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Washington

Hunting

Special Permit Application Instructions

General Information:

Special hunting permit applications are available for deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose, wild turkey and black bear.

A weighted-point permit drawing system is used, which gives applicants who have failed to be selected in the past a better chance to be awarded a permit in the future. It is based on the application history of each applicant.

Points accumulate in each species category. The purchase of an application results in one accrued point for the category purchased. When a hunter is selected, the hunter's point total for that category drops to zero. Everyone has a chance to be selected, but those with more points have a better chance of being awarded a permit. Points can not be transferred between individuals or categories.

You have up until two weeks before your season is scheduled to open to return your permit and have your points restored. You should contact the Wildlife Program at (360) 902-2515 to make this request.

If you draw more than one permit for the same species you can participate in each hunt, but must stop hunting once you harvest an animal. Unless one of those permits is for a second tag, you are restricted to harvesting one animal.

Application Submission Periods:

Deer, Elk, Mountain Goat, Moose, Bighorn Sheep, and Turkey:

April 26 through midnight on May 26, 2021

Spring Bear:

January 2 through midnight on February 28, 2022.

Special permit applications are only accepted during this time period.

For more information visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/special-hunts/bear

Cost to Apply:

See License, Tags & Permit Fees.

How to Apply:

1. Read...

Read the Big Game Hunting Seasons and Regulations to see which hunt choices are available. Be sure you are reading the current year's hunting pamphlet when submitting your application(s) because the permit hunts and hunt choice numbers change every year.

2. Decide on Hunt(s)...

Decide which hunt(s) you would like to apply for, and in what order.

Multiple Hunt Choices

You can apply for a maximum of four hunt choices per application, except for the quality deer and elk categories. For quality deer and elk hunts only two hunt choices are allowed. You do not have to apply for more than one hunt. If more than one hunt choice is requested, each hunt will be considered in the drawing in order of the priority you chose.

3. Purchase Hunting License and tag...

Purchase the required hunting license and select the appropriate transport tag(s).

There are three ways to purchase:
  1. License Vendors
  2. Telephone: (866) 246-9453
  3. Online: fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov

For deer and elk, the transport tag must match the tag specified for the hunt listed in the special permit tables. You must select your transport tag, including weapon type and location, before you can purchase a special permit application.

Applicants for turkey special permits must have a valid small game hunting license before an application can be purchased.

Hunting licenses for mountain goat, moose, or bighorn sheep do not have to be purchased unless you are selected for a special hunt permit. If selected, you must send a check or money order for the appropriate fee, to WDFW's Headquarters office by the deadline established by the Department (15 day minimum) or the permit will become void and will be offered to an alternate. You may also purchase using a credit card by calling (866) 246-9453.

If a youth is awarded a youth permit and turns 16 before purchasing the hunting license and tag, the full resident or non-resident price will be charged. Permit price is determined by the youth's age at date of special permit purchase. No refunds or exchanges will be made for those purchasing a hunting license for mountain goat, moose, or bighorn sheep.

4. Purchase Permit Application...

See the table below for information about each permit category available. Decide on and purchase special hunt application(s) for each category you would like to apply for.

There are three ways to purchase permit application(s):

  1. License Vendors
  2. Telephone: (866) 246-9453
  3. Online: fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov

5. Decide if Applying as an Individual or Group...

Decide if you want to apply as an individual, as the leader of a group, or as a member of a group. If you want to apply as a member of a group, you must choose a group leader. The leader of the group must submit all group members and the hunt choices at the time of submittal.

When applying as a group, each member must be eligible for the hunts that the group is applying for. If a group application is selected for permits, all of the hunters in the group receive a permit and each hunter can take an animal. The points accumulated by each hunter in the group are averaged and applied to the group application.

If the number of permits available in a hunt category is less than the maximum group size, then the maximum group size is equal to the number of permits.

The maximum group sizes for each species category are as follows:

8 - Deer & Elk

2 - Bear & Cougar

2 - Goat, Moose, & Bighorn Sheep

4 - Turkey

2 - Multi-season Deer & Elk

6. Submit...

Submit your special permit hunt choices online at fishhunt.dfw.wa.govor by calling 360-902-2464. Note: There is no other way to submit your hunt choices.

When submitting your hunt choices, you will be asked to provide your WILD ID, name, and birth date. Your WILD ID is printed on each license or transport tag you purchase, and your sales receipts. This is your permanent identification number.

Next, choose a species category for which you would like to submit. The license system will only accept submissions for species categories that you have already purchased a special hunt permit application.

For Individual Applications:
  1. Enter your hunt choices
  2. Review your choices for accuracy
  3. Submit your application
  4. Write down the confirmation number
For Group Applications:

Leaders must apply first:

  1. Add each group members WILD ID
  2. Enter your hunt choices
  3. Review your hunt choices for accuracy
  4. Submit the group application
  5. Write down the confirmation number

If you purchase a special permit application but do not submit it, you will be assigned a Points Option hunt and awarded one point.

Points Option:

Submit for points without getting drawn.

