Tags: Gun Control | hunting in washington | landowners | private property

Hunting in Washington: 3 Things for Landowners to Know About Hunting on Private Property

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Jun 2015 03:18 PM

Nearly 50 percent of Washington's land mass is in the hands of private property owners, according to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. With that in mind, its no wonder hunting enthusiasts often seek permission from landowners to hunt on their property.

To date, more than 600 private property owners, controlling more than 1 million acres, allow hunters on their private lands. However, before granting access to hunt on their property, here are three things private landowners should keep in mind.

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1. Note the Property Signage

Property that is registered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, as part of a private lands management agreement, is still ultimately controlled by the landowner.

Properties can be listed as Register to Hunt, Feel Free to Hunt, Hunt by Written Permission, and Hunt by Reservation. Each type of signage indicates that the property has specific rules for hunting there.

2. Landowner Protection
Landowners are protected from liability under state statute RCW 4.24.210. It reads: "Any public or private landowners, hydroelectric project owners, or others in lawful possession and control of any lands whether designated resource, rural, or urban, or water areas or channels and lands adjacent to such areas or channels, who allow members of the public to use them for the purposes of outdoor recreation, which term includes, but is not limited to, the cutting, gathering, and removing of firewood by private persons for their personal use without purchasing the firewood from the landowner, hunting, fishing, camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, bicycling, skateboarding or other non-motorized wheel-based activities, aviation activities including, but not limited to, the operation of airplanes, ultra-light airplanes, hang gliders, parachutes, and paragliders, rock climbing, the riding of horses or other animals, clam digging, pleasure driving of off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and other vehicles, boating, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, nature study, winter or water sports, viewing or enjoying historical, archaeological, scenic, or scientific sites, without charging a fee of any kind therefor, shall not be liable for unintentional injuries to such users."

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This means hunters cannot pursue charges against the landowner for accident or injury that occurs while hunting the property.

3. Wildlife Program Aids Landowners
Landowners who participate in a private lands management agreement with the state, to allow hunting, will be provided with signage materials, technical services, and sometimes compensation.

The program, which has been active since 1948, is also enforced and monitored by WDFW staff at no expense to the property owner.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Nearly 50 percent of Washington's land mass is in the hands of private property owners, according to the Washington Department of Fish Wildlife. With that in mind, its no wonder hunting enthusiasts often seek permission from landowners to hunt on their property.
hunting in washington, landowners, private property
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2015-18-09
Tuesday, 09 Jun 2015 03:18 PM
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