Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


I am a successful hunter and have killed deer in other states with a .223 caliber rifle. Why can't I use my .223 to hunt deer in Washington State?

  • Big game, except cougar, must be hunted with a minimum of .24 caliber (6mm) centerfire rifle. Cougar may be hunted with a .22 caliber centerfire rifle. Rimfire rifles are not legal for big game.
  • In Washington, with the exception of cougar, a .24 caliber rifle is legal for all big game including deer, goat, sheep, elk, and moose. Although it is OK to do so, few hunters actually use a .24 caliber rifle to hunt game larger than deer, due to the lack of knockdown power. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission did not want to establish a sliding scale of legal rifle calibers by species, so it opted for the .24 caliber rule.


Related Questions


No attachments were found.

Question Details

Last Updated
9th of May, 2011

Would you like to...

Print this page  Print this page

Email this page  Email this page

Post a comment  Post a comment

 Subscribe me

Subscribe me  Remove from favorites

Remove Highlighting Remove Highlighting

Edit this Question

Quick Edit

Export to PDF

User Opinions

40% thumbs up 60% thumbs down (5 votes)

How would you rate this answer?

Thank you for rating this answer.