Report a Poacher or Other Violation

For more information on
hunting, please contact the
WDFW Wildlife Program.
Phone: 360-902-2515


GoHuntAccess multi-layered maps displaying game management unit (GMU) boundaries, deer and elk management areas, pheasant-release sites, and Private Lands Hunting Opportunities, as well as roads, topographical features and county lines. In addition, harvest statistics and hunting regulations are available by specific locale and species.

About Private Lands Hunting Access

Since about 50% of Washington is in private ownership, many public hunting opportunities rely on landowners opening their lands. In Washington, hunters must obtain landowner permission to hunt on private land; however WDFW is working with hundreds of landowners to help acquire permission. Currently, the WDFW private lands access program has over 600 landowner cooperators and over one million acres of private land under agreement in eastern and western Washington (see table below).

Recognizing the opportunity provided by private landowners is very important, but more important is treating private lands and the land owners with respect. When accessing private lands, always be courteous, close gates that you open, stay on designated roads (unless it is walk-in access), pack your trash out, and take time to thank a landowner for participating in the WDFW private lands access program!

WDFW Access Programs

Since 1948, WDFW has worked with private landowners across the state to provide public access through a negotiated agreement. Landowners participating in a WDFW cooperative agreement retain liability protection provided under RCW 4.24.210. Landowners receive technical services, materials for posting (signs and posts), and in some cases monetary compensation. In addition, lands under agreement are well known by WDFW enforcement staff. Currently, the private lands access program includes four basic access agreement types:

Feel Free to Hunt
Private lands where WDFW has a management agreement with the owner to provide public access for hunting. Hunters are not required to gain additional permission when hunting lands posted with a Feel Free to Hunt sign.

Register to Hunt
Private lands in which WDFW has a management agreement with the owner where hunting is regulated by registration. Hunters are required to sign in and sign out to hunt on properties posted with a Register to Hunt sign.

Hunt by Reservation
Private lands where an advance reservation permit issued by WDFW is required prior to hunting. In some cases landowner contact may also be required. All rules of the WDFW Hunt by Reservation Program must be followed in addition to any special rules for the individual property including those posted at the site.

Hunt by Written Permission
Private lands where hunters must contact the landowner to obtain “written permission” before hunting on their property. WDFW provides signs and permission slips to landowners who make their lands available through this program. A landowner name and contact telephone number are placed on the Hunt by Written Permission signs so hunters can contact the appropriate landowner for permission.

Landowner Hunting Permit Program
This program includes private lands where WDFW negotiates public hunting access to unique and/or high quality hunting opportunities. Landowners are allowed to work with the Department to set special hunting season dates on their property and have hunting opportunities on their lands customized. Hunting opportunity is available to hunt these lands through special permit drawings.