OLYMPIA - Time is running short for hunters planning to apply for special hunting permits for fall deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep and turkey seasons.
This year’s application deadline is midnight May 20, nearly a month earlier than in past years. Permit winners will be selected by random drawing, with the results available by the end of June, said Dave Ware, game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
"Hunters told us they wanted us to conduct the drawing earlier in the year, so they would have more time to make their hunting plans," Ware said. "That makes sense, but hunters have to make sure they meet the earlier application deadline."
Hunters selected to receive special permits qualify to hunt in areas and at times of the year that may not be available to those with only general hunting licenses.
Application instructions and details on special-permit hunts are described in the 2009-10 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Regulations pamphlet, available at WDFW offices, license vendors and online ( http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regs_seasons.html ).
Before applying for a special-hunt permit, hunters must purchase an application and any necessary hunting licenses and transport tags on line, by phone, or from a licensed dealer for each species they wish to hunt. The cost for each application is $5.50 for residents, $55.00 for non-residents, and $3.30 for youth under 16 years of age.
Ware reminds hunters to update their mailing address in the system when purchasing their special hunting permit applications and licenses. Each year, hundreds of special hunting permits are returned due to invalid addresses.
All applications must be submitted via a toll-free telephone number (1-877-945-3492) or WDFW’s website ( https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/wa/specialhunt ). Paper applications will not be accepted.