For wildlife and people
We welcome the support of both hunters and non-hunters in our efforts to keep the Northwest wild!
We protect, connect and restore wildlands and habitat for all native species, including game animals. And we champion threatened wildlife across our region; from bighorn sheep, mountain caribou and pronghorn to Canada lynx, grizzly bears and wolves.
We support science-based wildlife management and Fair Chase hunting according to the laws and regulations of the State of Washington. In fact, we have several passionate hunters on our staff.
And we’re the Washington state affiliate organization of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s oldest and largest conservation alliance. Learn about the National Wildlife Federation’s Outdoors program.
Respecting wildlife, and passing it on
Most hunters have a deep appreciation for wild areas and choose to take their passion further by becoming skilled at stalking, harvesting and cooking wild game animals. Hunters are also well-known for their efforts to pass on the importance of wildlife and wildlands to future generations.
As long as hunting opportunity is based on the science of animal population management, is done through Fair Chase ethics, and hunters hunt lawfully and ethically, responsibly utilizing their harvest, we respect that hunting is an important way people choose to experience our natural heritage. We also deeply appreciate that sportsmen and women are among the leading contributors to conservation.
Revenue from hunting and fishing licenses as well as taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, firearms and ammunition (levied through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson acts) are some of North America’s best tools for supporting wildlife conservation, acquiring and maintaining public lands for habitat and outdoor recreation, and funding state and federal wildlife agencies.
Those who hunt and those who don’t hunt share much in common. Hunters and non-hunters alike enjoy the outdoors, care about local and sustainable food, relish hiking in fields and forests, and want to pass their knowledge on to younger generations.
News on hunting and conservation
- March 2021: Who should pay for conservation?, High Country News
- February 2021: Hound training for cougar tracking highlights wildlife-human challenges
- November 2020: FATAL DISEASE IN WASHINGTON’S BIGHORN STRONGHOLD: WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?, MeatEater
- October 2020: Changes needed after disease from domestic sheep puts another Washington bighorn herd at risk
- May 2020: Hunter, angler and conservation partner letter in support of wildlife crossings
- March 2020: Statement on Fish and Wildlife funding in 2020 budget
- February 2020: Washington Lawmakers Propose General Fund Fixes For WDFW Budget, NW Sportsman Magazine
- January 2020: Stakeholders call for legislature to fully-fund Department of Fish and Wildlife
- December 2019: Editorial: State fish, wildlife agency in a hunt for funding, Everett Herald
- July 2019: New Plan to Keep Critters Off the Endangered Species List Would Benefit Hunters and Anglers, Outdoor Life on the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act
- March 2019: Seattle Times Op-Ed: Lawmakers, stop underfunding Fish and Wildlife
- February 2019: Perspectives on hound training bills HB 1516 and SB 5320
- December 2018: As hunting declines, efforts grow to broaden the funding base for wildlife conservation, The Conversation
- November 2018: Evergreen State in the Red | WDFW Budget & Policy
- April 2018: Fewer hunters stretch Washington’s already tight wildlife budget, The Spokesman Review
- March 2018: Decline In Hunters Threatens How U.S. Pays For Conservation, NPR
More on our work for fish and wildlife funding.
Partnering for conservation progress
We partner with a variety of sportsmen’s and hunting and angling conservation organizations to protect wildlands, connect habitat and restore wildlife in the Pacific Northwest.
In Okanogan County, since 2014 we’ve partnered with organizations including the Mule Deer Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to protect and connect critical habitat for mule deer, sharp-tailed grouse, and other species in north-central Washington through the Working for Wildlife Initiative.
This effort seeks to maintain the Okanogan’s working lands and wildlife heritage through land conservation, wildlife corridors and crossings on Highway 97, improved access for outdoor recreation (including hunting and horseback riding) and education about the importance of wildlife and wildlands. This builds on our success working to create wildlife corridors for deer, elk and other species in the Snoqualmie Pass area through the I-90 Wildlife Corridor Campaign.
Across Washington, we frequently coordinate with groups including Pheasants Forever, the Washington Wild Sheep Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and many other hunting and fishing groups to support wildlife habitat conservation and recovery work.
And we support and help fund efforts by state, federal and university researchers to better understand the impacts wolves have on deer, elk, moose and other ungulate populations. Carnivore conservation must be successful for all native wildlife, from wolves to species such as elk and mule deer, which are in decline across much of Eastern Washington due to loss of winter range, fragmentation of migration corridors and disease.
To combat poaching, we offer standing rewards for information that leads to a poaching conviction in Washington state, with up to $7,500 available and even more in especially egregious cases. Whether it’s deer, elk or rare predators, poaching is an unacceptable abuse of our shared natural heritage. No matter how one feels about predators or other wildlife, poaching is never OK.
Learn more about our reward fund to help stop poaching
Hunting and conservation
Hunters including Theodore Roosevelt, John James Audubon and Aldo Leopold were some our nation’s first and most impactful conservationists, and their legacy lives on today. In Washington state and across the country, hunters contribute significant time, energy and funding for conservation causes. We deeply appreciate these efforts. Hunter and angler conservationists are an important part of our “conservation community”.
For an excellent overview of the “North American Model of Wildlife Conservation”, which includes fair-chase hunting, public access, bans on wastage of meat, and conservation-oriented wildlife management, we encourage you to watch this video from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
We’re working with organizations including the National Wildlife Federation, as well as state and federal wildlife agencies, to expand the conservation successes of the North American Model to “non-game” animals and other important native species.
Learn more about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act
More on hunting, conservation and food
- Hikers: Stop Hating on Hunters – by author, TV host and conservationist Steven Rinella
- Not all environmentalists eat tofu: the hunters fighting climate change – The Guardian
- Beyond Fair Chase – The definitive book on hunting ethics by Jim Posewitz
- Backcountry conservation – Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
- Who We Are – Short film by Donnie Vincent, hunter and wildlife biologist
- Hunters: For love of the land – National Geographic
Gaining a direct connection with food, nature and our human and natural heritage are among the primary reasons people hunt. The recent movement to eat leaner protein and know exactly where it comes from has been a common practice among hunters for generations.
Few food sources are as healthy and sustainable as wild, free-range game meat. Most hunters take enormous pride not only in taking an animal in the field, but in properly cleaning, processing and cooking their harvest so that they and their families can enjoy some of the best protein available anywhere.