OLYMPIA – Some of Washington’s most popular hunting seasons will get underway Sat., Oct. 15, when hunters with modern firearms will take to the field for deer and waterfowl.
“Deer hunting opportunities should be good in many parts of the state,” said Jerry Nelson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) deer and elk manager.
“Last year’s deer harvest was the highest in our state since 2004, but drought took less of a toll this summer and overwinter survival was favorable in most areas,” said Nelson.
Hunters will also take to the field for waterfowl. Last season, nearly 550,000 waterfowl were harvested in Washington. Duck — except scaup — coot, and snipe seasons open Oct. 15, as well as goose seasons in all goose management areas.
The exceptions include dusky Canada goose hunting in Goose Management Area 2, which is closed from October through March. Brant season, determined by the midwinter waterfowl survey, is also currently closed, but will open on selected dates in January.
“We expect another strong season,” said WDFW waterfowl manager Kyle Spragens. “Conditions point to a good year for brood production, which is great for waterfowl hunters as long as enough rain falls during hunting season.”
WDFW’s 2016 Hunting Prospects reports (http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/) include local and up-to-date information on what upcoming seasons may hold. The reports are written by WDFW district biologists and are organized by game species.
Information on access to more than one million acres of private land can be found at the Private Lands Hunting Access page (http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/hunting_access/private_lands/). Hunters can also find information on public or private lands open to hunting by visiting GoHunt, WDFW’s interactive mapping program (http://apps.wdfw.wa.gov/gohunt/).
While online sales for hunting licenses are currently disabled, hunters can purchase their licenses at any WDFW license dealer (http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/) or by calling WDFW’s licensing customer service number at (360) 902-2464.