Deer season starts amid shutdown uncertainty

Deer season starts amid shutdown uncertainty
File photo of a Columbian white-tailed deer (courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service).

SEATTLE - With less than two days until the state's most popular hunting season gets underway, game managers are urging hunters to remain flexible in light of the federal government shutdown and the effects it could have on this year's deer season.

In a statement from the Washington Department of Fish ad Wildlife, Dave Ware, a game manager, says it's unclear exactly what kind of access hunters will have to federally managed facilities. Keeping that in mind, Ware advises hunters: "Try to arrive early to set up camp, have back-up plans, and, due to the shutdown, don't rely solely on federally managed campgrounds or access sites this year."

More than 100,000 hunters are expected to participate in the modern-firearm deer season and by all accounts the WDFW says it should be a good season.

"A mild winter followed by a favorable spring benefited Washington's deer populations," Ware said.

The WDFW has several tools available to hunters that could help with any impacts caused by the shutdown - WDFW's Private Lands Hunting Access Program and GoHunt!, a mapping tool which shows hunters layers of public and private lands, game-management units and other useful information.

The deer season starts Saturday, Oct. 12 and ends on different days depending on where people hunt.