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Hunting Access & Private Land Program

WDFW Private Lands Program

Hunting and fishing is an integral part of our culture offering opportunities for families to connect with nature. With more than half of Washington’s land in private ownership, finding quality places to hunt or fish on private land can be a challenge. Providing more opportunity is critical to recruitment and retention of hunters and anglers supporting Washington’s heritage and traditions.

Since 1948, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has been working with private landowners willing to allow public hunting access on their land. Today, Private Lands staff are located throughout the state working to develop landowner relationships and provide assistance and incentives to increase public access opportunities on private lands. Statewide, there are more than 500 private landowners and over 1.8 million acres enrolled in public access and habitat development agreements under the Private Lands Program.

The Private Lands Access Program is currently accepting property enrollment for hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing types of recreational access. Program staff work with a variety of landowners owning small to large acres of agricultural farmland, idle land, small forest, private industrial timberland and/or wetland/water access sites. 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

Hunting Access

A true sportsperson 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, 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

Tips for Hunting on Private Land

  1. Respect private property and landowners.
  2. Ask for permission well in advance of the season and make a good first impression.
  3. Offer assistance to a landowner (e.g., fixing fences, cutting firewood, picking up trash etc.).
  4. Give the landowner your information (full name, cell phone number, vehicle information etc.).
  5. Pack out all garbage — leave no trace.
  6. Leave gates how you found them.
  7. Do not drive through fields or private property unless you have permission from the landowner.
  8. Know the property boundaries. Do not trespass.
  9. Remove all parts of any harvested game, unless instructed otherwise by the landowner.
  10. Be aware of all buildings, equipment and livestock.
  11. Thank the landowner for providing access.
  12. Always remember — hunting on private land is a privilege — NOT a right.