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Prohibited Hunting Methods

  1. Hunting with artificial lights (RCW 77.15.450):

Hunting big game with the aid of an artificial light, spotlight, or night vision equipment is prohibited. Night vision equipment includes electronic light amplification devices, thermal imaging devices, and other comparable equipment used to enhance night vision.

  1. Using night vision and laser sights (WAC 220-414-010):

It is illegal to hunt all big game with the aid of infrared night vision equipment or with laser sights (not to include range finders) capable of projecting a beam onto the target, while in possession or control of a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow.

  1. Shooting at wild animals or wild birds (WAC 220-413-080):

While they are on any utility line, pole, its crossarm or insulator is prohibited.

  1. Using aircraft (WAC 220-413-070):

It is illegal to:

  • Use an aircraft, including unmanned aircraft to spot, locate, or report the location of wildlife for the purpose of hunting.
  • Hunt big game on the same day you were airborne for any purpose, except for a regularly scheduled commercial flight.
  • Hunt game animals, game birds, or migratory birds on the day one has operated an unmanned aircraft.
  1. Aircraft, boats, or motor driven vehicles (WAC 220-413-070):

Using aircraft, unmanned aircraft, boats, or motor driven vehicles to pursue, concentrate, or harass wildlife is prohibited. This includes ATVs. Hunting from boats with motors is permitted if the motor is off and it is not contributing to the boat's propulsion.

  1. Using a motor vehicle (WAC 220-413-070):

It is unlawful to hunt wildlife from a motor vehicle, exceptions: see Persons with Disabilities on Persons with Disabilities.

  1. Negligently discharging a firearm (RCW 77.15.460):

From, across, or along the maintained portion of any public highway, regardless of surface, or from within a moving vehicle or moving off-road vehicle is prohibited. Hunters with disabilities with a vehicle identification placard, in compliance with WAC 220-413-140, may discharge a firearm or other legal hunting device from a non-moving motor vehicle that has the engine turned off.

  1. Party hunting (WAC 220-413-040):

Party hunting is defined as shooting at or killing big game or turkeys for another, killing big game or turkeys with the intention of having another person tag the animal; or tagging a big game animal or turkey that another person has killed.

Party hunting is illegal for big game and turkey, except for hunters with disabilities who have a designated hunting companion as defined in WAC 220-413-140.

  1. Failure to tag properly (WAC 220-413-020):

It is unlawful to fail to immediately cut out and remove the month and day of the kill on your tag. You cannot use a tag for an animal you have killed with a tag that is not yours (except under WAC 220-413-140). See Tagging & Transporting Game for tagging requirements.

  1. Using dogs:
    • (WAC 220-413-060): Hunting wild animals (except rabbits and hares) with dogs (hounds) during the months of October or November during the dates established for modern firearm deer or elk general seasons in eastern and western Washington is prohibited.
    • (RCW 77.15.240): Allowing a dog, owned or controlled by you, to pursue or injure deer or elk or to accompany you while you are hunting deer or elk is prohibited.
    • (WAC 220-413-060): Hunting or pursuing any big game animal, bobcat, or coyote with dogs is prohibited, except cougar during cougar management removals authorized by the Fish and Wildlife Commission.
    • The use of one blood-trailing dog controlled by leash during lawful hunting hours within 72-hours of shooting a big game animal, except bear and cougar, is allowed to track wounded big game and aid in recovery.
  2. Hunting during modern firearm deer or elk seasons (WAC 220-413-060):

You may not hunt wildlife during any modern firearm deer or elk season, with any firearm .24 caliber or larger or containing slugs or buckshot for big game, unless you have a valid license, permit and tag for one of the following: deer, elk, black bear, cougar, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, or moose. During any modern firearm deer or elk season, it is illegal to hunt any wildlife after legal hunting hours. See exceptions to legal big game hunting hours on Hunting Hours.

  1. Prohibited firearms/hunting methods (WAC 220-414-020):

It is illegal to:

  • Hunt game birds or game animals with anything other than a firearm, a bow and arrow, a crossbow, or by falconry. Bullfrogs may only be taken by angling, hand dip netting, spearing (gigging), or bow and arrow.
  • Hunt any big game with a fully automatic firearm.
  • Hunt game animals or game birds with a shotgun larger than 10 gauge.
  1. Using decoys and calls (WAC 220-414-090):

It is illegal to hunt turkey, deer and waterfowl with the use or aid of electronic calls, except during white goose-only (lesser snow geese, Ross' geese) season dates.

  1. Radio-telemetry equipment (WAC 220-414-010):

It is illegal to use radio-telemetry equipment to locate and hunt wildlife with transmitters attached to them.

  1. Night hunting (WAC 220-413-060):

It is illegal to hunt wildlife at night during the months of October and November in any area open to modern firearm deer or elk hunting.