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Game Bird Hunting

Game Bird Hunting

Message From the Director

Eric Gardner, Wildlife Program, Assistant Director

Hunting is a way of life for many Washingtonians and is a proud part of our state’s heritage. In 2021*, approximately 182,000 hunters were licensed in our state. Among these individuals, there is huge diversity in the game they hunt, the equipment they use, and the landscapes they traverse.

There is also great diversity among Washington hunters themselves. They come from different backgrounds, bringing different perspectives into their experience. Some have been hunting every season since they were old enough to get a license; for others, this season may be their first time in the field.

Hunters in Washington may have lived here all their life or traveled here from other states or other parts of the world. Some individuals come from a culture with a deep connection to hunting and living off the land; others may be the first in their family to ever harvest an animal.

For this year’s Big Game Hunting Pamphlet Cover Photo Contest, we asked – Who Hunts? We asked you to share photos of you, your family, and your friends hunting in Washington. This effort showed off so many hunters in the state – hunters which all bring their own unique background, history, and story to this lifestyle. It was a pleasure to look through all the submissions, and we hope you enjoy this year’s cover photo as much as we did.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is committed to serving all Washingtonians. There is a place for everyone outdoors, and there is a place for everyone in our Department. We will continue our efforts to recruit, reactivate, and retain hunters and anglers in Washington, regardless of their identity or background.

We will also continue to manage game species in line with our mission to “preserve, protect, and perpetuate the state’s fish, wildlife, and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.”

Thank you for joining us in Washington’s great outdoors. We hope you enjoy safe and productive hunting seasons in the year ahead.

Eric Gardner,

Wildlife Program Director

* 2022 license numbers were not finalized at time of publication