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Here are the typical hunting seasons for hunters using rifles.

  • Modern firearm deer season usually begins during mid-October and lasts until about the end of the month. Typically, the general deer season for modern firearm hunters will include 14–16 days of hunting opportunity. Refer to a current hunting season pamphlet for this year’s rules and regulations.
  • There are also special, early seasons in certain units during mid-September.
  • A late season for modern firearm deer hunters takes place in late November and usually includes three or four days of additional hunting. Not all units are open during the early or late deer seasons; so anyone hunting with modern firearms must review the annual hunting pamphlet for open seasons, dates, and units. Check with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for any updates.
  • Modern firearm elk season usually starts at the end of October or the early part of November. The season may last from 6–12 days, depending upon the location in the state. There are no general season late hunts for elk.
  • Once again, not all units statewide are open during the modern firearm elk season. Check the pamphlet for open seasons, dates, and units.
  • In addition to general deer and elk seasons, there are usually special deer and elk seasons for permit holders. Also, there usually are special permit seasons for goat, sheep, and moose. These permits require special applications and a lottery drawing.
  • Bear hunting is popular with some rifle hunters. The bear season usually begins in August (western Washington) or September (eastern Washington) and runs for a month or more.
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