Overview of Hunter and Trapper Education in Washington

Hunter Education Training

  • Timing: First-time hunters are advised to complete training early in the year. Few classes are available post-August.
  • Information and Enrollment: Visit or call 360-902-8111 for details on current classes and training requirements.

Types of Learning

  1. Traditional Course: In-person instruction from hunter education instructors.
  2. Online Class with Field Skills Evaluation:
    • Self-Paced: Complete the class online at your own pace.
    • Field Skills Evaluation: After passing the online test, students must demonstrate safe firearm handling in various hunting scenarios.

Hunter Education Deferral Option

  • Eligibility: Available for individuals aged 10 and older, for a once-in-a-lifetime, one license-year deferral.
  • Restrictions: Participants can join general hunting seasons through March 31, 2024, but are ineligible for special permit hunts.
  • Application and Fee: Requires a $20 application fee. Visit for more details.

Trapper Education

  • Requirement: Mandatory completion of Washington trapper education training or a successful challenge of the written exam for the first-time license purchase.
  • Classroom Courses: Limited number of courses offered yearly.
  • Further Information: Visit for more on trapper education.

Bowhunter Education

  • Not Mandatory for Hunting in Washington: The program doesn't fulfill the hunter education requirement.
  • Purpose: Useful for hunters aiming to bow hunt in states where this education is mandatory or for those seeking to enhance their bowhunting skills.
  • Additional Details: For more information, visit

Hunter Education Instructor Incentive Permits: Details and Restrictions


Hunter Education Instructor Incentive Permits are allocated through a random drawing, specifically designed for qualified hunter education instructors. These permits offer additional hunting opportunities as a token of appreciation for their contributions. Instructors are eligible for one incentive permit per year and must adhere to specific rules and regulations.

Regional Permit Allocations and Restrictions

Region 1

  • Eligible Game: Any White-tailed deer.
  • GMUs: Any 100 series GMU, excluding GMU 157.
  • Dates: All general season and permit seasons for included GMUs.
  • Permits: 3.
  • Exclusions: Seasons and permits for master hunters, youth, hunters with disabilities, or hunters aged 65 and older, unless qualified. Raffle and auction hunts excluded.

Region 2

  • Eligible Game and GMUs:
    • Any White-tailed deer in GMUs 204, 215, 233, 239 (1 Permit).
    • Any White-tailed deer in GMUs 218, 224, 231, 242 (1 Permit).
    • Any deer in GMUs 218, 231 (1 Permit).
    • Any deer in GMUs 245, 247 (1 Permit).
    • Any deer in GMU 290 (1 Permit).

Region 3

  • Eligible Game and GMUs:
    • Any deer in GMUs 335-368 (2 Permits).
    • Any bull in GMUs 334, 336-371 (1 Permit).

Region 4

  • Eligible Game and GMUs:
    • Any deer in any 400 series GMU, excluding GMUs 485 and 490 (4 Permits).
    • Any elk in GMUs 454, 460 (1 Permit).

Region 5

  • Eligible Game and GMUs:
    • Any deer in all 500 series GMUs, excluding GMUs 522 and 578 (3 Permits).
    • Any elk in GMUs 382, 388, and all 500 series GMUs except GMU 522 (1 Permit).

Region 6

  • Eligible Game and GMUs:
    • Any deer in any 600 series GMUs (4 Permits).
    • Any elk in GMUs 618, 638-648, 654, 658, 663, 672, 699 (1 Permit).


  • Eligible Game: One male turkey or turkey with visible beard.
  • Dates: April 1 - May 31.
  • Permits: 4.
  • Note: This is in addition to other spring season turkey harvests.

General Regulations for Permit Holders

  • Weapon Use: Permit hunters must use the legal weapon for the season dates being hunted.
  • Safety Requirements: Hunter orange and/or hunter pink is required during modern firearm seasons.
  • License and Tag: Permittees may purchase a second license and tag for use with the permit hunt only.

Key Criteria for Hunter Education Instructors

  • Qualified hunter education instructors can only receive one incentive permit each year.
  • Instructors must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the drawing.

This program reflects a commitment to recognizing the vital role of hunter education instructors in promoting safe and responsible hunting practices.

Wild Advisor Pro


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.