OLYMPIA… Senate Bill 5525, which would expect the Department of Fish and Wildlife continue the consistent, effective methods it has used to count whitetail deer populations, was passed unanimously by the Senate March 5 and is now in the House of Representatives.
Sen. Shelly Short, R-Addy, is the prime sponsor. “It is critical that the department steps up and actively manage predators so our whitetail populations can thrive and grow,” said Short. “While weather and disease certainly impact the deer, the overabundance of predators has put tremendous pressure on fawn recruitment. Anyone who lives in Northeastern Washington or hunts has witnessed the significant decline in whitetail deer.”
Short has worked with multiple groups in her district on this bill, and looks forward to the full implementation of the proposal.
“This bill has been significantly worked with folks in my local community, with Fish and Wildlife, and other stakeholders to really keep this going,” Short said. “We think it is very important that Fish and Wildlife maintain consistent transect counts at a minimum to get the data collection necessary. Then the Department can better rely on these long-term trends to better adjust its management of deer and predators in Northeastern Washington.”
The bill has received a hearing in the Rural Development, Agriculture, and Natural Resources committee in the House of Representatives and now awaits a vote to progress to the House Floor.