Washington Deer Baiting Laws & Regulations

Summary of Washington Deer Baiting Regulations

It is permissible to bait for deer as long as the volume of bait accessible to wildlife is under 10 gallons.

Bait sites cannot be placed within 200 yards of another bait site from the same license holder.

Detailed Regulations

"Bait" is any substance that could serve as a lure, food, or attraction for deer. Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is unlawful to hunt for deer using any type of bait placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, scattered, or otherwise used for the purpose of attracting deer or elk with the intent to hunt them, if the volume of bait accessible to wildlife exceeds 10 gallons.

Bait sites of an individual license holder cannot be placed within 200 yards from another known bait site or another bait site of the same license holder.


Hunting on or over the following is not considered an unlawful use of bait while hunting deer or elk:

  • Locally common agricultural and ranching practices including salt or mineral distribution, and feeding;
  • Food that is available from undisturbed wild, volunteer, or planted vegetation; including fruit trees, orchards, vineyards, and food plots;
  • Scents used for cover and attractant that are not consumed by animals;
  • Naturally occurring mineral deposits; or
  • As authorized by a department permit issued to address a management objective.
  • Exceptions do not include accidental or intentional spills, dumping, or storage of agricultural produce, feed, or bait.

A violation of this section is punishable as an infraction under RCW 77.15.160 if no animal has been shot or killed and RCW 77.15.410 Unlawful hunting of big game—Penalty, if an animal has been shot or killed.


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