Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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There were 20 questions found in this category:

  1. What should I do with an abandoned baby bird or other animal?
    It is illegal to possess or transport wildlife without a permit from WDFW. Do not take wildlife into your own care. In almost all cases, young wild animals found alone are not abandoned and do not need your help. More often than not, leaving a young animal alone affords it the best chance for ...
  2. How do I get rid of moles on my property?
    Moles are unclassified and unprotected wildlife, so you may kill moles on your own property when they are causing damage to crops, domestic animals, or the property itself (RCW 77.36.030). However, body-gripping traps marketed for mole extermination are illegal in Washington since passage of in ...
  3. How do I get rid of nuisance wildlife like raccoons or skunks on my property?
    The first step to discouraging nuisance wildlife on your property is to remove the source of attraction, which is usually food. Never leave out pet food, secure garbage and compost piles, and protect gardens and small livestock, such as chickens. Prevent wild animals from taking cover on your p ...
  4. Do I need a hunting license to hunt coyotes in Washington?
    In order to hunt coyotes in Washington State, a valid small game or big game hunting license is required (RCW 77.32.010). Coyotes are unclassified wildife and are not regulated by WDFW. Since they are unclassified, any weapon may be used to hunt them. There is no bag limit and coyotes can be hu ...
  5. How do I deal with a black bear?
    The first step in discouraging a black bear is to remove the source of attraction, which is almost always food. Bears have an excellent sense of smell and are omnivores, meaning they will eat almost anything, vegetable or meat. There are several precautions a person can take to reduce the chanc ...
  6. What if I'm attacked or another person is attacked by a bear?
    A black bear may be killed to protect immediate threats to public safety or immediate threats to property (RCW 77.36.030). A person taking such action must have a reasonable belief that the animal poses a threat of serious physical harm, that this harm is imminent, and that killing the animal i ...
  7. What if I'm attacked or another person is attacked by a cougar?
    A cougar may be killed to protect immediate threats to public safety or immediate threats to property (RCW 77.36.030). A person taking such action must have a reasonable belief that the animal poses a threat of serious physical harm, that this harm is imminent, and that killing the animal is th ...
  8. How do I submit a claim for deer and elk damage to my commercial crops?
    A commercial damage claim can be submitted to WDFW for deer and elk damage to commercial crops such as fruit trees, oats, alfalfa, and Christmas trees (RCW 77.36.010). Procedures for submitting claims are defined in WACs 232-36-100, 110, and 120. Information about specific steps to submit a d ...
  9. How do I get rid of beaver causing damage to my property?
    Beaver are classified as furbearers (WAC 232-12-007). A trapping license and open season are required to trap beaver. However, the owner, owner’s immediate family, owner’s documented employees, or tenants of real property may shoot (if they are in a designated shooting area) or tr ...
  10. How do I become a licensed trapper?
    All first-time Washington trappers, regardless of age, are required to successfully complete trapper education training or successfully challenge the written examination process. See WDFW's Hunter Education page at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/huntered/ for trapper education courses and the home ...
  11. Can I legally kill crows without a hunting license?
    The crow is classified as a predatory bird (WAC 232-12-004). A hunting license and an open season are required to hunt them legally in Washington State. See Washington's Hunting Seasons & Regulations pamphlet for more information on hunting season for crows. Under federal regulations, indiv ...
  12. Can I legally kill rock doves, starlings, and house sparrows without a hunting license?
    Rock doves, starlings, and house sparrows are not protected wildlife in Washington. They are classified as predatory birds. It is unlawful to hunt for or take predatory birds without a hunting license except as allowed under RCW 77.36.030 and WAC 232-36-051. Their nests, eggs, young, and/or ...
  13. Can I legally kill such protected wildlife as woodpeckers, swallows, owls, or robins if they are causing damage to my house?
    The federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects woodpeckers, swallows, owls, and robins. Any permit to lethally control these species would be issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and only in extreme situations. See WDFW's Living with Wildlife fact sheets at http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/b ...
  14. How can I become a licensed Wildlife Control Operator (WCO)?
    The WDFW Wildlife Control Operator web page, located at http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/nuisance/how_to_become_wco.html, has updates on upcoming WCO training opportunities. WDFW tries to alternate eastside and westside WCO certification, but depending on demand that may not be the case every time. Th ...
  15. Can I legally kill such protected wildlife as a bald eagle or golden eagle if they are killing my chickens?
    You cannot legally kill bald eagles or a golden eagles, as they are federally and state protected wildlife. Any permit to lethally control them would be issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and only in extremely rare situations, following the exhaustion of all non-lethal control measures.
  16. Can I legally kill Canada geese without a hunting license if they are causing damage to my property?
    Canada geese are protected under federal law, and a hunting license (with an appropriate federal waterfowl stamp) and open season are required to legally hunt them in Washington. Where lethal control of Canada geese is necessary outside of legal hunting seasons, the action should be carried out ...
  17. How can I get help repairing my fences knocked down by elk or to herd the elk away from my property?
    You should contact your local Fish and Wildlife Officer through WDFW WILDCOMM at (360) 902-2936, or contact your local WDFW Regional Office. Hunters seeking certification or re-certification as Master Hunters are required to volunteer their services in projects like this and others. Contact th ...
  18. What if coyotes are killing my domestic livestock?
    If coyotes are damaging crops or domestic animals, the owner, owner’s immediate family members, owner’s documented employees, or tenants of the real property on which the damage is occurring may kill or trap coyotes on that property. A hunting license is not required in such cases ( ...
  19. Do I need a hunting license to protect my private property and/or domestic livestock from wildlife depredation by deer, elk, bear, bobcat, lynx, or cougar?
    Mule deer, black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, and Rocky Mountain elk are classified as game animals (WAC 232-12-007). A hunting license and open season are required to hunt them. However, after obtaining a kill permit issued by WDFW, a property owner, the owner’s immedia ...
  20. How do I discourage beaver from plugging my culverts and building dams that flood my property?
    To remove or modify a beaver dam, you must have a Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA)—a permit issued by WDFW—for work that will use, obstruct, change, or divert the bed or flow of state waters (RCW 77.55). See WDFW's Living with Wildlife fact sheet on beavers, located at http://wdfw. ...