State approves more multiple-season hunting permits

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OLYMPIA — Washington will offer more multiple-season deer and elk hunting permits beginning this fall.

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday approved increasing the number of deer permits from 4,000 currently to 8,500 and the number of elk permits from 850 to 1,250.

Since 2006, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has conducted annual drawings for multiple-season hunting permits, which allow a certain number of hunters to participate in all general hunting seasons for deer and elk.

Without the special permit, hunters must choose among archery, muzzleloader or modern firearm seasons.

In other action, the commission voted to limit sturgeon retention in Puget Sound and its tributaries to June 1-30 and Sept. 1-Oct. 15. The change is to minimize harvest of Columbia River sturgeon that wander into Puget Sound to feed.