The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is announcing that several portions of the state will close to cougar hunting at the end of the year, including a portion of southeastern Cowlitz County. Eight of the 49 cougar hunt areas in the state will close at dusk on the 31st of this month, including Game Management Unit 560. That unit covers the upper Lewis River area, also extending through Skamania County, going into Yakima and Kittitas County. Fish and Wildlife managers say that harvest guidelines have been met in that area, along with the 18 other GMU’s that are covered by this closure. Last year, 156 cougars were taken in Washington state, up from 145 in 2011, and 108 in 2010. Get full details on the WDFW website.