The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife began auctioning big game permits in 1994. The first auction permit was a single bighorn sheep permit and the auction was conducted by a local conservation organization. Three years later, in 1997, the first raffle tags were sold for a permit to hunt big game. Raffles were conducted for deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and moose.
Since the inception of the program in 1994, the primary objective of auction and raffle permits has been to generate revenue specifically for the management of the hunted species. As such, specific code was adopted in RCW 77.32.530 and WACs 220-412-040 and 220-412-060. These codes established the fiscal requirements for auction and raffle funds and describe structure of auction and raffle procedures and hunting opportunities.
Since 1994, auctions have been conducted by conservation organizations via a contract with WDFW, whereas most raffles are conducted by WDFW. Over five million dollars have been generated solely for the management of the respective big game species. This revenue typically funds activities that would otherwise not occur due to budget limitation, including surveys, status reviews, animal captures, transplants, habitat improvement projects, research projects, and disease monitoring.
Auctions & Raffles
What were the winning bids from the annual auction tags?
How many WDFW raffle tickets were sold annually?
What were the proceeds from annual raffle tags?
1997-2023 Raffle Proceeds [PDF]
Figures provided in this document are Wildlife Management's tracking of revenue on a license year basis. These figures differ from the fiscal accounting required by the State Auditor for the July 1 through June 30 period. Raffle ticket sales for a given year overlap fiscal years. Fiscal reports do not track expenditures for auction and raffle separately. We compiled the revenue and expenditure figures for auction and raffle separately by species for internal management purposes.