Hunters and other members of the public have through Feb. 15 to comment on changes to hunting rules proposed by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The agency is accepting written comments on the 17 proposals, posted on its website at wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/2013/wsr_13-03-152.pdf.
The proposals include:
• Expanding spring black bear hunting opportunities in the 2013-15 seasons in the northern Puget Sound area to reduce bear damage to trees in commercial timberlands. Such spring seasons would allow recreational hunters to better target the areas receiving damage and allows hunters rather than contractors to harvest bears.
• Allowing the use of illuminated arrow nocks for archery equipment. This proposal is intended to spark additional discussion of new technologies and what is considered acceptable fair-chase and ethical standards for hunting.
• Designate Anderson Island as a Game Management Unit rather than a Deer Area. The proposed language will allow the department to better track harvest removals specific to the island rather than having those removals lumped with a mainland management unit.
• Restoring antlerless elk opportunities for archery hunters in Yakima County, specifically in Game Management Units 352 (Nile) and 356 (Bumping).
The state Fish and Wildlife Commission will discuss the proposals and hold a final round of public comments during a meeting scheduled for March 1-2 in Moses Lake.
The commission is scheduled to vote on the proposals during a meeting April 12-13 in Olympia.
Written comments can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to Wildlife Program Commission Public Comments, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501.