Spring black bear special permit hunts

Black bear foraging
A black bear forages in the spring.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has identified the 2020 Spring Black Bear Special Permit Hunts.

Spring black bear special permits are typically used to address specific management needs, such as tree damage on industrial managed timberlands, human-bear conflict and damage.

Successful completion of the Black Bear Identification test is required for hunting black bear in GMUs 101, 105, 108, 111, 113, 117, 203, 204, 209, 215, 418, and 426. The test can be taken through the department’s WILD online licensing system.

Hunters are urged not to shoot sows with cubs. Sows may be accompanied by cubs in the spring that tend to lag behind when traveling. Please observe and be patient before shooting.

General information and bear harvest statistics for specific GMUs can be found in WDFW’s Hunting Prospects.

* 2021 SPRING BLACK BEAR SPECIAL PERMIT HUNTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN LATE FALL 2020. (WAC 220-415-080)

About spring black bear hunts

License required: A valid big game hunting license and tag, which includes black bear as a species option, are required to apply and hunt for spring black bear.

Hunting method: Hunters may use any legal weapon for hunting black bear.

Hunting with dogs and bait: Bait or hounds are not allowed for bear hunting. It is also unlawful to hunt over supplemental feed barrels (RCW 77.15.245).

Access: Hunters interested in Western Washington damage hunts should contact the appropriate WDFW Regional Office before submitting an application.

Bag limit: One black bear per special permit season. A bear taken during the permit season applies towards the annual two-bear bag limit.

Report requirement: Hunters are required to report hunting activity for each special permit awarded in addition to their general season hunting activity report.

Harvest Check, Submitting Biological Samples and Bear Teeth: Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, WDFW is waiving the agency physical inspection requirement for the 2020 season. However, the agency is still requiring 2 things on your part:

1) All successful bear hunters must validate (notch) their bear tag, notify the department within 72 hours of kill (excluding legal state holidays) by calling 1-844-992-7266 to provide the hunter's name, date and GMU of kill, and sex of animal. All permit hunters must comply with harvest reporting and submission of biological sample. Failure to comply with the submission of biological samples is a misdemeanor pursuant to RCW 77.15.280

2) Complete the self-addressed and prepaid postage yellow mortality envelope in its entirety and place the required premolar tooth inside - then mail it to WDFW.

You are required to report your bear hunting activity even if you do not harvest a bear. Hunter reports are due by January 31, 2021. You may report your hunting activity by calling toll free 877-945-3492 or through our online licensing system.

All successful black bear hunters statewide MUST submit a black bear premolar tooth per WACs 220-415-080 and 220-415-090. Tooth envelopes are available at all WDFW offices, and one should be included in your spring bear special hunt packet. The premolar tooth is located behind the canine tooth.

Application Submission Period: Jan. 2 through midnight Feb. 28, 2020.

Hunt areas and dates

Hunt
Number
Hunt Name Hunt Area Permits Season
Dates

2020

Apps/Avg Pts

7000 Sherman GMU 101* 50 May 5 – June 30 1370 / 4.14
7001 Kelly Hill GMU 105* 50 May 5 – June 30 898 / 3.3
7002 Douglas GMU 108* 40 May 5 – June 30 508 / 3.23
7003 Aladdin GMU 111* 50 May 5 – June 30 679 / 2.82
7004 49 Degrees North GMU 117* 100 May 5 – June 30 1199 / 3.12
7005 Huckleberry GMU 121 100 May 5 – June 30 1350 / 3.49
7006 Blue Creek GMU 154 18 May 5 – June 30 617 / 6.06
7007 Dayton GMU 162 18 May 5 – June 30 1059 / 6.83
7008 Tucannon GMU 166 5 May 5 – June 30 892 / 4.4
7009 Wenaha GMU 169 60 May 5 – June 30 1135 / 4.28
7010 Mt. View GMU 172 24 May 5 – June 30 550 / 5.29
7011 Lick Creek GMU 175 18 May 5 – June 30 453 / 5.56
7012 Peola GMU 178 5 May 5 – June 30 65 / 4.2
7013 Couse GMU 181 5 May 5 – June 30 77 / 4
7014 Grande Ronde GMU 186 5 May 5 – June 30 109 / 6.6
7015 Kitsap GMU 627 5 May 5 – June 30 240 / 2.6
7016 Mason GMU 633 5 May 5 – June 30 276 / 2.6
7017 Bear River GMU 681 20 May 5 – June 30 411 / 2.55
7018 Long Beach GMU 684** 12 May 5 – June 30 202 / 2.92
7019 North Skagit That portion of GMU 418 designated as the hunt area by DNR, Sierra Pacific, Weyerhaeuser-Columbia Timber Lands, and Grandy Lake Timber Company. 30 May 5 – June 30 870 / 6.1
7020 Copalis GMU 642, 648, and 638 (excluding U.S. Forest Service lands). 50 May 5 – June 30 515 / 2.32

* Mandatory bear identification test required.

** Private lands; access is extremely limited. If you cannot secure access to private lands, do not apply for these hunts.