That big “phew” you just heard in Pugetropolis?
The editor of Northwest Sportsman after getting word that there are enough brant in Skagit County to hold a hunt this month.
In our January issue, we have a three-page feature on the history, tradition and rarity of the hunt, which only occurs when there are at least 6,000 of the geese back on bays of the North Puget Sound county.
Last year, only 6,002 showed.
There are more than enough, however, this year. According to WDFW, a Monday morning aerial count found 8,519 brant on Fidalgo, Padilla and Samish bays.
“Significant” numbers were also seen elsewhere in the North Sound, including 6,877 birds in Whatcom County to the north, WDFW reports.
Hunting is scheduled Jan. 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26, 29 and 30 with a bag limit of two geese per day.
To participate in the Skagit County brant season, hunters must have written authorization and a harvest record card from WDFW. After taking a brant, hunters are required to record their harvest information immediately, and report their harvest to WDFW by Feb. 15. Hunters who fail to report by Feb. 15 will be ineligible to hunt brant in the 2011-2012 season.
For more on the traditions and history of Washington brant hunting, see our January issue, on sale at newsstands now.