CRITTERS – Starting this summer, Washington residents will be able to salvage road-killed deer and elk across most of the state, according to a new program adopted Friday by the Washington Fish and Wildlife.
A salvage permit will have to be obtained from the Fish and Wildlife Department within 24 hours of taking possession of the animal. The agency will be setting up a system to distribute permits on its web site or at department regional offices.
Among the specific rules that will be enforced:
- - The entire carcass, including entrails, of the animal must be removed from the road right of way.
- - Any meat an individual deems unfit for human consumption or unusable animal parts must be disposed of pursuant to rules that will be published.
- - Individuals may not kill an injured or wounded animal that they encounter for the purpose of salvage. Only a law enforcement officer or people authorized by the department may euthanize an animal injured in a motor vehicle collision.
The department will not guarantee the fitness for consumption of deer or elk collected under a salvage permit, according to the adopted rule.
Salvage will not be allowed in three southwest counties because of federal rules for endangered Columbian white-tailed deer.
adopted for deer, elk
HUNTING – The use of bait will continue to be allowed for hunting deer and elk in Washington, but with a few new restrictions enacted Friday by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.
After more than two years of contentious discussion, the commission voted to limit bait use to no more than 10 gallons.
Previously there were no limits on the amount of bait, such as apples, that would be dumped to attract deer or elk. Some hunters had proposed that Washington come in line with most states to prohibit baiting.
In addition, the commission restricted baits to being placed no closer than 200 yards from another bait site.
The vote was made during the commission’s regular meeting in Olympia. The baiting restrictions passed by an 8-1 vote with Commissioner Larry Carpenter of Vancouver voting no.
Washington and Oregon are the only two Western states that do not prohibit use of bait for hunting deer and elk.
A random telephone survey of Washington deer hunters conducted in 2014 by the state Fish and Wildlife Department found 59 percent opposed or strongly opposed baiting for deer while 21 percent supported or strongly supported baiting. Eleven percent were neutral and 9 percent “didn’t know.”
Elk hunters had even stronger feelings with 68 percent of those polled either opposed or strongly opposed baiting for elk. Only 14 percent of elk hunters supported using bait to hunt elk. Eleven percent were neutral and 8 percent didn’t know.
Kid Fishing Day
FISHING – Registration is underway for the annual Kids Fishing Day on May 7 at Clear Lake, sponsored by area fishing clubs and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Volunteers are meeting to rig up 900 rod-reel combos to be used by anglers ages 5-15.
Kids who sign up for a time slot will be able to catch and keep up to three stocked trout and keep the fishing gear when they’re done.
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