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 to do so. 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, just leaving a young animal alone affords it the bes ...
  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 pet food out, secure garbage and compost piles, and protect gardens and small livestock such as chickens. Prevent wild animals from taking cover on your pr ...
  4. Do I need a hunting license to hunt coyotes in Washington?
    Hunting coyotes requires a Washington State big game or small game license (RCW 77.32.010). There is no bag limit for coyotes and they may be hunted year around. Hunting or pursuing coyotes with dogs is prohibited. Coyotes may be hunted at night EXCEPT during the months of September, October, o ...
  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. Take the following precautions to reduce the likelihood of an encou ...
  6. What if I'm attacked or another person is attacked by a bear?
    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 is ...
  7. What if I'm attacked or another person is attacked by a cougar?
    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 the ...
  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 to 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 ...
  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 tra ...
  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 website for trapper education courses and the home study option. Fore more information, ...
  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. However, under federal regulations, individuals may kill crows without a hunting license or permit when the birds are found committing, or about to ...
  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 ad ...
  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 for more information about th ...
  14. How can I become a licensed Wildlife Control Operator (WCO)?
    Check the WDFW Enforcement Program website for updates on upcoming WCO training opportunities. WCOs provide direct assistance to landowners who are willing to pay for the cost of certified individuals to resolve their wildlife problems. Under the authority of their permit from WDFW, WCOs are a ...
  15. 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: Beavers" fact sheet for specific information ...
  16. 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 ...
  17. 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 (R ...
  18. 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 by contacting 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. Conta ...
  19. 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 ...
  20. Can I legally kill such protected wildlife as a bald eagle or golden eagle if they are killing my chickens?
    No, eagles 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.