After hearing a report from a special scientific panel, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is moving ahead with new rules that require elk hunters in Southwest Washington to remove the hooves from any elk that they harvest, and to leave those in the field. It’s hoped that this move will help to stop the spread of hoof rot in Southwest Washington elk, which is now thought to be caused by a bacteria that causes similar problems in domestic sheep. Also at the meeting in Olympia, the Commission approved this year’s waterfowl seasons, which are being set at 107 days in length. That comes after reports of record numbers of ducks on the northern breeding grounds. Full details on the new elk hunting rules, along with the waterfowl seasons and bag limits are available on the Fish and Wildlife website.