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Course Outline

The annual Hunting Seasons & Regulations pamphlet is an excellent source of information. It contains a current summary of wildlife laws, as well as telephone numbers and addresses of all Department of Fish and Wildlife offices. It is available at stores that sell hunting licenses.

There are three basic types of wildlife laws:

  • Public safety laws
  • Wildlife conservation laws
  • Equal opportunity laws 

Examples of Public Safety Laws

  • No loaded firearms in vehicles—You may not carry or possess a loaded shotgun or rifle in a motor vehicle.
  • No negligent shooting from a public highway—You may not negligently shoot a firearm or bow from, across, or along a public highway.

Examples of Wildlife Conservation Laws

  • Closed season, waters, areas—You may not hunt during closed seasons or exceed the bag limits for a species.
  • Releasing wildlife—You may not release wildlife or plant aquatic plants unless approved by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Examples of Equal Opportunity Laws

  • License requirements—You may not hunt without the necessary licenses, permits, and/or tags.
  • Permit applications—You may not hunt in certain units/hunts without special permits.

Wildlife laws are designed to protect wildlife, promote firearm safety, and provide equal hunting opportunity for all interested citizens. Laws are passed by the legislature, while the Fish and Wildlife Commission and/or director adopts regulations and hunting seasons.

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