Washington Hunting Prospects Look Good, But Wildfires May Limit Access

Wild Fires
Washington Hunting Prospects Look Good, But Wildfires May Limit Access
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Washington -(Ammoland.com)- Wildlife biologists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have compiled information to help with hunting prospects across the state for the upcoming season.

The reports include information on deer, elk, waterfowl, turkey, upland birds and other species, as well as suggestions on techniques and places to hunt. Staff reports for all 17 wildlife districts in the state are available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/ .

Hunting seasons will continue despite several wildfires but hunters should be aware of land access restrictions around Washington due to fire, said Mick Cope, WDFW game division manager.

“There's some good hunting to be had this year, but hunters need to check current conditions before heading into the field,” Cope said. “Some hunters may need to find alternate hunting locations or different routes to their selected hunting locations.”

WDFW has compiled a list of major public landowners, along with their contact information, for each region. The information is available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/hunting_access/ . Hunters will also find information on private lands hunting access on the webpage.

Fire prevention restrictions implemented earlier this summer on WDFW's wildlife areas and water access sites across the state remain in place. Those restrictions, including a ban on campfires, are available on WDFW's lands webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/ .

WDFW will update its hunting prospects for areas affected by the wildfires after the fires subside and the impact on hunting opportunities becomes clear.

Despite the challenges this year's fires present, hunters still have a lot to look forward to this fall, Cope said.

“Waterfowl surveys indicate an even higher population of birds than we saw last year,” Cope said. “We anticipate an excellent duck hunting season this year.”

Other highlights for this hunting season include:

  • Muzzleloaders will be allowed to hunt for elk in 27 additional game management units (GMUs).
  • Two more days have been added to the modern firearm mule deer season.
  • Archery elk season starts later this year, on Sept. 12, in response to concerns raised by hunters in past years.
  • There are more days and extended hours to hunt geese in southwest Washington.

Before heading out into the field, hunters should check the Big Game Hunting pamphlet (http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/) for details.

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