Persons with Disabilities Programs
WDFW may issue a disability designation to a person with permanent disabilities as described in WAC 220-200-160.
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.
Accessibility 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 disability-related 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:
Special use permits issued by the department allow for a limited, specific exception to a recreational activity, service, equipment, or regulation for persons granted a permanent disability designation and are processed through the Licensing Division. For complete special use permit information and definitions, please refer to WAC 220-200-170 or visit the Special Use Permit Program website at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/wdfw-special-use-permit-program.
Road Access Entry Program
This program provides opportunities for accessibility modifications to 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 permit for entry.
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 companies and private landowners.
The Road Access Entry Booklet is available online, June 1st and can be requested after June 1st at any WDFW Office. Submissions are accepted from June 1st through July 31st of each year. For 2023, all applicants must apply through the online licensing system (WILD). They can access the application via their WILD account.
For information about opportunities on DNR lands only, call (360) 902-1375.
For other information about the Road Access Entry Program, please call WDFW at (360) 902-2247.
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.
Other Accessibility Options:
Other opportunities are available through the special deer and elk permit drawings in this pamphlet. Accessible waterfowl blinds are located around the state on private, state, and federal lands. Each regional office has possible program modifications and accessible facilities located within its region. They can help you with your hunting prospects for that specific area.
The Private Lands Access Program provides hunting access to 1.8 million acres of private land. Enrolled properties can be found at: wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations/private-lands
For questions about your license, or to request a Hunter/Fisher Disability Status or Special Use Permit application contact:
- WDFW Licensing Division: (360) 902-2464
- Hearing impaired TTY: 711
- For Wildlife questions: (360) 902-2515
- Hunter Education questions: (360) 902-8111