The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has released its Hunting Prospects for the 2021 hunting seasons. (Cody Nelson/Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has released its Hunting Prospects for the 2021 hunting seasons. (Cody Nelson/Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

OUTDOORS: WDFW releases Hunting Prospects for fall 2021

OLYMPIA — Fall marks the start of hunting seasons for deer, elk, waterfowl and upland game birds in many areas of Washington and to help hunters have a successful year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has released its annual Hunting Prospects, which provide guidance and hunting information for each district and game management unit.

“Our district wildlife biologists write these popular reports to give an in-depth look at what field conditions should look like this year,” said Anis Aoude, WDFW game division manager. “These prospects have a lot of useful information that can help brand new and experienced hunters plan their season and take note of new hunting rules established during the 2021 season setting process.”

Hunters can also use the hunting regulations web map at www.wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations, which allows them to find permit and general season hunts based on location, date, choice of weapon, and more. Recent surveys indicate 2021 should be another good hunting year, according to the WDFW.

To read about the hunting prospects in District 16 (Clallam County and west Jefferson County), people can go online at https://tinyurl.com/HuntDist16. To read about the hunting prospects in District 15 (east Jefferson County, Mason and Kitsap counties), people can go to https://tinyurl.com/HuntDist15.

To check out other districts around Washington, people can go online at https://tinyurl.com/2021Hunting.

Aoude said that hunters should pay attention to the following items for the upcoming season:

• Changes to forest grouse seasons — Forest grouse season now runs from Sept. 15, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022, to protect brood hens with chicks.

• Wildfire impacts — Some hunting opportunities may be affected by emergency land closures. Check out WDFW’s wildfire webpage (www.wdfw.wa.gov/about/wdfw-lands/wildfire) before heading out.

• Black bear identification test — Hunters who wish to harvest a bear in certain GMUs must first pass the bear identification test (through the WILD system) with a score of 80 percent or better.

• Youth waterfowl hunting dates — On Saturday, Sept. 25, in western Washington and Saturday, Oct. 2, in eastern Washington, youth-only hunting days provide a strong opportunity for success for ducks (including scaup), coots, and Canada and white-fronted geese.

• Youth, veterans, and active military personnel waterfowl hunting day — Saturday, Feb. 5, will provide an opportunity for youth, veterans and active military personnel to experience hunting during the late season with an expanded list of allowable species.

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