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Washington

Hunting

Special Permit Application Instructions

Applying for Special Permits

General Information:

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

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 19 through midnight on May 19, 2022.

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 on 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 group leader must submit as the group leader for the category first. Each group member must submit their application as a group member and must know the group leaders WILD ID to join as a group member.

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 - 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.gov or 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. You will receive an email with the confirmation number
For Group Applications:

Leaders must apply first:

  1. Group leader must select hunt choices
  2. Group leader must review hunt choices for accuracy
  3. Group leader to submit separately from group members
  4. Each member must apply separately as a group member
  5. Keep each email received after submission is completed

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 2023 Multi-Season Permits.

7. Application Confirmation...

You will be sent an email for each submitted application. Please make sure your email is correct in your profile before submitting an application. Submitted applications can be viewed in your account under the Special Hunt link.

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.

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 years of age at the time of license purchase or special permit application purchase.

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.

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.

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.

Turkey

Fall Turkey

Hunts in this category allow the taking of a wild turkey of either sex. These hunts occur in the fall. Only in GMU 335 the Teanaway special permit hunt.

Multi-Season

Multi-Season Deer

See 2023 Multi-Season Permits for information about multi-season hunts.

Multi-Season Elk

See 2023 Multi-Season Permits for information about multi-season hunts.

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