If you want to continue to build points, but want to ensure you do not get selected for a permit, use the "Points Options" when submitting your application(s).

For multiple season deer and elk application submittal information, please see 2022 Multi-Season Permits (PDF).

7. Write...

Write down or print the confirmation number you are provided after submitting your application(s). If you feel your application was successfully submitted but did not receive a confirmation number, please log into your account or call WDFW at

(360) 902-2464 right away. If you are not issued a confirmation number, your application was NOT submitted and you must try again until one is issued.

8. Results...

To determine if you have been awarded a special permit, check the results in your online account at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.

Results for deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose, and turkey will be available by the end of June, and by the end of March for spring bear.

Applicants are responsible for determining if they have been selected. Hunting licenses for mountain goat, moose, or bighorn sheep do not have to be purchased unless you are selected for a special hunt permit. If selected, you must send a check or money order for the appropriate fee, to WDFW's Headquarters office by the deadline established by the Department (15 day minimum) or the permit will become void and will be offered to an alternate. You may also purchase using a credit card by calling (866) 246-9453.

Special Permit Categories

Species

Category (Application Type)

Category Description

Deer Quality Deer Hunters can expect lower than average hunter densities, greater potential for success, or good hunt timing during these hunts.
Buck Deer Antlered deer only, hunts available for each weapon type.
Antlerless Deer Antlerless deer only, hunts available for each weapon type.
Second Deer These hunts allow the selected applicants to purchase a second deer tag and participate in the hunt awarded.
Deer - Youth Must be under 16 at the time the special permit application is purchased.
Deer - 65 and Over Must be at least 65 years of age sometime during the license year.
Deer - Disabled Must be registered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a hunter with a disability.
Deer - Master Hunter Must have a valid Washington Master Hunter card.
Elk Quality Elk Hunters can expect lower than average hunter densities, greater potential for success, or good hunt timing during these hunts.
Bull Elk Antlered elk only, hunts available for each weapon type.
Antlerless Elk Antlerless elk only, hunts available for each weapon type.
Elk - Youth Must be under 16 at the time the special permit application is purchased.
Elk - 65 and Over Must be at least 65 years of age sometime during the license year.
Elk - Disabled Must be registered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a hunter with a disability.
Elk - Master Hunter Must have a valid Washington Master Hunter card.
Black Bear Spring Bear Hunts occur in the spring. For more information visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/special-hunts/bear
Mountain Goat Goat Hunts are for mountain goat. If a hunter reports taking a mountain goat on one of these hunts, or fails to report his or her hunting activity, no further special hunt applications for “Goat” can be purchased.
Goat- Conflict Reduction Hunts will assist with the removal of mountain goats from the Olympic Peninsula. Less than 100 goats are thought to remain in the hunt area. Hunter success rates are expected to be low. These permits allow the taking of mountain goats of either sex, and there is no minimum horn length or age requirement. The mountain goat gender identification test is waived for applicants drawn in this category.
Moose Antlered Bull Moose Only Hunts in this category allow the taking of an Antlered Bull Moose. If a hunter reports taking a moose on one of these hunts, or fails to report his or her hunting activity, no further special hunt applications for “Antlered Bull Moose Only” can be purchased.
Antlerless Moose Hunts in this category only allow the taking of antlerless moose. Hunters may continue to purchase future moose special hunt applications whether a moose was taken in the hunt or not.
Moose - Youth Must be under 16 at the time the special permit application is purchased.
Moose - 65 and Over Must be at least 65 years of age at some time during the license year.
Moose - Disabled Must be registered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a hunter with a disability.
Bighorn Sheep Sheep Any Ram Hunts in this category only allow the taking of a bighorn sheep ram. If a hunter reports taking a sheep on one of these hunts, or fails to report his or her hunting activity, no further special hunt applications for “Sheep Any Ram” can be purchased.
Sheep Ewe Hunts in this category only allow the taking of bighorn sheep ewes. Hunters may continue to purchase future bighorn sheep applications whether a sheep was taken in the hunt or not.
Sheep - Youth Must be under 16 at the time the special permit application is purchased.
Sheep - Disabled Hunter Ewe Only Must be registered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a hunter with a disability. Hunts in this category only allow the taking of bighorn sheep ewes. Hunters may continue to purchase future bighorn sheep applications whether a sheep was taken in the hunt or not.
Sheep - Disabled Hunter Juvenile Ram Only Must be registered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a hunter with a disability. Hunts in this category only allow the taking of a juvenile bighorn sheep ram. Hunters may continue to purchase future bighorn sheep applications whether a sheep was taken in the hunt or not.
Sheep - Juvenile Ram Only Hunts in this category only allow the taking of a juvenile bighorn sheep ram. Hunters may continue to purchase future bighorn sheep applications whether a sheep was taken in the hunt or not.
Turkey Fall Turkey Hunts in this category allow the taking of a turkey of either sex. These hunts occur in the fall.
Multi-Season Multi-Season Deer See 2022 Multi-Season Permits (PDF) for information about multi-season hunts.
Multi-Season Elk See 2022 Multi-Season Permits (PDF) for information about multi-season hunts.

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