Hunting Access & Private Land Program
A true sportsman respects the land and demonstrates this respect and appreciation while in the field. Remember to obtain permission from the landowner before accessing their land to hunt or fish. While in the field, conduct yourself in a way that will ensure a welcome to those who follow after you. The Discover Pass provides access to state recreation lands and can be purchased online at discoverpass.wa.gov, by phone at (866) 320-9933, or in person wherever hunting licenses are sold. You’ll receive a complimentary Vehicle Access Pass for WDFW lands when you purchase an annual hunting license. More information on hunting access is available at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations.
WDFW Private Lands Program
See Private Lands Access Program for more information
Finding places to hunt in Washington is becoming more of a challenge. With more than half of the state’s land in private ownership, WDFW has worked with landowners across the state, developing relationships and providing technical assistance for a variety of programs to increase public access to private lands. The Private Lands Program encompasses two main areas of emphasis; recreational access and habitat conservation through Farm Bill programs. Staff across the state work with private landowners to develop the best strategy for their lands and for wildlife. WDFW regional Private Lands Biologists are strategically located across the state to provide assistance to landowners looking for help with hunting access, technical assistance with habitat conservation programs, or a variety of other access issues. WDFW’s Private Lands Program is focused on working with landowners to provide recreational opportunity to the public. The Private Lands Program staff work with a variety of landowners who may own agricultural farm land, private industrial timber land and/or wetland/water access sites. WDFW works with landowners big and small. Some agreements are with landowners with as few as 3 acres and others with as many as tens of thousands of acres. WDFW also provides all signage, technical assistance and aids in communication with enforcement for all lands enrolled. As of fall 2021, WDFW offers four different types of access agreements to landowners; Feel Free to Hunt, Hunt by Reservation, Register to Hunt and Hunt by Written Permission. To find specific private lands enrolled in any of these programs, please visit our private lands access website at wdfw.wa.gov/private_lands.
Tips for Hunting on Private Land
- Respect private property and landowners.
- Ask for permission well in advance of the season and make a good first impression.
- Offer assistance to a landowner (e.g., fixing fences, cutting firewood, picking up trash etc.).
- Give the landowner your information (full name, cell phone number, vehicle information etc.).
- Pack out all garbage - leave no trace.
- Leave gates how you found them.
- Do not drive through fields or private property unless you have permission from the landowner.
- Know the property boundaries! Avoid trespassing!
- Remove all parts of any harvested game, unless instructed otherwise by the landowner.
- Be aware of all buildings, equipment and livestock.
- Thank the landowner for providing access.
- Always remember - hunting on private land is a privilege - NOT a right.