Hunter education deferral program

The hunter education deferral program allows a one-year, once-in-a-lifetime deferral of hunter education training for individuals new to hunting who are accompanied by an experienced hunter. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted rules (WAC 220-412-020) to implement the program.

Deferred hunter applicants must:

  • Be at least 10 years old.
  • Not have failed a hunter education course in the last 12 months.

Accompanying, licensed hunters must:

  • Be over the age of 18.
  • Be a Washington-licensed hunter while accompanying the deferred hunter.
  • Have held a valid Washington hunting license for the last three years.
  • Supervise only one deferred hunter to provide maximum supervision to the deferred hunter and enhance safety.
  • Remain close enough to the deferred hunter to have uninterrupted, unaided visual and auditory communication with the deferred hunter while hunting.

Please note that if either the deferred hunter or the accompanying hunter is convicted of a hunting violation under the deferral program, the department may revoke all hunting licenses and tags and order a suspension of one or both the deferred hunter and the accompanying hunter's hunting privileges for one year.

How to apply

1. Download the application form.

Download the application form in PDF (PDF) or Microsoft Word (DOC) formats.

2. Complete the application form.

If you already have a WILD identification number, please include it on your application. If you have purchased a WDFW recreational license since Jan. 1, 2001, you have been issued a WILD identification number. Your number may be found on any license document you have.

If you do not have a WILD identification number, you can visit our licensing website to create a profile that will generate a WILD identification number for you.

3. Send in your application.

The processing time for emailed applications is one to two days. Mailed applications take one to two weeks to process.

You can email the completed application to, or mail the completed application to:

WDFW Hunter Education
P.O. Box 43200
Olympia, WA 98504-3200

4. Pay a processing fee and buy the deferred hunting license.

Upon approval, you will receive an email or letter with directions to pay the $20 processing fee and purchase your deferral license.