Hunter's code of conduct

Teen practices shooting with help of master hunter
Photo by WDFW
A teen takes aim with the help of a master hunter volunteer during a National Hunting and Fishing Day event in 2016.

Hunters are expected to follow a number of guidelines when afield in Washington to help them hunt safely while respecting wildlife and the environment.

Respect the environment and wildlife

  • When harvesting game, take shots that you are sure will ensure a humane harvest.
  • Ensure you can retrieve and effectively care for harvested game.
  • Take only what you will use, even if it is under the legal limit.
  • Tread lightly while afield.

Respect property and landowners

  • Always get permission to hunt on private land.
  • Leave gates as you found them and never damage crops or property, including fences, outbuildings, or livestock.
  • Thank the landowner.

Show consideration for non-hunters

  • Be considerate of non-hunters’ sensibilities and strive to leave them with positive images of hunting and hunters.
  • Do not flaunt your harvested animals.

Hunt safely

  • Exercise caution at all times.
  • Only take shots when you are sure of your target and have a good backstop.
  • Use binoculars to identify your target.
  • Remember that hunting and alcohol do not mix.

Know and obey the law

  • Obtain proper tags and licenses.
  • Hunt only in allowed areas and during designated times and seasons.
  • Obey bag and possession limits.
  • Use only legal hunting methods and equipment.

Support Wildlife & Habitat Conservation

  • Learn more about the habits and habitats of game and non-game wildlife and their management needs.

Pass on an ethical hunting tradition

  • Invite a young person or a non-hunter next time you go afield to scout or hunt.
  • Set high ethical standards for future generations of hunters to help ensure hunting will continue.
  • Hunt only with ethical hunters.
  • Take pride in being an ethical hunter.