Regulations & Seasons
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2012-2014 Hunting Regulation Proposals

Final 2012-2014 Hunting Rules

Hunting Pamphlets

Rule Filings and Rule Summaries

Game Regulations for 2013
The Department is considering rule making for the following: deer and elk seasons and permits; cougar seasons and regulations; black bear seasons and regulations; mountain goat, bighorn sheep, and moose seasons, permits, and regulations; game bird regulations; small game seasons; landowner hunting permit program; deer and elk area boundaries; game management units, special closures and firearm restriction areas; unlawful methods for hunting; hunting equipment rules; special hunting season permits, and other hunting regulations.

  • Lighted Nocks for Archery Equipment
    Department staff is considering amending the archery equipment rules to allow lighted nocks.
  • Importation of Dead Wildlife
    Department staff is considering amending rules regarding the importation of dead wildlife.

NOTICE: Due to the Governor’s rule-making moratorium this year we will be limiting the scope of the three-year package.

The process for developing the 2012-14 hunting seasons is underway. Major changes to objectives and season structures are generally set on a three-year cycle with minor adjustments made during the off years. The process for developing a three-year hunting season package is an expanded version of the annual season-setting process. The exception is the migratory bird hunting seasons, which are all set on an annual cycle to coincide with federal season-setting processes. Establishment of all hunting seasons is guided by goals, objectives, and strategies contained in the 2009-2015 Game Management Plan.

In August, the Department asked for your help identifying the major issues that are important to you for the next three-year hunting season package. Over 3,000 people participated in the online scoping survey. We are currently reviewing the comments received and are preparing to develop the recommendations that will be presented to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Watch this website for updates on the season-setting process. We will also be communicating via email throughout this process to hunters that have purchased a license within the last three years. If you have not recently purchased a hunting license, but would like to receive email notifications of upcoming events we encourage you to subscribe online to “WDFW Regulation Updates

Interview with Dave Ware, WDFW Game Division Manager
Listen to audio Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [5.6 MB]

Interview with Dave Ware, Game Division Manager, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on the three-year hunting season process; and on recent changes in cougar hunting regulations.  Courtesy North Cascades Broadcasting, Inc.

Season Setting Timeline:

Phase 1 - Issue Scoping: April 2011 September 2011

Public Comment Period (now over): August 15 – September 20

2011 Public Meetings:

  • August 22 – Federal Way
  • August 23 – Centralia
  • August 24 – Spokane
  • August 25 – Yakima

Phase 2 - Developing Recommendations: October 2011 – April 2012

After the public meetings are held, Department staff will review the comments received and develop hunting season recommendations for consideration by the Fish and Wildlife Commission. These recommendations will be based on biological needs and information collected during the public meetings.

  • Follow-up Surveys on Select Issues: November 2011
  • Public Comment Period on Specific Rule Proposals:  The written public comment period for the 2012-2014 Hunting Season rule proposals is now closed.

Commission Meetings:

  • March 9-10, 2012 (public input accepted)
    Moses Lake Civic Center
    401 S. Balsam
    Moses Lake, WA  98837
  • April 13-14,  2012 (Fish and Wildlife Commission decides on and adopts rule proposals)
    Natural Resources Building
    1111 Washington Street SE
    Olympia, WA  98501