WSR 04-05-106

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed February 18, 2004, 10:09 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-01-187.

Title of Rule: Hunting equipment rules.

Purpose: To amend WAC 232-12-047 Unlawful firearms for hunting, 232-12-054 Archery requirements--Archery special use permits, and 232-12-828 Hunting of game birds and animals by person with a disability.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.047.

Summary: The proposed changes make it legal for disabled hunter permittees that have received a crossbow special use permit to hunt game birds and game animals with a crossbow. The proposal allows disabled hunter permittees that are not able to use adaptive archery equipment to use a crossbow.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: In general, restrictions on equipment technology are designed to constrain incremental improvements in hunting success that may affect season length or timing or other hunting restrictions. This accommodation to use a crossbow under an archery special use permit is intended to provide qualifying hunters with disabilities access to archery hunting. Adoption of this accommodation will resolve a long-standing disability discrimination complaint filed against the department.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Dave Brittell, Assistant Director, Natural Resources Building, Olympia, (360) 902-2504; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, Assistant Director, Natural Resources Building, Olympia, (360) 902-2932.

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

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

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: These rules describe lawful equipment for hunting game. The purpose of the recommended change is to allow the use of crossbows as an accommodation for hunters with disabilities that would otherwise be unable to participate in archery hunting. The anticipated effect is that a few disabled hunters would qualify to use a crossbow for hunting.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Crossbows would be lawful hunting equipment for qualifying disabled hunter permittees that are not able to use other adaptive archery equipment such as draw locks, trigger mechanisms, and bow supports.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules regulate recreational hunters and do not directly regulate small business.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Not hydraulics rules.

Hearing Location: Red Lion Hotel "At the Park," 303 West North River Drive, Spokane, WA 99201, phone (509) 326-8000, on April 2-3, 2004, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Yeager by March 29, 2004, TDD (360) 902-2207 or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Wildlife Program April Meeting Public Comments, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2162, by March 12, 2004.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 2, 2004.

February 18, 2004

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 00-50, filed 5/23/00, effective 6/23/00)

WAC 232-12-047   Unlawful firearms for hunting.   (1) It is unlawful to hunt any big game with:

(a) A fully automatic firearm.

(b) A centerfire cartridge less than 22 caliber for cougar.

(c) A centerfire cartridge less than 24 caliber for any other big game.

(d) 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.

(e) A shotgun for any other big game, except that a 12 gauge or 10 gauge shotgun using slugs may be used.

(f) A handgun that does not meet the following criteria: Have a minimum barrel length of four inches, per manufacturer's specification, and fire a centerfire cartridge.

(g) Any rimfire cartridge.

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

(3) 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, except persons with disabilities may use a crossbow with a special use permit as conditioned in WAC 232-12-054.

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

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

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040, 77.12.010, 77.12.020, 77.12.770, 77.12.780. 00-11-137 (Order 00-50), 232-12-047, filed 5/23/00, effective 6/23/00. 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 03-129, filed 6/12/03, effective 7/13/03)

WAC 232-12-054   Archery requirements -- Archery special use permits.   (1) Rules pertaining to all archery:

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

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

(c) It is unlawful to shoot a bow and arrow from a vehicle or from, across or along the maintained portion of a public highway, except persons with a disabled hunter permit may shoot from a vehicle if the hunter is in compliance with WAC 232-12-828.

(d) 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 persons with an archery special use permit may((, during deer and elk archery seasons, use)) hunt game birds or game animals using a device that stabilizes and holds a long bow, recurve bow, or compound bow at a full draw, and may use a mechanical or electrical release.

(e) It is unlawful to hunt wildlife with a crossbow, except disabled hunter permitees in possession of a crossbow special use permit.

(f) It is unlawful to hunt big game animals with any arrow or bolt that does not have a sharp broadhead, and the broadhead blade or blades are less than seven-eighths inch wide.

(g) It is unlawful to hunt big game animals 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.

(h) It is unlawful to hunt wildlife with any bow or crossbow equipped with a scope.

(2) Rules pertaining to long bow, recurve bow and compound bow archery:

(a) 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.

(b) It is unlawful to hunt big game animals with any arrow measuring less than 20 inches in length or weighing less than 6 grains per pound of draw weight with a minimum arrow weight of 300 grains.

(3) Rules pertaining to crossbows:

(a) It is unlawful for a disabled hunter permit holder in possession of a crossbow special use permit to hunt big game animals with a crossbow with a draw weight less than 125 pounds, a limb width less than 24 inches, a draw length less than 14 inches, and a working trigger safety.

(b) It is unlawful for a disabled hunter permit holder in possession of a crossbow special use permit to hunt big game animals with any arrow or bolt measuring less than 16 inches in length and weighing less than 350 grains.

(c) It is unlawful for a disabled hunter permit holder in possession of a crossbow special use permit to hunt game animals or game birds with a crossbow that weighs more than 15 pounds.

(((3))) (4) Archery special use permits((.)):

(a) An archery special use permit is available to a person who ((holds)) possesses a valid ((big game combination package which includes deer or elk as a species option and who presents an)) disabled hunter permit. An archery special use permit application must be signed by a physician stating that the person's disability is permanent and the person has a loss of use of one or both upper extremities, has a significant limitation in the use of an upper extremity, or has a permanent physical limitation, which loss or limitation substantially impairs the ability to safely hold, grasp or shoot a long bow, recurve bow or compound bow. The loss or limitation may be the result of, but not limited to, amputation, paralysis, diagnosed disease, or birth defect. The approved archery special use permit must be in the physical possession of the person while using adaptive archery equipment as described in subsection (1)(d) of this section to hunt ((deer or elk)) game birds or game animals.

