Hunters’ Opinions On Wildlife Management And Other Hunting Issues In Washington
This study was conducted for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine hunters’ opinions on wildlife management in the state, as well as on selected hunting regulations and other hunting issues. Among the specific animals discussed are deer, elk, waterfowl, gamebirds, wolves, cougars, and bears, among others.
Most hunters rate the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (“the Department”) understanding of game management as excellent or good, although the majority agree that the Department needs to make more and/or better information available for people to understand its practices.
Hunters are evenly split on their opinion of deer management by the Department. The practices seen as most important are enhancing or increasing wildlife habitat on public and private lands for deer (89% rate this as very or somewhat important), meeting deer population goals (85%), and increasing access to public and private lands for deer hunting (84%).
More than half (54%) of hunters feel the Department’s management of elk is excellent or good, while 42% consider it fair or poor. The most highly rated strategies for elk management were enhancing or increasing wildlife habitat for elk (85% say very or somewhat important), increasing access to public and private lands for elk hunting (80%), and providing multi-season tag opportunities for elk hunting (75%).
The vast majority of waterfowl hunters (94%) believe that it is important to address loss of wetlands due to development and conversion to other uses. Similar issues related to black bear, cougar, wolves, bighorn sheep, moose, and mountain goats are also addressed in the full study.