WSR 99-05-064

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed February 17, 1999, 8:02 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 99-01-136.

Purpose: To amend WAC 232-12-054 Bow and arrow requirements and to amend WAC 232-12-047 Unlawful firearms for hunting.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.040.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.040.

Summary: WAC 232-12-054, the Citizen Task Force for the Disabled, an official advisory task force to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, would like to amend this WAC to allow use of crossbows and cocking devices for people with disabilities for hunting purposes.

WAC 232-12-047, the Citizen Task Force for the Disabled would like to amend the current WAC to allow the use of crossbows for hunting for people with disabilities.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: WAC 232-12-054, the Citizen Task Force for the Disabled is recommending this amendment to provide an alternative hunting weapon for disabled hunters. People with upper body disabilities are (in most cases) unable to draw a bow. This amendment would allow them to use a crossbow as well as a cocking device.

WAC 232-12-047, this WAC addresses unlawful firearms and should not include any archery equipment. Legal and illegal archery equipment is defined in another WAC.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Steve Pozzanghera, Assistant Director, Wildlife Management, Olympia, (360) 902-2504; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, Assistant Director, Enforcement, Olympia, (360) 902-2932.

Name of Proponent: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 232-12-054, the amendment would allow sportsmen and women who are disabled to use crossbows, with cocking devices, to hunt, including hunting during archery seasons. The purpose is to enable hunters with upper mobility impairments an opportunity to choose an archery method to use when hunting. The designated hunter companion would not be entitled to use a crossbow. The anticipated effect is difficult to judge for a variety of reasons:


Many disabled hunters buy regular licenses, not reduced fee licenses, so are not identified as disabled.
Disabled hunters are not identified by weapons type.
There are no fees attached to disabled hunter permits, and they are valid for five years. The number of permit holders does not tell us the number of hunters. 373 holders of Disabled Hunter Permits applied for special deer and elk drawings in 1998.
There are 3,264 holders of Disabled Hunter Permits; and of those, 373 applied for special permit deer and elk drawings in 1998. It is estimated that of the disabled hunter permit holders who actively hunt and apply for special deer and elk tag drawings open only to such permit holders, an equal number applies for other special deer and elk tag drawings. Others may not apply for any permits. Using that logic, if 400 apply for drawings open only to Disabled Hunter Permit holders, and another 400 apply for other drawings, then there are 800 to 1,200 active disabled hunters. Although 10% to 16% of general season hunters (depending on species) choose archery as their hunting method, for estimating purposes, we used 25% of the number of active disabled hunters (1,200) to determine a number who could qualify and would participate in archery seasons. Therefore, we estimate that up to 300 disabled hunters might choose archery hunts, and would be able to also choose a crossbow.

WAC 232-12-047, this amendment is housekeeping in nature.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules do not affect small business.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. These rules are not related to the hydraulics code.

Hearing Location: Cavanaughs Ridpath Hotel, 515 West Sprague Avenue, Spokane, WA, on April 2-3, 1999, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Debbie Nelson by March 15, 1999, TDD (360) 902-2207, or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Steve Pozzanghera, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2162, by March 19, 1999.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 2, 1999.

February 16, 1999

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator

OTS-2807.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 98-53, filed 4/22/98, effective 5/23/98)

WAC 232-12-047
Unlawful firearms for hunting.

It is unlawful to hunt any big game with:

(1) A fully automatic firearm.

(2) A handgun that does not meet the following criteria:

(a) For deer, bear, or cougar

(i) Be a minimum of .24 caliber;

(ii) Have a minimum barrel length of 4 inches, per manufacturer's specification; and

(iii) Fire a centerfire cartridge which uses a mushrooming or expanding type bullet that develops a minimum of 500 foot-pounds of energy at 100 yards.

(b) For all other big game species:

(i) Be a minimum of .24 caliber;

(ii) Have a minimum barrel length of 4 inches, per manufacturer's specification; and

(iii) Fire a centerfire cartridge which uses a mushrooming or expanding type bullet that develops a minimum of 750 foot-pounds of energy at 100 yards.

