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OLYMPIA – The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comments on proposed recommendations for hunting contest and hunting restriction rules.

Written public comments will be accepted through July 14 on the proposed rule changes. The proposals and comment forms are posted on the department's website.

The two proposals are related to hunting contests. The first excludes species that do not have bag limits from hunting contests. The second makes it illegal to participate in a hunting contest the department has not permitted.

“We’ve heard from the public that they are concerned about holding certain contests which award prizes to the person that kills the most animals,” said Anis Aoude, game division manager. “If the (Fish and Wildlife) Commission approves the rule proposals, then these types of contests will no longer be permitted.”

The proposed changes would affect only hunting contests and would not change general hunting regulations for species that have no bag limit, including but not limited to bobcats, coyotes, crows, foxes or raccoons. Fishing contests and field trials would not be not affected by the proposed rule change.

“Six other states currently have some form of ban on wildlife killing contests,” Aoude said. “We remain committed to providing hunting opportunities that are consistent with the hunting community’s stewardship values.”

Comments also can be submitted by email to rules.coordinator@dfw.wa.gov or mail to Wildlife Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504.

The commission also will accept public comments during its July 30 and Aug. 1 webinar. Final action by the Commission is scheduled at the Aug. 21 webinar.

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