First time hunters should plan to complete hunter education training early in the year because very few classes are available after August. For more information about current classes or if you have questions about training requirements, please call 360-902-8111 or visit our website at: 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: 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, 2022, 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 who has held a Washington hunting license for the prior three years and is over eighteen years of age. Approved applicants must pay the $20 deferral application fee when purchasing their deferral license. For detailed information on the deferral requirements, please visit our website at: wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/deferral-program
Prior to purchasing their first Washington state trappers license, prospective trappers must successfully complete the Washington trapper education training or successfully challenge the written examination through the home study option. The Washington State Trapper's Association offers a limited number of classroom courses throughout the year. For more information on trapper education, please visit our website at: 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: wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/bowhunting
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.
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.