Elk NetworkWashington Releases 2023 Hunting Prospects

General | September 8, 2023

Below is a news release from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

Fall marks the start of hunting seasons for big game, waterfowl and upland game birds in many areas of Washington. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) released its annual hunting prospects, which provides guidance and hunting information for each district to help hunters have a successful season. 

“Our district wildlife biologists write these popular reports to give an in-depth look at what field conditions could look like this year,” said Anis Aoude, WDFW game division manager. “These documents have a lot of useful information that can help both new and experienced hunters plan their seasons.” 

Hunters can also use the WDFW Hunt Planner web map, an interactive web tool that helps hunters find permit and general season hunts based on location, date, weapon choice and more. 

Aoude asks that hunters pay special attention to the following items for the upcoming season: 

  • Wildfire impacts: Some hunting opportunities may be affected by emergency land closures. Check out WDFW’s wildfire webpage before heading out.  
  • Black bear identification test: Hunters who wish to harvest a bear in certain me game management units must first pass the bear identification test (through the WILD system) with a score of 80% or better. 
  • Youth pheasant hunting dates: Sept. 16 and 17 are statewide youth-only pheasant hunting dates in Washington. View the Game Bird and Small Game Regulations for more information or contact your local WDFW office. 
  • Youth waterfowl hunting dates: Washington youth-only waterfowl hunting dates are Saturday, Sept. 23 (western Washington) and Saturday, Sept. 30 (eastern Washington) this year. View the Game Bird and Small Game Regulations for more information or contact your local WDFW office. 

Hunting regulations are described in WDFW’s annual regulation pamphlets, available on WDFW’s website and in print at WDFW offices and retailers across the state. 

(Photo source: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)