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2012 Washington Big Game Brochure

2012 Washington Big Game Brochure

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Published by: RoeHuntingResources on Jun 15, 2012
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2012-2013 Official Hunting Hours for Game Animals and Forest Grouse*

Always know your target.

The “golden hour” may be an effective time
for finding game, but as light diminishes,
so does your ability to identify your target
In these situations, make sure you know
your target and what is beyond
*These are lawful hunting hours (one-half
hour before sunrise to one-half hour after
sunset) for game animals and forest grouse
(ruffed, blue, spruce) during established
seasons Exceptions: (a) Bobcat and
raccoon are exempt from hunting hour
restrictions except as stated on page 68, (b)
Hunting hours for falconry seasons (except
migratory game bird seasons) are exempt
from these hunting hours, except on
designated pheasant release sites

The number of settlers was increasing in
Washington by the mid-1800s At that time
the United States government negotiated
treaties with Washington Indian tribes for the
peaceful settlement of the territory The treaties
established reservations for the exclusive use
of the tribes In addition, the treaty tribes kept
their right to hunt, fish, and gather on lands off
of the reservations All treaties contain similar
language reserving the right to hunt, fish, and
conduct other traditional activities on lands off
of the reservations: “The right of taking fish,
at all usual accustomed grounds and stations, if
further secured to said Indians in common with
the citizens of the territory…together with the
privilege of hunting…on open and unclaimed
lands ”
Treaties are formal contracts between nations

Treaty rights belong to tribes They are not the
property of any individual tribal member Only
tribal members may exercise treaty hunting
rights Members of one tribe cannot exercise
the treaty rights of another tribe Treaty tribes
in Washington establish hunting regulations
through their own government process Federal
and state courts have ruled that public land is
“open and unclaimed” unless it is being put to
a use that is inconsistent with tribal hunting
Private property is not considered to be “open and
unclaimed,” but it must be obvious that someone
owns the property
There are 24 tribes that have off-reservation
hunting rights within Washington State There
are also many tribes in Washington that do
not have treaties or rights to hunt off of their
reservations Both tribal and state-licensed

hunters hunt game animals across the state It
is important that Washington Department of
Fish and Wildlife and tribes work together to
manage wildlife This can be complicated because
tribal ceremonial and subsistence hunting and
state recreational hunting are based on different
cultural heritages and legal frameworks
Many tribal governments take an active role in
the management of wildlife resources Most tribes
with off-reservation hunting rights develop their
own regulations and management strategies In
recent years, WDFW and various tribes have
worked together to develop management plans
for wildlife populations and to re-build game
populations For more information about tribal
hunting, please see the Department website at:

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