Outdoors Blog

General hunting seasons for deer and waterfowl begin Saturday

Across Washington Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 main event or general season hunts kick off for deer and waterfowl.

Modern firearms tag holders west of the Cascades this season will have 21 days (Oct. 11-31) to stalk or wait out their deer. Locally, game management units 407, 418, 426 and 437 are open.

Rifle and pistoliers looking for muleys and white-taileds in Eastern Washington get a shorter pursuit period lasting either nine (Oct. 11-19) or 14 (Oct. 11-24) days depending on species and game management unit.

Bucks will be the key focus in most game management units, but 'any' deer may killed in selected greater Puget Sound island GMUs as well as three units on the east side. For male deer, minimum antler point restrictions may apply in certain GMUs otherwise any visible antlers qualify.

More important rules to deer hunt by include:

  • Hunters must obtain permission to enter private lands except some timberlands locally where entry is allowed with restrictions.
  • To enter and stay on state forest lands hunters must have a Discover Pass and to park at trailheads on national forests a Northwest Forest Pass is required. 
  • Besides their basic Washington big game hunting license (with deer as an option), all participants afield in this season must have a modern firearms deer tag. 
  • All deer hunters during this season must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange garb.
  • When deer hunting west of Interstate 5 in the Puget Sound basin center-fire and rim-fire weapons are not legal. Only primitive weapons, handguns and shotguns (with slugs or buck shot) may be used.
  • Some locales in Whatcom County are declared by ordinance to be no shooting zones.
  • Hunting is not allowed inside corporate city limits nor on county, state or federal parks.

Waterfowl hunting (for geese, ducks and snipe) commences across the state on Saturday as well with some species restrictions and daily bag limitations varying for both ducks (by species and gender) and geese (by goose management area).

Duck and goose hunters must buy a small game license together with a state waterfowl endorsement and federal migratory bird (a.k.a. 'duck') stamp.

Washington's 2014 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Regulations and Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Regulations pamphlets are available at any hunting and fishing license dealer or are on line and downloadable at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/.