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Washington Hunters: Let Your Voices be Heard!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has imposed a ban on the use of traditional ammunition for all upland bird hunting on all WDFW pheasant release sites across the state.  This restriction was adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission two years ago but its implementation was delayed until this hunting season.  The Commission adopted the restriction during the course of its 2010-2012 hunting season-setting process.

With this in mind, it is critical that hunters and sportsmen participate in the 2012-2014 season-setting process, which is just getting underway.  The WDFW will be hosting a series of public meetings next week to take comments from the public as the first step in the process.  You can bet that the anti-hunting extremists will be represented at these meetings so the importance of hunters and sportsmen participating cannot be overstated!  Please see the meeting dates and locations provided below.

The current traditional ammunition restrictions pertain to quail, dove, pheasant and any upland bird hunted on the pheasant release sites.  No scientific studies have been cited showing population-level impacts on any species.  The WDFW seems to be acting on emotion and politics, citing the “potential” for problems associated with traditional ammunition as the basis for these far-reaching restrictions. 

The NRA believes that the current push to ban the use of traditional ammunition in Washington is part of a new strategy being used by anti-hunting and anti-gun activists all over the country to attack our hunting traditions and firearm freedoms.  Traditional ammunition bans have a significant chilling effect on hunting by pricing hunters out of the market while hunters’ ranks are already in decline.  The opposition’s “next logical step” will be to propose a complete traditional ammunition ban throughout Washington.  This is the pattern in other states so don’t think “it won’t happen here!”

It is likely too late to do anything about the existing restriction on traditional ammunition for this season. Hunters and sportsmen now have the opportunity to demand that the restriction be withdrawn for the next three years and vocally oppose any further unsubstantiated restrictions on hunting.  The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has adopted a traditional ammunition resolution stating that "state agencies should focus regulation efforts where population-level impacts to wildlife are substantiated." (AFWA - 2010 Lead Ammunition and Fishing Tackle Resolution) (emphasis added).  With no population-level impacts cited, it is time to tell the WDFW that emotion and politics have no place in wildlife management.

With that in mind, it is important for you to attend the WDFW meeting in your part of the state.  The following meetings will run from 7:00-9:00 p.m.:

-         August 22 - Federal Way Community Center (Alder & Birch rooms), 876 South 333rd St, Federal Way
-         August 23 - Edison Place Event Center (Edison Room), 201 North Rock St, Centralia
-         August 24 - The Lincoln Center (Monroe Ballroom), 1316 North Lincoln St, Spokane
-         August 25 - Clarion Hotel & Conference Center (Selah Wapato rooms), 1507 North First St, Yakima

In addition to attending one of the above meetings, please comment on the issues at the WDFW’s hunting website.  Your voice matters!  Comments must be submitted by Tuesday, September 20. 

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