WSR 13-10-087

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed May 1, 2013, 11:54 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 13-06-068 on March 6, 2013.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The subject of this proposed rule-making effort is the amendment of cougar hunting seasons and regulations for 2013-2014.

Hearing Location(s): Natural Resources Building, Commission Office, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, on June 21, 2013, at 8:30 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: On or after June 21, 2013.

Submit Written Comments to: Wildlife Program Commission Meeting Public Comments, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2162, by June 11, 2013.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Tami Lininger by June 14, 2013, TTY (800) 833-6388 or (360) 902-2267.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed amendments to WAC 232-28-297 will further distinguish authorized areas for hunting cougar.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: To clarify hunt-area boundaries and maintain consistency with existing regulations.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.012, 77.04.055, 77.12.047, and 77.15.245.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.04.012, 77.04.055, 77.12.047, and 77.15.245.

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

Name of Proponent: Washington department of fish and wildlife, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Nate Pamplin, Natural Resources Building, Olympia, (360) 902-2693; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, Natural Resources Building, Olympia, (360) 902-2373.

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

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. This proposal is not related to hydraulics rules.

May 1, 2013

Lori Preuss

Rules Coordinator

OTS-5424.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 12-70, filed 5/2/12, effective 6/2/12)

WAC 232-28-297   2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015 Cougar hunting seasons and regulations.   (1) As used in this section and in the context of general cougar hunting seasons, "harvest guideline" means the estimated allowable harvest; the actual harvest may be less than or more than the harvest guideline.

(2) Season dates and harvest guidelines for each license year:


Hunt Area Harvest Guideline Early Hunting Season Late Hunting Season Legal Weapon
GMU 101 7-9 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 105 2 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 108, 111 5-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 113 4-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 117 6-8 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 121 5-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 124, 127, 130 7-9 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 133, 136, 139, 142, 248, 254, 260, 262, 266, 269, 272, 278, 284, 290, 330, 334, 371, 372, 373, 379, 381 None Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 149, 154, ((157,)) 162, 163 4-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 145, 166, 175, 178 3-4 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 169, 172, 181, 186 3-4 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 203 4-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 204 6-8 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 209, 215 4-5 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 218, 231 4-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 224 2-3 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 233, 239 3-4 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 242, 243 4-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 244, 246, 247 5-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 245, 250 5-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 249, 251 5-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 328, 329, 335 6-8 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 336, 340, 342, 346 5-7 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 352, 356, 360, 364, 368 5-7 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 382, 388 3-4 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 407 None Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 418, 426, 437 11-15 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 448, 450 9-13 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 454 None Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 460 5-7 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 466, 485, 490 2-3 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 501, 504, 506, 530 7-10 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 503, 505, 520, 550 6-8 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 510, 513 3-4 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 516 3-5 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs ((522,)) 524, 554, 556 3-4 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 560 5-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 564, 568 3-4 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 572 3-4 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 574, 578 3-5 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 601, 602, 603, 612 5-7 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 607, 615 4-5 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 618, 636, 638 4-5 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 621, 624, 627, 633 None Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 642, 648, 651 6-8 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 652, 666 None Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 653, 654 4-6 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMUs 658, 660, 663, 672, 673, 681, 684, 699 9-12 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon
GMU 667 3-4 Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 Jan. 1 - Mar. 31 Any Legal Weapon

(a) In hunt areas with a harvest guideline, the director may close the cougar late hunting season after January 1st in one or more GMUs if cougar harvest meets or exceeds the guideline.

(b) In hunt areas with a harvest guideline, starting January 1st, cougar hunters may hunt cougar from January 1st until the hunt area harvest guideline has been met and the director has closed the cougar late hunting season, or March 31st, whichever occurs first.

(3) Harvest guideline system:

(a) All cougar killed by licensed hunters during the early and late hunting seasons, and seasons authorized under WAC 232-12-243 shall be counted toward the harvest guideline.

(b) Individual problem cougar will continue to be killed on an as-needed basis utilizing depredation permits, landowner kill permits, and WDFW depredation authority regardless of harvest guidelines.

(c) It is each cougar hunter's responsibility to verify if the cougar late hunting season is open or closed in hunt areas with a harvest guideline. Cougar hunters can verify if the season is open or closed by calling the toll-free cougar hunting hotline or visiting the department's web site.

(4) Cougar hunting season requirements and special restrictions.

(a) A valid big game hunting license which includes cougar as a species option is required to hunt cougar.

(b) The statewide bag limit is one (1) cougar per license year; excluding removals authorized under WAC 232-12-243. It is unlawful to kill or possess spotted cougar kittens or adult cougars accompanied by spotted kittens.

(c) The use of dogs to hunt cougar is prohibited; except by a commission authorized permit (WAC 232-12-243).

(d) Any person who takes a cougar must comply with the notification and sealing requirements in WAC 232-12-024.

(e) A special cougar permit is required to hunt cougar in GMU 485.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 12-11-005 (Order 12-70), 232-28-297, filed 5/2/12, effective 6/2/12.]