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Commission will consider adopting new hunting rules at April meeting

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting proposed changes to state hunting rules for deer, elk, moose and other game species during a public meeting April 11-12 in Olympia.

The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene at 8:30 a.m. each day in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building on the state capitol campus at 1111 Washington St. S.E.

An agenda for the meeting is available on the commission's website at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/ .

On Friday, April 11, the commission will consider adopting new rules for hunting in 2014 that would:

Reduce fees for multi-season deer permit holders; master hunters with special permits for deer or elk damage tags; special permit holders who purchase a second deer tag; and hunters who are issued damage prevention or kill permits for second deer tags.

Decrease elk hunting permits by more than 400 in the Mount St. Helens area now that the elk population is more in balance with area habitat.

Boost the number of antlerless elk hunting permits by 620 for the Colockum area, where the population exceeds management goals.

Streamline the process for issuing special use permits to hunters with disabilities, which enable them to use modified hunting equipment.

Those and other proposed changes in state hunting rules are available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development.html . The commission held public hearings on those proposals during a meeting March 7-8 in Moses Lake.

In other business, the commission will consider approving three land transactions proposed by WDFW, including the acquisition of 640 acres near Wenatchee in a partnership with Chelan County. The other transactions involve accepting the transfer of one acre of land near Yakima and the exchange of three-quarters of an acre with the City of Sumner.

The first day's session will conclude with a briefing by WDFW staff on tribal hunting in Washington.

On Saturday, April 12, the commission will hold a public hearing on Puget Sound smelt-fishing rules, and hear staff briefings on the results of last year's fisheries for Dungeness crab and shrimp in Puget Sound.


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