General hunting questions continued

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Dennis L. Clay

This last portion of a two-part series about general hunting questions was delayed because of the column about my friend, Jerry Lester.

This yearís hunting prospects, provided by Fish and Wildlife, have been provided in this space during the past few weeks. Going along with the prospects is a series of frequently asked questions about general hunting rules. Read on.

Can I use fluorescent hunter-orange camouflage clothing measuring at least 400 square inches to meet hunter-orange requirements?

Yes, but the amount of camouflage clothing that is actually fluorescent hunter-orange in color must still total 400 square inches or more on the exterior, and be worn above the waist and visible from all sides. This means the total size of the garment(s) being worn will be considerably larger than 400 square inches. The fluorescent hunter-orange clothing must be worn above the waist and visible from all sides.

Dennis note: Hunter orange is great stuff. Iím sure this color of clothing has saved many lives. Years ago, when it was beginning to emerge as mandatory clothing, I remember driving along a mountain road with a friend and looking across a valley and seeing a hunter with orange at what must have been at least two miles distance. I pointed out the hunter and we both realized how visible and important hunter orange was to hunter safety.

When Iím toting my muzzleloading shotgun, Iím not required to wear hunter orange, but, hey, I donít want to get shot, so I wear the visible clothing, just like my hunting partners.

What are the rules about shooting from a road?

A person is guilty of unlawful use of a loaded firearm if the person negligently shoots a firearm from, across, or along the maintained portion of a public highway. It is unlawful to shoot a bow and arrow from a vehicle or from, across, or along the maintained portion of a public highway.

A public highway is one maintained specifically for the use of the public, regardless of surface.

Shooting from a private road is legal if access has been granted by the landowner and other firearm restrictions and safety issues have been addressed.

If I harvested deer, elk, or moose from a state or province connected to chronic wasting disease, what do I do?

Check the chronic wasting disease section of the Big Game Pamphlet for full details. The rules include: Meat that has been de-boned in the state or province where it was harvested and is imported as boned-out meat; Skulls and antlers, antlers attached to the skull plate, or upper canine teeth (bugler, whistlers, ivories) from which all soft tissue has been removed; Hides or capes without heads attached; Tissue imported for use by a diagnostic or research laboratory; Finished taxidermy mounts.

In addition, you must notify Fish and Wildlife within 24 hours if notified by another state fish and wildlife agency that the deer, elk, or moose you harvested has tested positive for CWD. Violation of this rule is an infraction.

If I remove the head from my legal bull elk or buck deer, but I leave the antlers attached, does this meet ďevidence of sexĒ requirements in Washington?

No. It is illegal to possess or transport big game animals unless evidence of the animalís gender is left naturally attached to the carcass until the carcass is processed or stored for consumption. For a bull elk and buck deer, evidence of gender includes either: The head with antlers intact and naturally attached to at least one quarter or the largest portion of meat; or the penis or testes naturally attached to at least one quarter or to the largest portion of meat.

Bull elk or buck deer taken in antler-restriction areas must have the head or skull plate, with both antlers naturally attached, accompany the carcass while in transit or in possession.

If I want to submit a bighorn sheep, mountain goat, or moose Special Permit, do I need to buy a hunting license and tag first?

No. You can wait to purchase a bighorn sheep, mountain goat, or moose license and tag until you find out if you drew a Special Permit. You can submit a Special Permit application for any of these three species without purchasing a general season license and tag.

If drawn for one of these Special Permits, you must purchase the hunting license by the deadline established by the Department. You will be mailed instructions on how and when to complete the purchase. Failure to purchase by the deadline forfeits the Special Permit to an alternate applicant.

If someone gives me a legally harvested grouse, pheasant, or duck they harvested does it count towards my daily bag limit and possession limit or theirs?

It counts towards the daily bag and possession limit of the person who harvested the game. You should get a written statement from the person who harvested the game that includes name, address, license, permit or tag number, the number and kind of animal provided to you, the date killed, county and area it was taken in, your name, the date of the gift/transfer and the hunterís signature.

Do I need a hunting license if Iím just helping my child or others to hunt?

If you are only watching or guiding, you do not need a hunting license. However, if you are directly assisting and participating, such as driving game or packing hunting weapons, you will need the appropriate hunting license.

Can I tag a deer or an elk I find dead in the woods during open season if I didnít shoot it?

You cannot possess wildlife or parts thereof that you did not legally harvest, unless the person who legally harvested the animal provides you with a written statement showing the information above.

Can an individual legally harvest a cow moose and still apply for permit-controlled moose hunts in future years?

Yes. An individual may harvest only one moose during his/her lifetime, except this restriction is waived for hunters who have harvested a moose in an antlerless-only moose hunt or won raffle or auction hunts for moose.

Can I clean my waterfowl and upland birds before I take them back to my residence?

Yes. But the feathered heads of all game birds, as evidence of species, must be attached to the carcass when they are in your possession in the field or are being transported.

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