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Washington Moose Hunting

Washington remains a great state for big bulls, but you’ll likely have to hunt hard to find one. Most hunts consist of an early and a late season, each with separate permit allocations. Early season hunts will typically feature some rut activity, while the late season hunts will often have winter conditions, complete with snow to track in. Be sure to confirm the season dates before you apply so that you can have a hunt that matches your expectations.

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Washington state considers their moose population to have peaked back in 2015 with approximately 5,000 moose total. Since then, the trend has been on a slow decline, which is not strange when comparing it to neighboring states. The largest factors affecting densities of moose are that of reduced timber harvests, wildfire suppressions, and continued human development which have pushed the moose population beyond the available forage capacity. Recent studies in units 117 and 125 indicated that populations were continuing to decline due to poor female body condition, calf survival, an influx of wolf predation, and continued winter tick infestations. Antlerless permits were reduced a few years ago and will continue at low permit levels for this season. However, unit 139 was added to the Hangman hunt area due to a growing population in that unit.

It is important to keep an eye out for timber company land closures even without active wildfires in the northeastern portion of Washington. Due to the extreme drought conditions, lands may be closed proactively. For the better moose hunts, we’d suggest looking at areas that have a lot of timber company land where moose habitat is prime due to soil and vegetation disturbance caused by logging activity. Keep the average days hunted in mind when selecting a hunt as many units can have moose populations spread thin over a large portion of the huntable unit. Average success rates remain high for those lucky enough to draw a special permit.

Self Guided DIY Washington Moose Hunts

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Application Dates for Moose in Washington

The Washington Big Game deadline is May 19, 2022.

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Washington Non-Resident Moose Hunting Fees

2022 Washington Non-Resident Fees
Up-Front Fees
Special Permit Application (per species category) $110.50
Special Permit Application - Youth Under 16 (per species category) $3.80
Post Draw Fees (if successful)
Adult License
Bighorn Sheep, Shiras Moose, or Mountain Goat $1,652
Youth License
Bighorn Sheep, Shiras Moose, or Mountain Goat $57

 

Washington Moose Hunting Articles from Huntin' Fool Magazine