Killing wildlife causing private property damage.
The fish and wildlife commission is authorized to classify wildlife as game, and/or as endangered species or protected wildlife, and/or as a predatory bird consistent with RCW 77.08.010
. The commission is also authorized, pursuant to RCW 77.36.030
, to establish the limitations and conditions on killing or trapping wildlife that is causing damage on private property. The department may authorize, pursuant to RCW 77.12.240
the killing of wildlife destroying or injuring property.
The conditions for killing wildlife vary, based primarily on the classification of the wildlife species, the imminent nature of the threat to damage private property, the type of private property damage, and the preventive and nonlethal methods employed by the person prior to the damage event. Additional conditions defined by the department may also be important, depending on individual situations. Killing wildlife to address private property damage is subject to all other state and federal laws including, but not limited to, Titles 77
RCW and 232 WAC.
(1) It is unlawful to kill protected wildlife or endangered species (as defined in RCW 77.08.010
) unless authorized by commission rule or with a permit from the department, with the following additional requirements:
(a) Federally listed threatened or endangered species will require federal permits or federal authority, in addition to a state permit.
(b) All migratory birds are federally protected and may require a federal permit or federal authority, in addition to a state permit.
(2) Killing wildlife causing damage to a commercial crop or to livestock.
It is permissible to kill unclassified wildlife, predatory birds, and game animals that are in the act of damaging commercial crops or attacking livestock or other domestic animals, under the following conditions:
(a) Predatory birds (defined in RCW 77.08.010
) and unclassified wildlife that are in the act of damaging commercial crops or attacking livestock or other domestic animals may be killed with the express permission of the crop, livestock, domestic animals, or property owner at any time on private property, to protect domestic animals, livestock, or commercial crops.
(b) If an owner has attempted nonlethal damage control techniques and acquires verbal or written approval from the department, they may kill an individual (one) deer or elk during the physical act of damaging commercial crops within a twelve-month period. The owner must notify the department within twenty-four hours of kill. The department will document animals harvested under this subsection and will ensure harvest is consistent with herd management objectives developed cooperatively with comanagers where available.
(c) Multiple deer or elk may be killed if they are in the act of damaging commercial crops if the owner, owner's immediate family member, agent of the owner, or owner's documented employee is issued damage prevention or kill permits and the owner has a valid, written damage prevention cooperative agreement with the department.
(d) An owner may kill an individual (one) black bear or cougar during the physical act of attacking livestock or domestic animals with or without an agreement or permit within a twelve-month period. The owner must notify the department within twenty-four hours of kill.
(3) Killing wildlife causing damage or killing wildlife to prevent private property damage.
(a) Predatory birds (as defined in RCW 77.08.010
(39)), unclassified wildlife, and eastern gray squirrels may be killed by the owner of private property, owner's immediate family, agent of the owner, or the owner's documented employee with the express permission of the private real property owner at any time, to prevent private property damage on private real property.
(b) Subject to subsection (7) of this section, the following list of wildlife species may be killed by the owner of the property, owner's immediate family member, agent of the owner, owner's documented employee, or licensed hunters/trappers in a lawful manner with the express permission of the private real property owner, when causing damage to private property: Raccoon, fox, bobcat, beaver, muskrat, mink, river otter, weasel, hare, and cottontail rabbits.
(c) The department may make agreements with landowners to prevent private property damage by wildlife. The agreements may authorize permits to remove animal(s) to abate private property damage.
(d) Landowners are encouraged to allow general season hunting and trapping on their property to help minimize damage potential and concerns.
(4) Wildlife control operators may assist property owners under the conditions of their certification or permits to remove animals causing damage.
(5) Tribal members may assist property owners under the conditions of valid comanagement agreements between tribes and the department. Tribes must be in compliance with the agreements including, but not limited to, adhering to reporting requirements, possession, and harvest restrictions.
(6) Hunting licenses and/or associated tags are not required to kill wildlife under this section unless the killing is pursuant to subsections (2)(c) and (3)(b) of this section. Hunters and trappers participating in harvesting wildlife under this section must comply with provisions of each permit. Tribal members operating under subsection (5) of this section are required to meet tribal hunting license, tag, and permit requirements.
(7) Except as specifically provided in a permit from the department or a rule of the commission, people taking wildlife under this rule are subject to the laws and rules of the state.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, and chapter 77.36
RCW. WSR 16-04-066 (Order 16-18), § 232-36-051, filed 1/28/16, effective 2/28/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, chapter 77.36
RCW, and 2013 c 329. WSR 13-22-056 (Order 13-282), § 232-36-051, filed 11/4/13, effective 12/5/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, and 77.36.120
. WSR 13-05-003 (Order 13-19), § 232-36-051, filed 2/6/13, effective 3/9/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, and 77.36.030
. WSR 10-23-026 (Order 10-291), § 232-36-051, filed 11/8/10, effective 12/9/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, and 77.04.055
. WSR 10-13-182 (Order 10-156), § 232-36-051, filed 6/23/10, effective 7/24/10.]