Hunting remains a vital way of life for many residents and non-residents in Washington and contributes to statewide conservation efforts. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains opportunities for seasoned and first-time hunters alike. Learn about the steps every hunter must take before heading afield, and how to report your harvest after a successful hunt. 

A hunter scans a mountainside with binoculars.

In this section

Whether deer, elk, waterfowl, or upland game, the hunt of a lifetime can be found in Washington.
WDFW provides a variety of courses and clinics to help hunters conduct safe, ethical hunts in the state.
WDFW is tasked with responsibly preserving, protecting, and perpetuating wildlife in the state, while maximizing hunting opportunities for all residents.
Special hunt permits, big-game auctions and raffle permit hunts offer a chance to participate in a coveted hunt while directly supporting conservation and management in Washington.
Hunting is allowed on many lands throughout Washington, but it's important to know the rules and regulations before you go.

Hunting news & important dates

black bear in brush
Fall black bear season begins Aug. 1

Hunters that choose to hunt in GMUs located in grizzly bear recovery areas identified by the Department must successfully complete the annual WDFW online bear identification test. 

herd of elk
Elk hoof disease incentive pemits

In the 2021 license year, we are starting a pilot program to evaluate the how hunters can help reduce the prevalence of elk hoof disease. To do so, WDFW is offering incentives to hunters.

Conservation starts here

Grizzly bear and black bear identification video
In areas where both black bears and grizzly bears occur, it is critical for black bear hunters to be able to distinguish between black and grizzly bears.
hunter ed
Take hunter education this fall
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife provides education and training opportunities to help hunters have safe, legal, and ethical hunts.
A hunter waits for sunrise
Hunting season setting timeline
Management of game species is primarily guided by the Game Management Plan, which has traditionally been reviewed and updated every six years.

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