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Persons with Disabilities Programs

Washington Bird Hunting

Persons with Disabilities

WDFW may issue a disability designation to a person with a permanent disability under certain conditions meeting ADA.

WDFW Disability Status:

A person with a disability is a person who has a permanent physical or developmental disability which substantially impairs their ability to participate in recreational activities or to access department lands.

ADA WAC Rules

WAC 220-200-160, WAC 220-200-170, WAC 220-200-180, WAC 220-200-190, WAC 220-413-140, WAC 220-413-210.

All ADA WAC language is available online at: wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/accessibility/laws

Disabled Hunter Program:

A hunter with a disability means a person who has been granted a disability designation and issued a valid disabled hunter endorsement on their license by the department.

The hunter with a disability issued a disability endorsement will receive a designated hunter companion card. The hunter companion card allows a licensed hunter to assist the disabled hunter with that physical function the hunter with a disability is unable to perform. The hunter companion must be in the physical presence of the disabled hunter, not to exceed a ¼ mile separation. The hunter and companion must have a form of reliable and direct communication. A hunter with a disability may no longer possess a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, or shoot from a motor vehicle, unless the hunter with a disability has been issued a special use permit from the department. In addition, it is unlawful for a hunter with a disability to utilize a crossbow in archery or muzzleloader season, unless the hunter with a disability has been issued a special use permit from the department. (For complete ADA hunting information and definitions, please refer to WAC 220-413-140.)

Special Use Permits:

A special use permit issued by the department sets forth terms and conditions to allow for reasonable accommodations for persons granted a disability designation. All specialized accommodations will now be processed through the special use permit program. Reasonable accommodations are issued on a case-by-case basis. (For complete ADA special use permit information and definitions, please refer to WAC 220-200-170.)

Road Access Entry Program: June 1st 2020

This program accommodates hunters with a mobility disability unable to walk 200’ feet, or who have been medically prescribed the use of an assistive device every time for mobility such as; a wheelchair, walker, crutch, prosthetic, leg brace, or oxygen. Many new opportunities are being developed and existing areas may rotate due to current activities within those areas.

Access roads are identified through signage at the gated entry points. Hunters drawn for access will receive a special use permit for entry.

Able-bodied walk-in hunters must respect hunters with disabilities rights in these areas, and remember that harassment of properly identified persons with disabilities is not allowed.

These opportunities are in cooperation with the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and private timber and landowner companies.

The Road Access Entry Booklet is available by request only June 1st at any WDFW Office. Submissions are accepted from June 1st thru July 31 of each year. Entries are also accepted online at: wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/disabled-hunter-road-access-entry-program

For information about opportunities on DNR lands only, call (360) 902-1375.

For other information about any other areas, call WDFW at (360) 902-2349.

Disabled Trapper Program:

A trapper with a disability means a person who has been granted a disability designation and issued a valid disabled hunter endorsement on their trapper license by the department.

Disability Hunting License & Tags:

Other opportunities are available through the special deer and elk permit drawings in this pamphlet. Accessible duck and goose blinds are located around the state on private, state, and federal lands. Each regional office has ADA opportunities and accessible facilities located within its district. They can help you with your hunting prospects for that specific area.

The Private Lands Hunting Access Program provides hunting access to 1.3 million acres of private land. Properties enrolled in the Feel Free to Hunt, Register to Hunt, and Hunt by Written Permission programs can be found at: wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations/private-lands

Properties enrolled in the Hunt by Reservation Program can be found at: https://privatelands.wdfw.wa.gov/private_lands/type/56/

For questions about your license or to request a Hunter/Fisher Disability Status application contact:

  • WDFW Licensing Division: (360) 902-2464
  • Hearing impaired TTD: 711
  • To request a Special Use Permit application, contact the ADA Manager at (360) 902-2349 Hearing impaired TTD: (360) 902-2207
  • For Wildlife questions: (360) 902-2515
  • Hunter Education questions: (360) 902-8111