March 31 is deadline to apply for multi-season hunting permit

March 31 is the deadline for deer and elk hunters to enter in a drawing for a 2015 multiple-season permit, which can greatly increase their opportunities for success in the field.

In mid-April, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife will randomly draw names for 8,500 multiple-season deer permits and 1,000 multiple-season elk permits.

Winners of the drawing will be eligible to purchase a special tag allowing them to participate in archery, muzzleloader and modern firearm general hunting seasons for deer or elk in 2015. Winners who purchase the multiple-season elk tag by Aug. 31 can participate in general elk-hunting season in both eastern and western Washington, according to a department news release.

Winners also may choose any weapon type when applying for a special permit to hunt deer or elk.

“This is a great opportunity for hunters to extend their hunting season this fall,” Mick Cope, game manager for the department said in the release. “Rather than having to choose just one hunting method over another, the multiple season permit allows more flexibility.”

Cope pointed out the tags can be used only during general seasons and in game management units that are open during a modern firearm, muzzleloader, or archery general season. For example, winners may not hunt during the muzzleloader general season in an area that is not open for the muzzleloader general season.

Also, hunters can apply only once for each species and are limited to harvesting one deer or elk.

Hunters may purchase a multiple-season permit application at an authorized license dealer, listed at wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors, or by calling 866-246-9453. The permit application is $7.10 for residents and $110.50 for nonresidents.

A 2015 hunting license is not required to submit an application, but winners of the drawing must purchase one before they can purchase a multiple-season tag.

Hunting licenses and multiple-season tags can be purchased from local license dealers, online at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov or by calling 866-246-9453. Including transaction fees, multiple-season deer tags cost $139.10 for residents or non-residents, in addition to the cost of an annual hunting license, while elk tags cost $182.00 for residents and nonresidents in addition to the cost of an annual hunting license.

For more information, go to the department’s website at wdfw.wa.gov, or call the licensing department at 360-902-2464.