Hunters who report their 2016 black bear, deer, elk, or turkey hunting results by Tuesday, Jan. 10, will have the opportunity to win one of nine deer and elk special hunt permits for the fall of 2017, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials said Wednesday.
WDFW Game Division manager Anis Aoude said the department is offering the special permits, which will be awarded through a drawing this spring, as an incentive to encourage hunters to report their results as soon as possible.
He said the special hunts include five deer permits and four elk permits in various areas of the state. The permits will be valid from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017.
To qualify for the drawing, hunters must submit a report by Jan. 10 for each black bear, deer, elk, or turkey tag they purchased and each special hunting permit they received in 2016.
“The incentive permit drawing is designed to give an extra opportunity to those hunters who file their reports early,” Aoude said. “This helps us avoid problems that can occur if everyone waits until the last minute.”
All hunters, regardless of their success in the field, must submit hunting reports for each transport tag by Jan. 31. Failure to meet the deadline can result in a $10 reporting fee, which must be paid when a hunter purchases a license for the 2017 season.
Annual hunting reports are a primary source of information for managing game populations and developing future hunting seasons, Aoude said.
Hunters can report by phone at (877) 945-3492 or online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov. To report online, hunters will first need to establish an online account by creating a user name and password and providing an email address. Individuals can use these accounts for many purposes, including filing harvest reports and purchasing hunting and fishing licenses.