Public comment being accepted on proposed changes to WA hunting regulations

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is now accepting public comments on proposed rule changes to 2024-2026 hunting season regulations.

WDFW is accepting public comments submitted electronically, by phone, or by mail until March 25, or during a public hearing on March 26.

Proposals included in this rule-making are related to game management unit boundaries, landowner hunting permits, pelt inspection and sealing requirements, weapon and hunting attire requirements, trapping, and various rules related to big game, small game, and migratory gamebirds. 

Descriptions of each proposed rule change are available online.

The public may submit comments online, via email, by calling 1-855-925-2802 and entering project code 1378; or by mailing Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife ATTN: Wildlife Program, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504. March 25 is the deadline to submit comments through any of these methods.

Those interested in providing verbal comments during a virtual public hearing on March 26 should pre-register online. Registration for public comment closes at 8 a.m. the day of the meeting. The hearing begins at 1 p.m. Information on how to join the virtual meeting is available on WDFW’s website.

All members of the public are invited to share their perspectives and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, or basis of disability.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission delegated the decision on these rule-making proposals to WDFW Director Kelly Susewind, who will issue his decision on the proposed recommendations after the March 26 hearing.

Three-year season setting is an in-depth rule-making process that allows WDFW to propose and collect public feedback on changes to Washington hunting laws. In between three-year rule-making cycles, the annual season setting allows the Department to propose minor season changes or changes due to emerging needs. 

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission or WDFW director set hunting seasons based on public input and staff recommendations. 

For more information about hunting seasons and regulations, please visit WDFW’s website.