(b) A crossbow special use permit is available to a person who meets the requirements for an archery special use permit and is unable to use adaptive archery equipment. Adaptive equipment includes, but is no limited to: cocking devices that hold the bow at full draw; trigger mechanisms that may be released by mouth, or chin, or hand supporting the bow; and devices that assist in supporting the bow. Information describing types of adaptive equipment will be provided to physicians for their assessment of the applicant's ability to utilize adaptive archery equipment. Muscle weakness, impaired range of motion, or unilateral hand weakness disability, of both hands or both arms or both sides of the upper extremity, may result in an inability to use adaptive archery equipment. Standard tests approved by the American Medical Association may be conducted to assess a person's abilities.

(c) Section 4(b), crossbow special use permits will be valid for the 2004 through 2006 hunting seasons, unless reauthorized by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 03-13-047 (Order 03-129), 232-12-054, filed 6/12/03, effective 7/13/03; 01-17-068 (Order 01-167), 232-12-054, filed 8/15/01, effective 9/15/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040, 77.12.010, 77.12.020, 77.12.770, 77.12.780. 00-11-137 (Order 00-50), 232-12-054, filed 5/23/00, effective 6/23/00. 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.]

Reviser's note: The spelling error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 03-85, filed 4/30/03, effective 5/31/03)

WAC 232-12-828   Hunting of game birds and animals by persons with a disability.   (1) Definitions:

(a) "Hunter with a disability" means a person with a permanent disability who possesses a disabled hunter permit issued by the department. A hunter with a disability must have all required licenses, tags, permits, and stamps before hunting.

(b) "Disabled hunter permit" means a permit, card, or endorsement to a license issued by the department to any person with a permanent disability who applies to the department and presents such evidence as the director may require showing that the applicant is a person with a qualifying disability. Upon approval of the application, the department will issue a vehicle identification placard. A designated hunter companion card will be issued with a hunting license.

(c) "Designated hunter companion" means a person who assists a hunter with a disability in the stalking, shooting, tracking, retrieving, or tagging of game birds and game animals.

(d) "Designated hunter companion card" means an identification card issued by the department to the hunter with a disability.

(e) "Blind or visually impaired" means a central visual acuity that does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with corrective lenses, or the widest diameter of the visual field does not exceed twenty degrees.

(f) "Accompany" means the hunter with a disability and the designated hunter companion are in the physical presence of each other, not to exceed 1/4 mile separation. While stalking or shooting an animal, the hunter with a disability and the designated hunter companion must have a form of reliable and direct communication.

(g) "Special use permit" means a permit issued by the department to a person with a specific permanent disability as a reasonable accommodation. The special use permit allows for a specific act or acts to include, but not be limited to, use of adaptive mechanical, electrical, or specialty equipment or devices that aid the person in hunting.

(h) "Person with a disability" means:

(i) A person who has a permanent disability and is not ambulatory over natural terrain without a lower extremity prosthesis or must permanently use a medically prescribed assistive device for mobility, including, but not limited to, a wheelchair, crutch, cane, walker, or oxygen bottle; or

(ii) A person who has a permanent disability and is physically incapable of holding and safely operating a firearm or other legal hunting device.

This definition includes, but is not limited to, persons with a permanent upper or lower extremity impairment who have lost the use of one or both upper or lower extremities, or who have a severe limitation in the use of one or both upper or lower extremities, or who have a diagnosed permanent disease or disorder which substantially impairs or severely interferes with mobility or the use of one or both upper or lower extremities for holding and safely operating a firearm or other legal hunting device; or

(iii) A person who is blind or visually impaired.

"Visually impaired" means central visual acuity that does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with corrective lenses, or the widest diameter of the visual field is no greater than twenty degrees.

(2) The designated hunter companion must accompany the hunter with a disability when stalking or shooting game on behalf of the hunter with a disability. The hunter with a disability or the designated hunter companion must immediately cut, notch, or date any required tag. The tag must be affixed to the carcass of the game bird or animal as soon as is reasonably possible after killing the game.

(3) The designated hunter companion does not need to accompany the hunter with a disability while tracking an animal wounded by either hunter, or while tagging or retrieving a downed animal on behalf of the hunter with a disability.

(4) It is unlawful for a designated hunter companion to assist a hunter with a disability unless the designated hunter companion has the designated hunter companion identification card on his or her person.

(5) It is unlawful for a hunter with a disability to shoot from a motor vehicle, nonhighway vehicle or snowmobile unless the vehicle is stopped, the motor is turned off and the vehicle is not on or beside the maintained portion of a public highway. A disabled hunter vehicle identification placard must be displayed.

(6) It is unlawful for any person to possess a loaded firearm in a moving vehicle or to shoot a firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrow from, across, or along the maintained portion of a public highway.

(7) Game birds or game animals killed, tagged or retrieved by a designated hunter companion on behalf of a hunter with a disability do not count against the designated hunter companion's bag or possession limit.

(8) A designated hunter companion shooting game for or may be shooting game for a hunter with a disability must have a valid hunting license issued by Washington or another state.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 03-10-040 (Order 03-85), 232-12-828, filed 4/30/03, effective 5/31/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.32.237. 96-03-084 (Order 96-07), 232-12-828, filed 1/18/96, effective 2/18/96.]

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