In most local parks, discharging a firearm will get you a quick trip to the police station. In October, one Vashon Island space may allow visitors to take down black-tailed deer with bows and arrows, crossbows, muzzleloaders, revolver-type handguns or shotguns. (No rifles, Rambo.)
Based on a proposal from King County Parks, Island Center Forest would be closed to nonhunters from October 15 to 31, making it the only county property to allow hunting. It’s Vashon’s largest public area, 363 acres in the center of the island laced with nine miles of trail. Last year concerns over safety shortened the hunting season, during which hikers, bikers, and horseback riders were asked to wear orange vests to keep them from being mistaken for dinner.
The idea is that this year’s brief hunters-only period will keep the armed visitors separated from the other recreational users. Maps will help the deer trackers from approaching neighborhoods that abut Island Center Forest, and a 81-acre natural area will be totally off-limits to the shooters.
There’s a two-week comment period now underway while the proposal is considered. Comments on the park use can be submitted online.