WDFW explains Minot ‘trophy hunt’ decision

In his recent guest column in The Daily World, Dan Boeholt called on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to state publicly that a proposal to create a “trophy” hunt for deer in the Minot game management unit is dead.

To be clear, that proposal has been dropped from the list of possible changes in hunting rules WDFW will propose to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission next April. The department announced its decision in an email to hunters shortly after a meeting was held to discuss the issue Oct. 2 in Elma. A second announcement was made on a KBKW radio segment attended by Mr. Boeholt on Nov. 8.

The trophy-hunt idea was one of a number of proposals that failed to gain sufficient support from the public or WDFW wildlife managers following a series of public meetings across the state. A majority of the written comments — and virtually all of the people who attended the meeting in Elma — rejected the idea of restricting hunting opportunities in GMU 660 to produce more mature, heavy-antlered bucks.

As Mr. Boeholt noted in his column, the meeting in Elma was originally planned as a focus group session. WDFW invited all deer hunters who reported hunting primarily in the Minot area in 2016 to attend and share their views. When it became clear that other hunters wanted to attend, we expanded the focus session into an open public meeting.

We agree that was the right course and want to thank everyone who participated in that process.

Brian Calkins

Region 6 Wildlife Manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.