Report a Poacher or Other Violation

For more information
please contact the
Hunter Education Program.

Eastern Washington
Spokane office
(509) 892-1001

Ephrata office
(509) 754-4624

Yakima office
(509) 575-2740

Western Washington
Mill Creek Office
(425) 775-1311 Ext. 106

Olympia office
(360) 902-8111



Hunting Incident Report

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Annual License Year Reports
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Hunting Incidents in Washington State

Hunting incidents are caused—they just don’t happen! 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has reviewed hunting incidents for more than 70 years, and all hunters should be aware of this simple fact: Virtually every hunting incident could have been prevented.

Do you know and follow these ten safety rules?

  • Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  • Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.
  • Never carry or place a loaded firearm in or on a motor vehicle.
  • Never use a firearm unless you are familiar with how it works.
  • Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
  • Unload firearms when climbing trees, crossing fences, streams or other obstacles.
  • Never point at anything you do not want to shoot.
  • Unload firearms when they are not in use.
  • Never use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting.

The graphs below summarize hunting incident data over the past 30 years.  Although hunting incidents continue to decline over time, even one incident is one too many.

Remember: Hunting safety is up to you!

Hunting Incidents by Decade


Leading Causes Of Hunting Incidents 1977-2006
Changes In Average Number Of Incidents Per Year Per Decade
Average Number Of Hunting Incidents Per Year Per Decade

LGMV Loaded gun in a motor driven vehicle
VOSS Victim out of sight of shooter
VMFG Victim mistaken for game
VCBS Victim covered by shooter while swinging on game
CH Careless handling

Hunting Incidents by Equipment Type

Hunting Incidents by Shooter Age