscaping, supplemental feeding, nest boxes and other topics.
To order a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary packet, send the recipient's address with a $5 check payable to WDFW. On the west side of the state, mail to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek, WA 98012. On the east side of the state, mail to WDFW Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program, N. 8702 Division St., Spokane, WA 99218.