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Watch for rule tweeks

New state hunting regulations pamphlets are required reading for hunters, and this year is no exception.

Unsuspecting deer hunters in northeastern Washington could be tripped up by the elimination of the November general-season antlerless whitetail hunting for youth, senior and disabled hunters.

Some changes aren’t so dramatic. Hear are a few “new twists” in Eastern Washington big-game seasons that some hunters will love and some will hate:

•The general late-buck whitetail season overlaps two days with the modern rifle elk season. (The overlap was necessary to give deer hunters two full weekends during their season without going past the Nov. 19 threshold the state has set to protect bucks during the peak of the rut.)

•Bowhunters lost four days of their deer season while muzzleloaders gained four days.

•Muzzleloader deer season is earlier this year and it no longer overlaps with the muzzleloader elk season.

•Several new early-season deer hunts are already underway for 25 permit holders, including the new Colville River hunt that runs Sept. 1-Dec. 31.