Deer and cougar hunting season begins Saturday | Environment
Deer hunting season kicks off on Saturday in Washington state, but that’s not the only hunting season that begins.
According to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, this year’s modern-firearms deer season includes cougar hunting. Hunters with a valid cougar license and transport tag, can hunt cougars during the season in all 39 counties.
Originally, cougar hunting in Okanogan, Chelan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille and Klickitat was delayed because of a 2004 pilot program that allowed hunters with special permits to track cougars using dogs. The program expired in August restoring full general hunting seasons in those counties.
“In those six counties, we’re back to relying on general hunts to manage cougar populations,” said Dave Ware, WDFW game manager. “We can make that work, but it does present some different management challenges.”
Permit hunters using dogs, according to Ware, were more likely take down male cougars while those without were less likely to discriminate between cougar genders.
State law says it is illegal to kill spotted cougar kittens or adult cougars tending kittens.
Fish and Wildlife expects more than 100,000 hunters to hunt this month for the season. Check with your county for variations on when the hunting season ends. Cougar hunting is open through the end of the year.