Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


How old do I have to be to hunt alone?

It depends. WDFW recommends older, more experienced hunters go with youth hunters. If born after January 1, 1972, you must complete Hunter Education or obtain a one-year, once-in-a-lifetime Hunter Education Deferral to hunt in Washington State. You can take Hunter Education at any age.

However, if hunting under the Hunter Education Deferral you cannot hunt alone. You must be at least 10 years old and apply with an accompanying hunter who is at least 18 years of age and has held a Washington hunting license for the previous three years to apply for a Hunter Education Deferral.

However, if you complete Hunter Education, then you can hunt alone at any age, unless you are:

  • Hunting waterfowl.
  • Hunting upland bird.
  • Drawn for a Youth Only Moose Special Permit.
  • Drawn for a Youth Only Bighorn Sheep Special Permit.

In those four cases, an adult must go with youth hunters.

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Last Updated
9th of December, 2013

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