Regulations on Baiting for Deer and Elk Hunting
Definition of Bait
"Bait" refers to any substance that could function as an attractant, lure, or source of food for deer or elk.
- General Rule: It is prohibited to hunt deer and elk using bait with the intent to attract them for hunting, if the amount of bait accessible to wildlife exceeds 10 gallons. Bait sites of an individual license holder cannot be placed within 200 yards of another known bait site or another bait site of the same license holder.
The following situations do not constitute unlawful baiting while hunting for deer or elk:
Agricultural and Ranching Practices: Hunting on or over bait related to locally common agricultural and ranching practices, including the distribution of salt or minerals, and feeding.
Natural Vegetation: Hunting over food available from undisturbed wild, volunteer, or planted vegetation, such as fruit trees, orchards, vineyards, and food plots.
Scent Attractants: The use of scents for cover and attractants that are not consumed by animals.
Natural Mineral Deposits: Hunting near naturally occurring mineral deposits.
Department-Authorized Management: Hunting as authorized by a department permit issued to address specific management objectives.
Exceptions Do Not Include
Accidental or intentional spills, dumping, or storage of agricultural produce, feed, or bait.
Violations and Penalties
Violations of these regulations are subject to the following penalties:
If no animal has been shot or killed, it is punishable as an infraction under RCW 77.15.160.
If an animal has been shot or killed, it is subject to penalties under RCW 77.15.410 for the unlawful hunting of big game.