WSR 98-05-094

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[Filed February 18, 1998, 10:30 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 98-01-174.

Title of Rule: To amend WAC 232-12-047 Unlawful firearms for hunting.

Purpose: 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: The amendment will allow the use of .22 caliber centerfire rifles, using mushrooming or expanding bullets greater than 50 grains in weight, for cougar hunting.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Increased opportunity for coyote, bobcat, and fox hunters to take cougar while using small caliber centerfire rifles.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Dave Brittell, Assistant Director, Wildlife Management, Olympia, (360) 902-2504; and Enforcement: Ron Swatfigure, Assistant Director, Enforcement, 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: Small mammal hunters commonly use predator calls to bring coyote, bobcat, and fox into the open. Cougar can also be attracted to these distress calls. Allowing the use of .22 caliber centerfire rifles for hunting cougar will provide the opportunity for predator hunters using these firearms to take a cougar incidental to their other hunting activity (with a valid cougar transport tag). Such increased cougar harvest opportunity is desirable, given the passing of Initiative 655 and the resultant decrease in total cougar harvest.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not affect small business.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption.

Hearing Location: Doubletree Hotel, 1225 North Wenatchee Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801, phone (509) 663-0711, on April 3-4, 1998, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Debbie Nelson by March 25, 1998, TDD (360) 902-2207, or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Evan Jacoby, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, FAX (360) 902-2940, by March 25, 1998.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 3, 1998.

February 18, 1998

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION [(Amending Order 449, filed 7/5/90, effective 8/5/90)]

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 and bear.

(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. 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.]

Reviser's note: The bracketed material preceding the section above was supplied by the code reviser's office.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office