Hunters have until midnight Feb. 28 to purchase and submit an application for a spring black bear hunting permit.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold a drawing in mid-March for 383 permits in Western Washington and 314 permits for hunts east of the Cascade Range.
To apply for a permit, hunters must purchase a special permit application and a 2015 hunting license that includes bear as a species option.
Special permit applications, requiring a correct hunt choice number, may be submitted online at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, or by calling 877-945-3492.
Permit winners will receive notification in the mail no later than March 31. Applicants may also check the results of the drawing at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting.
Hunters are cautioned that private timberland owners in some hunt areas are limiting access or charging fees for access. If you cannot secure access in advance, do not apply for these hunts.
Those interested in hunting on the Kapowsin Tree Farm should contact the farm before submitting an application to determine which areas are open. Hunters selected for the Kapowsin Tree Farm hunt must purchase an access permit from Hancock Forest Management by calling 800-782-1493.
Hunters selected for the Copalis hunt must obtain a recreational use permit and should contact Rayonier at 855-729-4868 during regular business hours or online at rayonierhunting.com.
Any legal weapon used during the modern firearm, archery or muzzleloader seasons can be used for spring black bear hunts, according to the department. Bait or hounds are not allowed for these hunts.