It’s almost hunting season — key dates to remember

As we get closer to the beginning of hunting season, we’d like to take the time to remind you of all the key hunting dates that hunters will need to remember to have a fulfilling hunting season.

Time to Bag Some Birds

Sept. 21–22 are youth only pheasant hunting days. Sept. 23–27 are open to pheasant hunting only if you are 65+ or disabilities hunting days. Opening day for the general pheasant season is Sep. 28 in Western Washington, and Oct. 19 in Eastern Washington.

On Sept. 28, general fall turkey season opens in some Region 5 units as well.

October opens with the beginning of the statewide duck and goose hunting season.

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Cayuse, a 3 1/2 year old registered male Brittany, who’s call name is “Young Chief,” had a successful bird hunt on one of WDFW’s contracted private landowner properties in Walla Walla County. Photo by Chet Hadley

On the Right Track for Deer and Elk

September sees the opening of Eastern/Western elk season for early archers (Sept. 7). Sept. 19 is the last day to exchange muzzleloader transport tags.

On Sept. 28, early muzzleloader general deer season opens. Then, early Eastern/Western elk muzzleloader season opens a few days later, on Oct. 5.

Oct. 12 is opening day for general modern firearm deer season for 65+, disabilities, and youth. This is also the beginning of the early modern firearm deer season.

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Opening day bull — the third bull of Julie’s 17 year career. Photo by Charlie Wright

On Oct. 26, most late Eastern Washington elk seasons officially open.

Modern firearm Western Washington elk season opens Nov. 2 with late modern firearm deer season opening a week later, on Nov. 9. Some GMUs will see a late archery deer season open Nov. 10 and late muzzleloader deer on Nov. 20. Late Western archery elk and late Western muzzleloader elk season opens Nov. 27.

Specialized Hunting

Special permit applications become available Dec. 1. Then, 2020 opens with a late general cougar hunting opening Jan. 1 and spring black bear special permits available Jan. 2.

Don’t Forget

If you plan on exchanging modern firearm transport tags, Oct. 9 is your last day.

Come Dec. 1, 2020–2021 hunting licenses become available as well as multi-season permits.

One of the most important dates to note is the deadline for hunter reporting on Jan. 31. At this time, hunters must report all deer, elk, turkey, bear, moose, sheep and goat.

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A father/daughter mule deer hunt. Photo by Jordan Thomason

Feb. 28 is the last day to submit spring black bear special permit applications.

The end of the 2019–2020 hunting license year is Mar. 31. This is also the last day to purchase and submit multi-season applications.

For more information, visit our website: https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/important-dates

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

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