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WDFW LogoHunting
Report a Poacher or Other Violation

For more information on
hunting, please contact the
WDFW Wildlife Program.
Phone: 360-902-2515
wildthing@dfw.wa.gov

 

 
GoHuntAccess multi-layered maps displaying game management unit (GMU) boundaries, deer and elk management areas, pheasant-release sites, and Private Lands Hunting Opportunities, as well as roads, topographical features and county lines. In addition, harvest statistics and hunting regulations are available by specific locale and species.

Private Lands Access for Landowners

Since 1948, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has been helping private landowners who open their lands to public hunting.  The Department helps landowners manage hunting on their property by providing technical assistance and signs.  In addition, WDFW enforcement personnel gain valuable knowledge of cooperator lands and there are additional penalties for hunters who harvest an animal (big game or small game) on cooperator’s lands without appropriate permission (WAC 232-12-421 and WAC 232-12-422).

Private Lands Access and Habitat Enhancement

Many of the private landowners who are part of the private lands access program also get technical assistance from WDFW staff to help improve fish and wildlife habitat on their lands.  Department staff are available to help landowners plan habitat improvements and may also be available to help landowners apply for or implement federal programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) or the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) (for example, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  There are also WDFW funded habitat programs that are also available in some parts of the state.

Private Lands Access Programs

Feel Free to Hunt Register to Hunt Written Permission Program Landowner Hunting Permit Program
A property enrolled in the WDFW Feel Free to Hunt program has no requirements for hunters to gain additional landowner permission to be able hunt the property. While additional permission is not needed, hunters must still obey all posted signs on the property, including safety zone and vehicle restriction signs.  Landowners and WDFW work cooperatively to make sure signs are put in the right places. In order to hunt on a property enrolled in the WDFW Register to Hunt program, hunters must park in designated parking areas and fill out a hunter registration form at the site. Additional landowner permission is not needed to hunt the property, however hunters must obey all signs posted on the property, including safety zone and vehicle restriction signs.  Landowners and WDFW work cooperatively to make sure signs are put in the right places. In order to hunt on a property enrolled in the WDFW Hunt by Written Permission program, hunters must visit the site and contact the landowner to acquire a permission slip PRIOR to hunting. Hunters must have a valid permission slip with them while hunting these properties. Landowner contact information is located on signs posted on the property. In addition, hunters must obey all posted signs on the property, including safety zone and vehicle restriction signs.  Landowners and WDFW work cooperatively to make sure signs are put in the right places. In order to hunt on a property enrolled in the WDFW Landowner Hunting Permit (LHP) program, hunters must either be selected in a special permit drawing held by WDFW or the Landowner or contact the Landowner directly.  Landowner name is included on signs posted on property boundaries.  In addition to a hunting permit from WDFW, hunters must contact the landowner prior to hunting and obtain a written permission slip that must remain with them while hunting on the property. Hunters must obey all posted signs on the property, including safety zone, vehicle restrictions, and boundary signs.  Landowners are responsible for posting signs.

Limits of Liability for Allowing Recreational Access

Landowners are often concerned about potential liability issues when allowing public hunters on their property.  However, when landowners allow hunting through WDFW access programs, existing law (RCW 4.24.200 and 4.24.210) provides landowners with liability protection for unintentional injuries.  This protection does not extend to known dangerous artificial latent conditions for which warning signs have not been posted (e.g., an unmarked well shaft). 

WDFW Contacts

The Department has staff dedicated to working with landowners on habitat and access issues. 

Region 1
Kurt Merg
Todd Baarstad
Scott Rasley
Jason Earl
Region 2
John Cotton
Eric Braaten
Region 3
Contact regional office for more information
Region 4
Contact regional office for more information
Region 5
Contact regional office for more information
Region 6
Contact regional office for more information