CONSUMER RESOURCES – Understanding Washington Hunting Rules and Regulations


April 25, 2018
Vlad George
Guest Writer
Consumer Resources

If you’re planning a trip to Washington and you’re a well-seasoned hunter, you ought to be aware of the local regulations to make sure you don’t get in trouble with the law. As with many other states, Washington requires you to take a hunter education class before you are allowed to purchase a hunting license.

While there is no minimum age when it comes to enrolling in hunter education classes, the golden rule is that children under the age of 12 have to be accompanied by a parent or their guardian. What do the classes encompass? As you might expect, they detail everything you ought to know about outdoor safety, hunter responsibilities, the basics of using firearms, as well as wildlife management.

At the end of the class, which might last anything between four to six days and over sixteen hours, on the whole, all students must pass a written test to demonstrate their knowledge regarding what they’ve been taught. You don’t have to enroll in a class if you have passed it in another state already. The state of Washington recognizes all classes organized and certified by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

What can you hunt in this area? Big game ranges from deer and bear to bighorn sheep, cougar, and moose. There are some rules you have to abide by if you want to make sure that you do not end up paying a hefty fine or even worse, getting jail time. For example, did you know that you are not allowed to shoot your firearm from a vehicle? It doesn’t matter if it’s moving or not. If you get deep in the woods, a good GPS might be able to help you.

Both in Washington and other states, too, most hunters prefer to hunt big game using modern firearms. The minimum size rifle for targeting elk, deer, and bear, is a 24-caliber or a 6mm center fire. You are not allowed to use rimfire rifles if you want to take down big game. The 24-caliber requirement also applies in the case of handguns.

There are also several regulations made specifically for bow hunters. For example, one of the requirements is that the bow should have a minimum of 40 pounds measured at 28 in. The minimum length of all hunting arrows used needs to be 20 inches. If you hunt during archery seasons, you might get a nasty fine if you’re caught carrying a firearm aside from your bow, too.

The final tip that we can give you is that it is essential for you to wear orange clothing, also known as blaze orange. This rule should be abided by all types of hunters and on most hunting seasons. Why is this necessary? The fact is that this practice will allow other hunters to know your location so that they know they can avoid you or just stay out of your shooting range. You have to wear at least 400 square inches of fluorescent orange to be in accordance with the current law on the matter. The upper half of your body is where this type of clothing is necessary, and it should be visible from any angle.




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