Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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What are the rules for firearm restriction areas, and can crossbows now be used?

  • In firearm restriction areas, hunters may hunt only during the season allowed by their deer and/or elk tag.
  • Modern firearm tag holders may hunt firearm restriction areas during modern firearm deer and/or elk seasons with bows and arrows, crossbows, muzzleloading firearms, revolver-type handguns meeting equipment restrictions, or legal shotguns firing slugs or buckshot. Muzzleloading firearms used during a modern firearm seasons are not required to meet ignition, sight, or double-barrel restrictions.
  • It is unlawful to hunt wildlife in a firearm restriction area with centerfire or rimfire rifles.
  • Archery tag holders hunting firearm restriction areas must use only archery equipment meeting regulation standards.
  • Muzzleloading firearm tag holders hunting firearm restriction areas must use only muzzleloading firearm equipment meeting regulation standards.
  • It is unlawful to hunt wildlife with a crossbow except by modern firearm tag holders in firearm restriction areas. However, disabled hunter permittees in possession of a crossbow special-use permit may hunt with a crossbow in any season that allows archery equipment.
  • Also see the current Big Game Hunting Regulation Pamphlet.


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Last Updated
24th of May, 2011

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