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Baiting for the Purposes of Hunting Deer or Elk

(WAC 220-414-030)

"Bait" is any substance that could serve as a lure, food, or attraction for deer or elk.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is unlawful to hunt for deer and elk using any type of bait placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, scattered, or otherwise used for the purpose of attracting deer or elk with the intent to hunt them, if the volume of bait accessible to wildlife exceeds 10 gallons. Bait sites of an individual license holder cannot be placed within 200 yards from another known bait site or another bait site of the same license holder.


Hunting on or over the following is not considered an unlawful use of bait while hunting deer or elk:

  • Locally common agricultural and ranching practices including salt or mineral distribution, and feeding;
  • Food that is available from undisturbed wild, volunteer, or planted vegetation; including fruit trees, orchards, vineyards, and food plots;
  • Scents used for cover and attractant that are not consumed by animals;
  • Naturally occurring mineral deposits; or
  • As authorized by a department permit issued to address a management objective.
  • Exceptions do not include accidental or intentional spills, dumping, or storage of agricultural produce, feed, or bait.

A violation of this section is punishable as an infraction under RCW 77.15.160 if no animal has been shot or killed and RCW 77.15.410 Unlawful hunting of big game—Penalty, if an animal has been shot or killed.