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.

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: 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. The raw pelt, with evidence of sex, and skull must be presented to an authorized department employee for sealing within 5 days of kill. 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

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 April 1 – June 15 1370 / 4.14
7001 Kelly Hill GMU 105* 50 April 1 – June 15 898 / 3.3
7002 Douglas GMU 108* 40 April 1 – June 15 508 / 3.23
7003 Aladdin GMU 111* 50 April 1 – June 15 679 / 2.82
7004 49 Degrees North GMU 117* 100 April 1 – June 15 1199 / 3.12
7005 Huckleberry GMU 121 100 April 1 – June 15 1350 / 3.49
7006 Blue Creek GMU 154 18 April 15 – June 15 617 / 6.06
7007 Dayton GMU 162 18 April 15 – June 15 1059 / 6.83
7008 Tucannon GMU 166 5 April 15 – June 15 892 / 4.4
7009 Wenaha GMU 169 60 April 15 – June 15 1135 / 4.28
7010 Mt. View GMU 172 24 April 15 – June 15 550 / 5.29
7011 Lick Creek GMU 175 18 April 15 – June 15 453 / 5.56
7012 Peola GMU 178 5 April 15 - June 15 65 / 4.2
7013 Couse GMU 181 5 April 15 – June 15 77 / 4
7014 Grande Ronde GMU 186 5 April 15 – June 15 109 / 6.6
7015 Kitsap GMU 627 5 April 15 – May 31 240 / 2.6
7016 Mason GMU 633 5 April 15 – May 31 276 / 2.6
7017 Bear River GMU 681 20 April 15 – May 31 411 / 2.55
7018 Long Beach GMU 684** 12 April 15 – May 31 202 / 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 April 15 – June 15 870 / 6.1
7020 Copalis GMU 642, 648, and 638 (excluding U.S. Forest Service lands). 50 April 15 – June 15 515 / 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.