(3) A rifle with a bore diameter less than .240 of an inch (6mm), or barrel length less than 16 inches, except that cougar may be hunted with a .22 caliber centerfire rifle.

(4) A rifle cartridge with a bullet weighing less than 85 grains, or that develops less than 900 foot pounds of energy at 100 yds, except that cougar may be hunted with a rifle cartridge with a mushrooming or expanding type bullet weighing greater than 50 grains.

(5) A rifle cartridge containing a bullet other than a mushrooming or expanding type designed for big game hunting.

(6) A shotgun, provided that a 20 gauge, or larger shotgun, using shells loaded with slugs or buckshot size #1 or larger, may be used to hunt deer, bear, and cougar.

(7) A muzzle-loader that does not meet the definition as provided in WAC 232-12-051.

It is unlawful to hunt game birds with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.

It is unlawful to hunt game birds or game animals, except bullfrogs, in a manner other than with a firearm, a bow and arrow, or by falconry.

It is unlawful to hunt game animals or game birds with a shotgun larger than 10 gauge.

It is unlawful to hunt game birds with a rifle or pistol, with the exception of blue grouse, spruce grouse and ruffed grouse.

((It is unlawful to hunt wildlife with a crossbow.))

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040.  98-10-006 (Order 98-53), 232-12-047, filed 4/22/98, effective 5/23/98; 90-14-108 (Order 449), 232-12-047, filed 7/5/90, effective 8/5/90; 83-01-006 (Order 198), 232-12-047, filed 12/2/82; 82-04-034 (Order 177), 232-12-047, filed 1/28/82; 81-22-002 (Order 174), 232-12-047, filed 10/22/81; 81-12-029 (Order 165), 232-12-047, filed 6/1/81.  Formerly WAC 232-12-130.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 427, filed 1/24/90, effective 2/24/90)

WAC 232-12-054
Bow and arrow requirements.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to hunt big game animals with a bow that possesses less than 40 pounds of pull measured at twenty-eight inches or less draw length or has a greater than 65% reduction (let off) in holding weight at full draw, unless the hunter has a valid disabled hunter permit issued by the director.

Disabled hunter permit holders may use a crossbow; however, it is unlawful for any permit holder to hunt big game with a crossbow that possesses less than 150 pounds of pull.

(2) It is unlawful to hunt big game animals with any arrow, including broadhead, weighing less than 400 grains (400 gr.) or having sharp broadhead blade or blades less than seven-eighths inches wide.  It is unlawful to hunt with a broadhead blade unless the broadhead is unbarbed and completely closed at the back end of the blade or blades by a smooth, unbroken surface starting at maximum blade width forming a smooth line toward the feather end of the shaft and such line does not angle toward the point.

Disabled hunter permit holders may use a crossbow; however, it is unlawful to hunt with a crossbow using bolts less than 18 inches in length.

(3) It is unlawful for any person to carry or have in his possession any firearm while in the field archery hunting, during the bow and arrow season specified for that area.

(4) It is unlawful to hunt wildlife with a crossbow, except hunters who have a valid disabled hunter permit issued by the director may use crossbows during the general and archery seasons.

(a) It is unlawful to use any crossbow except a compound crossbow.

(b) It is unlawful to use any crossbow that weighs more than 15 pounds.

(5) It is unlawful to shoot at wildlife with an arrow from a vehicle ((or)), unless the hunter has a valid disabled hunter permit issued by the director. It is unlawful to shoot at wildlife from, across or along the maintained portion of a public highway.

(((5))) (6) It is unlawful to use any device secured to or supported by the bow for the purpose of maintaining the bow at full draw or in a firing position, except, a holder of a valid disabled hunter permit issued by the director may use a leverage gaining device to cock a crossbow while hunting wildlife.

(((6))) (7) It is unlawful to have any electrical equipment or device(s) attached to the bow or arrow while hunting.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040.  90-03-092 (Order 427), 232-12-054, filed 1/24/90, effective 2/24/90; 88-13-012 (Order 310), 232-12-054, filed 6/6/88; 81-12-029 (Order 165), 232-12-054, filed 6/1/81.  Formerly WAC 232-12-140.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office