Fall marks the start of the deer, elk, waterfowl and game bird hunting seasons in many areas of Washington.
To help hunters have a successful hunting season, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has published its Annual Hunting Outlook, which provides hunting tips and information for each district. It is available online at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations/prospects.
“Our district wildlife biologists are writing these popular reports to give an in-depth look at what field conditions are expected to look like this year,” said Anis Aoude, head of the WDFW games division. “These leads contain a lot of useful information that can help both new and experienced hunters plan their season and take note of the new hunting rules established during the 2021 season definition process.”
Hunters can also use the Hunting Regulations web map, which allows them to find permits and general season hunts based on location, date, weapon choice, etc. Recent surveys indicate that 2021 is set to be another good hunting year.
Aoude asks hunters to pay particular attention to the following for the coming season:
• Forest grouse season changes: The forest grouse season now runs from September 15 to January 15, 2022, to protect hens hatched with chicks.
• Impacts of forest fires: Some hunting opportunities may be affected by emergency land closures. Check out the WDFW Forest Fire webpage before you go.
• Black bear identification test: Hunters who wish to shoot a bear in certain ERGs must first pass the bear identification test (via the WILD system) with a score of 80 percent or higher .
• Youth-only waterfowl hunting dates: Saturday September 25 in Western Washington and Saturday October 2 in Eastern Washington. Species permitted on these dates are ducks (including scaups), coots and Canadian and white-fronted geese. These dates give young hunters a better chance of success.
• Waterfowl Hunting Day for Youth, Veterans and Active Military Personnel: Saturday February 5 will provide youth, veterans and active military personnel the opportunity to experience the hunt at the end of the season. season with an expanded list of permitted species.
These and other hunting regulations are described in the WDFW Big Game Hunting brochure or the Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game brochure.
WDFW works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable recreational and commercial opportunities for fish and wildlife.