Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


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 commit, depredations on agricultural crops, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance (16 U.S.C. Sections 703-712). For more information, see WDFW's "Living with Wildlife: Crows" fact sheet.
  • Ravens are protected by state and federal laws, and are often confused with crows:
    • Ravens appear similar to crows and are found throughout Washington.
    • Ravens replace crows in mountain areas, deserts, and rimrock areas; they are thus more common than crows east of the Cascade Range.
    • In flight, ravens have wedge-shaped tails and crows have fan-shaped tails.
    • Ravens spend much time gliding when in flight, while crows seldom if ever glide and usually fly with a steady wing beat.


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Last Updated
9th of July, 2012