Special permit hunt application deadline extended

WDFW – Hunters can now submit special hunt applications through midnight Thursday, May 21 for deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep, and fall turkey 2020 seasons in Washington.

“The original deadline was May 18,” said Eric Gardner, WDFW Wildlife Program director. “Unfortunately, the printed pamphlets shipment to our dealers have been behind schedule due to COVID-19 complications, so we want to give hunters a few more days to review and submit applications.”

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will conduct a random drawing to select permit winners in June. Hunters who receive special permits qualify to hunt beyond the times and places authorized by a general hunting license.

Instructions and details on applying for special permit hunts are on pages 16-17 of Washington’s 2020 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Regulations pamphlet.

“We’ve also created instructional videos on how to apply for special permits,” Gardner added. “Watch the videos for how to submit permits for individuals or groups.”

A printed version of the pamphlet is now available at dealer locations across the state, though WDFW region offices remain closed. Residents are advised to call local WDFW offices or their local license vendor to determine if they are open before making an in-person visit. The pamphlet has been available for download since April 20.

The department does not anticipate COVID-19 related impacts to these future big game hunting seasons. However, should the department have to cancel these hunting seasons, hunters would be entitled to a refund or point restoration.  

To apply for a deer or elk special permit, hunters must buy an application and hunting license, and submit the application with their preferred hunt choices. Applicants for mountain goat, moose, and bighorn sheep do not need to buy a license before they submit.

Hunters can buy applications and licenses from license vendors statewide or on WDFW’s website. They must submit their applications on the website or call 1-877-945-3492 toll-free.

Hunters buying and applying online must create a username and password in the department’s WILD system. They can find more information about creating their WILD system account. Hunters can also click the “Customer Support” link on the WILD homepage for additional assistance.

Most special hunt permit applications cost $7.10 for residents, $110.50 for non-residents, and $3.80 for youth under 16.

Resident applications for mountain goats, bighorn sheep ram, moose, and “quality” categories for deer and elk cost $13.70.

WDFW will post the results of the special hunt permit drawing online by the end of June. This date is not expected to change as a result of the application extension. WDFW will notify winners by mail or email by mid-July.