Tags: Gun Control | hunting | Washington | permit

Hunting in Washington: 3 Things to Know Before Applying for a Hunting Permit for Adults

By    |   Friday, 05 June 2015 05:13 PM

Hunters flock to Washington to hunt the state's big game each year, as elk, bear, and deer habitats continue to flourish.

But before you apply for a Washington hunting permit, there are a few things you should know:

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1. Educational Requirement
Hunters in Washington born after January 1, 1972, must complete the state's required basic hunter education course prior to applying for a hunting license. The course if offered on a rolling basis at sites statewide as well as online through Hunter-ed.com. The course, taught by a volunteer, incorporates hunter knowledge, responsibility, safety, and field experience into four to six sessions, lasting an estimated 16 hours total, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Hunters who choose to take the course online will still be required to make a physical presence at a field exercise concerning firearm shooting and safety. Hunters should plan to take the educational course at least one season prior to the time they wish to hunt as the classes fill up quickly. The education requirement is for both bow hunters and firearm hunters.

2. Reciprocity
If you have completed a basic hunter education course in another state, you can use this certification to be exempt from Washington's requirement. This does not mean another hunting license serves as proof. The hunter must have the physical certification present when applying for a license.

3. Military Exemptions
Active members of the United States military can apply to be exempt from the firing range requirement portion of the field test.

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4. Deferral of Educational Requirement
If you are first year hunter or unsure of your future in hunting and do not want to invest the time in the hunter education course, you can apply for a deferral from the requirement. The deferral is available just once in a lifetime, meaning a hunter must complete the education course for any subsequent license applications. As part of the program, the WDFW said a Washington hunter who has held a license for at least three years prior must accompany the hunter.

If you plan to apply for a deferral to hunt, the minimum wait time two weeks for a response from the state office. Once approved for a deferral, hunters must purchase their license directly from the state headquarters office of WDFW, which is located in Olympia.

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

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Hunters flock to Washington to hunt the state's big game each year, as elk, bear, and deer habitats continue to flourish.
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Friday, 05 June 2015 05:13 PM
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