Pumice Plain, Mount Whittier, & Upper Smith Creek Special Permit Hunts

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) have worked cooperatively to develop the Pumice Plain, Mount Whittier, and Upper Smith Creek elk areas and corresponding special permit hunts. These hunts are part of the implementation of the Mount St. Helens Elk Herd Plan, which calls for a general reduction in elk numbers. 

Please be advised that these hunts will be very strenuous and only hunters prepared for such a challenge should apply. You are strongly encouraged to scout options for accessing the areas before the hunts begin. 


  • All hunters must wear hunter orange/pink, regardless of weapon type. 
  • In all three Elk Areas, permit holders will be required to hunt and remove their kill by non-motorized, non-hoofstock means. In addition, no wheeled vehicles (carts, bicycles, etc.) will be allowed. 
  • Camping on the National Volcanic Monument will only be allowed in designated areas. 
  • Permit holders can have up to 3 helpers assist them in removing their kill. Helpers can be present during the hunt and must wear hunter orange. 
  • Hunters may only use existing trails while scouting the Pumice Plain Elk Area prior to the hunt. 
  • Hunters and helpers participating in the Pumice Plain hunt will be required to carry an off-trail permit issued by the Forest Service while hunting, and abide by restrictions for entry into the area. Successful special permit applicants will receive a letter from the USFS describing the restrictions for entry onto the Pumice Plain. You must sign and return the letter to receive your off-trail permit.