Deer Hunting in Washington

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  • B
  • 110,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 150,000 (includes whitetails, mule deer and blacktails)

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $44.90

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $434.30

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 200 3/8"

    Taken by James Cartwright in Stevens County in 1992 and is currently ranked No. 13 of all time.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 24

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 242 4/8"

    Taken by an unknown hunter in an unknown county in 1946 and is currently ranked 187th.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 40

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Washington isn't known for whitetails, but it has a few. (Tim Irwin photo)

Season Dates (2018):

Archery season (for most) opens September 1 and ends either on September 23 or 28. Again, for most, the late archery season is from mid-November to mid-December, depending on location. Muzzleloader season runs from September 29 to October 7 and November 20, 21 or 25 to December 8 in most areas. General rifle season runs from October 13 to 23 (or 26) and November 10 to 19. All dates vary greatly by region and are unit specific. Please check the state DNR's website to confirm.

The Grade: B

Washington is home to blacktail, mule deer and whitetail deer and offers a total deer population estimated at 360,000. Its expanding white-tailed deer numbers are mainly distributed throughout the eastern third of the state with the highest density located in the northeast along the river bottoms, farmland and timbered hills in Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Spokane and Lincoln counties. Whitetails typically comprise about 35 percent of the total deer harvest statewide with the vast majority of that occurring on public ground, giving the Evergreen State a solid B across the board.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

For a true public land western-style hunt, it’s hard to beat what Washington has to offer. In fact, you just don’t know what you might see when you’re perched in your treestand: elk, moose, black bear, mule deer and yes, plenty of whitetails in the eastern third of the state. To enhance that experience is the Private Land Access Program. Since 1948, the WDFW has worked with private landowners across the state to provide public access to private ground. Through these efforts, WDFW has enrolled roughly 1 million acres into the program which only enhances the vast public hunting opportunities already found across the Evergreen State.