Following are the top 10 ways sportsmen goof up and qualify for a costly ticket while hunting in Washington, according to Fish and Wildlife Department enforcement officers in Spokane (in no particular order):
1. License not on person while hunting.
2. Tag not properly notched and attached to carcass.
3. Fluorescent orange clothing requirement not met.
4. Loaded firearms in vehicle.
5. Shooting before or after legal hunting hours.
6. Trespassing on private property.
7. Driving motor vehicles on restricted roads and trails.
8. Species misidentification, such a taking a moose for an elk or a mule deer for a whitetail. The mistake gets especially expensive if you shoot a grizzly thinking it’s a black bear or mistake a wolf for a coyote or a caribou for anything.
9. Antler-point minimum violations, such as the three-point minimum on area mule deer, and spike-only rules in the Blue Mountains.
10. Party hunting: It’s illegal to fill another person’s tag.
Other common mistakes that will earn hunters a fine include failure to leave evidence of sex attached to an animal’s carcass.
When field dressing the animal, if you remove the head or antlers evidence of sex requirements are met if either the sex organs or udder are left naturally attached to the carcass. This must remain attached until the animal arrives at the final place of storage or personal consumption or delivery to a commercial meat processing facility.
Evidence of sex must be left attached to the hide of bears, lions and trophy species (moose, sheep or goat) until the mandatory check requirements are met.
Evidence of species also must be considered in many hunts. In Idaho, when hunting in a season restricted only to mule deer or white-tailed deer, the fully haired tail must be left naturally attached to the carcass until it reaches the final place of storage or personal consumption or a commercial meat processing facility.
Montana has specific requirements for leaving wings attached to carcasses of upland game birds to provide identification of sex and species.