A large mule deer buck stands in a field of dry grass.
Special hunt applications are available for deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose, and wild turkey each year.

Special hunts: Get the most out of your hunting seasons this year

Applications, submissions open until May 26

With the deadline for submitting special hunt applications coming up fast on May 26, we wanted to detail the ways special hunts can enhance your hunting seasons and go over how the process works. Whether you are new to special hunt drawings, still on the fence about trying, or have just been meaning to get your applications in, read on for more on what special hunts can do for your hunting adventures.

Special hunting permit applications are available annually for deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose, and wild turkey, offering fantastic, quality hunting opportunities across the state.

If you are drawn for a special hunt permit, you get access to hunting opportunities that are unavailable during the general season.

For example, during the general season you may only have the option to harvest an antlerless elk with the weapon, time frame, and location of your choice. If you were selected for a special hunt permit, you could have access to an area that is only accessible to 20 hunters, the ability to harvest any bull regardless of antler size, and a longer hunting season — increasing your chances of harvesting an elk. The opportunities on offer depend on what application you submit and what area you select.

The special hunt permit is controlled by a weighted-point drawing system. You gain one point for every special hunt application you submit. If you’re unsuccessful in the draw category, those points build up over the years, increasing the chances your application gets drawn. You can only purchase one application per category, per year.

If selected, you also can:

· Gain opportunities to hunt outside of general seasons, increasing your odds for a successful harvest

· Enjoy less competition with a limited number of hunters in the field during your special hunt

· Accumulate preference points over time to increase chances of being drawn

A bull moose walks in the shallows of a lake with mist rising from the water.

· Applications can be purchased now through May 26, which is the deadline to submit applications.

· Resident application fees:

o General special hunt permit: $7.10

o Quality special hunt permit: $13.70

o Youth special hunt permit: $3.80

o Non-resident special hunt permit: $110.50

1. Consult regulations

Decide what species you want to hunt. Each species has its own categories and application types.

Deer, elk, and turkey: You’ll need to purchase a hunting license before submitting a special hunt permit application.

Deer and elk: In addition to a hunting license, you’ll need to buy a transport tag (selecting a weapon type and location) before you submit a special hunt permit application.

Mountain goat, moose, or bighorn sheep: You do not need to purchase a hunting license before submitting a special hunt permit application for these species. If you are drawn, you will need to buy a license before you receive your special hunt permit.

2. Purchase applications now through May 26

You can buy applications at a license dealer, online at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, or by calling 360–902–2464.

If you purchase a special hunt permit application but don’t submit it, you will be awarded one point and will not be eligible for the drawing for that season.

3. Submit application by May 26

Submit online through your profile at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/#/login or, if you require assistance, by calling 360–902–2464.

Visit the WDFW YouTube channel for helpful videos on how to apply for special hunts as an individual or in a group.

4. Check drawing results

Drawing results will be posted in your WILD account in June. Applicants with a valid email will receive an email alert when the results are available.

For more information, rules, and program details, consult the 2021–22 Washington Big Game Hunting Regulations online or at a license dealer near you.

You can buy your special hunt applications today by visiting https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, going to a license dealer near you, or calling 360–902–2464.

We’ll see you in the field, and we hope you have a safe and successful hunting season!

A mountain goat peers downhill from a rocky outcropping.

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