Overview of Proposed Changes 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has proposed changes to the cougar hunting seasons and is seeking public feedback. The proposed rules set the cougar hunting season from September 1 to March 31 and establish a cap of 13% of each population management unit (PMU) for human-caused cougar deaths. If a PMU reaches this cap before the season starts, it will be increased to 20% for hunting opportunities. The rule is temporary and will end after the 2024-2025 season. 

Public Feedback and Participation 

WDFW encourages the public to submit comments on these proposed changes electronically, by phone, mail, or in person. A public hearing will be held during the Fish and Wildlife Commission's June meeting in Vancouver, Washington. The deadline for submitting comments is June 21, 2024. Those wishing to provide verbal comments at the meeting must pre-register online. 


Background and Motivation for Changes 

These proposed changes follow a petition accepted by the Commission in December 2023 to explore rule changes for black bear and cougar hunting seasons. The goal is to maintain sustainable cougar populations while allowing for regulated hunting opportunities. WDFW values public input to help guide these decisions and ensure they reflect the needs and values of Washington's diverse communities. 

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