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Can I tag a deer or an elk I find dead in the woods during open season if I didn't shoot it?
No. You cannot possess wildlife or parts thereof, that you did not legally harvest, unless the person who legally harvested the animal provides you with a written statement showing their name, address, license, permit, or tag number, the number and kind of animal provided, the date killed, county and area it was taken in, your name, the date of the gift/transfer, and the hunter’s signature--see WAC 232-12-077. Also, you cannot tag a big game animal or wild turkey that another person has killed--see WAC 232-12-062.
Contact your local Fish and Wildlife Officer via the Washington State Patrol if you find a dead deer or elk in the woods. Do not tag or gut the animal without first obtaining permission to do so from an Officer.