Washington Bird Hunting
First time hunters should plan to complete hunter education training early in the year because very few classes are available after August. If you have questions about training requirements or class schedules, please call 360-902-8111 or visit our website at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education
Traditional and Online learning
Students have the choice of taking a traditional course or an online class with a field skills evaluation. The traditional course has in-person teaching from a group of hunter education instructors. The online class allows the students to complete the class at their own pace. Once the student has passed the online test, they have to demonstrate safe firearm handling in various hunting situations at a field skills evaluation. Students can enroll in a Washington hunter education course by visiting the website at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/basic
Deferral Option for Hunter Education
Interested individuals ages 10 and older may apply for an once-in-a-lifetime, one license-year deferral of hunter education training. Individuals receiving a deferral may hunt in general seasons through March 31, 2020, but are not eligible to apply for special permit hunts. Individuals requesting a deferral may hunt only under the immediate supervision of an experienced hunter. The deferral requires a $20, non-refundable application fee. For detailed information on the deferral requirements, please visit our website at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/deferral-program
All first-time Washington trappers, regardless of age, are required to pass the Washington state trapper education exam. Prospective trappers can complete a trapper education class or challenge the written exam through the home study option. The Washington State Trappers Association offers a limited number of classroom courses throughout the year. For detailed information on trapper education, please visit our website at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/trapping
Bowhunter Education is available online
The bowhunter education program is not required to hunt in Washington and will not satisfy the hunter education requirement. This service is offered to Washington hunters who want to bow hunt in states where bowhunter education is required or who want to learn more about bowhunting. For more information, visit our website at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/bowhunting
Questions About Hunter Education?
Contact a member of the hunter education staff if you have questions about training requirements or class schedules. Please see Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife for regional contact information.
Hunter Education Clinics
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is now offering clinics to teach participants the basics of hunting game animals. Clinics will be two to four hours of classroom time and may include additional range activities. In addition, clinics may also offer opportunities for a mentored under the guidance of First Hunt Foundation mentors and local non-government organizations. The clinic schedule is listed online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/hunting-clinics. The hunting clinic booklets are available online as well for download on turkey, upland birds, waterfowl, deer, elk, and hunting access.
Hunting Access in Washington
Hunting access is currently one of the biggest concerns for hunters. In Washington, approximately 50% of the land is publicly owned and managed by state and federal agencies. These lands are open to the public for hunting and other types of recreation. WDFW has created a booklet which gives a basic overview of how to locate hunting access sites on both private and public lands throughout Washington State.