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Washington Early Season Hunting Update

August 22, 2008.

From the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Early archery seasons are set to begin in select Game Management Units in Southwest Washington and the rest of the state.  The early deer season runs Sept. 1-30, while the elk season runs Sept. 8-21, as outlined in WDFW's Big Game Hunting pamphlet (

Also opening Sept. 1 are the statewide forest grouse and dove hunting seasons. Before heading out, hunters should check and the Waterfowl and Upland Game pamphlet ( for details.

Hunting seasons for bear and cougar also continue statewide, although cougar-hunting rules will change significantly Sept. 9 in Klickitat County, where the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission recently approved a new pilot cougar hunt with the aid of dogs.  To accommodate the new pilot hunt - set for Dec. 1 through March 31 - the existing general hunt had to be restructured mid-season, said Donny Martorello, WDFW carnivore specialist.

Under the new rules, the general-season cougar hunt will be restricted to hunters using muzzleloaders and archery equipment from Sept. 9 through Oct. 10.  The same will be true for the period from Nov. 20-30. The only remaining period when hunters can use any type of weapon - including modern firearms - to hunt cougars during the general season is Oct. 11 through Nov. 19.

Those regulations are consistent with those in effect in the other five counties where hunting cougar with the use of dogs has been approved.  Included in that list are Chelan, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties. "The measure approved by the commission effectively moves the hunt from one set of regulations to another," Martorello said.  "We want to make sure hunters are aware of those new rules, especially since the general season is already under way."  General hunting seasons in other counties are not affected by the changes in the Klickitat County hunt.

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