Limited deer hunt set for Oct. 12-31 at King County’s Island Center Forest

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A recently added hunting season for deer on private land on Vashon-Maury Island does not include King County Parks’ Island Center Forest, which is scheduled to have its annual limited deer-hunting season Oct. 12-31, when no other access will be permitted on 200 acres of forestland.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife added a special deer-hunting season on private lands to better control the deer population on Vashon-Maury Island, where there are no natural predators. To protect public safety, King County Parks will post “No Hunting” signs at Island Center Forest during this period.

The brief Island Center Forest hunting season in October coincides with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s designated hunting season in which all firearms can be used, except rifles. This hunt replaces the state’s established four-month-long hunting season in Island Center Forest.

Vashon Island’s largest public open space, Island Center Forest and Natural Area has 9 miles of trails that are shared by hikers, mountain bikers, runners and equestrians. Island Center Forest was formerly owned by Washington state, and is the only public land on Vashon Island where deer hunting has been allowed. In 2004, Island Center Forest transferred ownership from the state Department of Natural Resources to King County. This transfer was contingent upon an agreement with the community to continue to allow deer hunting each fall.

King County Parks manages the land in collaboration with community partners who make up the Friends of Island Center Forest, a diverse group that includes the Vashon Forest Stewards, Vashon-Maury Island Horse Association, Vashon Sportsmen’s Club, Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, Vashon-Maury Island Audubon, outdoor enthusiasts and other community members.

More information about the Island Center Forest deer hunt is available by contacting David Kimmett, 206-477-4573; david.kimmett@kingcounty.gov.