OLYMPIA –-(Ammoland.com)- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced dates for a scheduled January brant goose hunting season, after counts of the birds in Skagit County indicated numbers were at the level needed for a full season.
The year's brant season in Skagit County will occur on Jan. 7, 8, 11, 14, 15, 18, 21, and 22, based on criteria set when the season was adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in April.
“The number of hunting days depends on how many brant are counted during aerial surveys,” said Kyle Spragens, WDFW's waterfowl section manager.
Recent aerial surveys of Padilla, Samish, and Fidalgo bays resulted in counts of more than 6,000 brant, the number needed for a full season.
Last year, two moderate counts of 4,403 and 5,043 brant resulted in a restricted brant hunt in Skagit County. WDFW brant hunting regulations have been restrictive since the 1970s in Skagit County to conserve the limited population of Western High Arctic brant that winter in the area.
Spragens said the direct cause of the variable Skagit brant numbers are unknown but may be influenced by increasing numbers of brant wintering in southwest Alaska, indicating that wintering distribution shifts may be occurring.
Meanwhile, a brant season in Pacific County will open Jan. 7 on selected dates. Information on brant seasons is available in WDFW's Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons hunting pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/