OLYMPIA — Holiday shoppers can give family and friends the gift of outdoor adventure with the purchase of Washington hunting licenses, fishing licenses, and vehicle-access passes to millions of acres of state wildlife land.
Other gift ideas from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) include wildlife-themed license plates, books, and guidance on how to create your own backyard bird sanctuary.
Although the new license year doesn’t begin until April 1, 2018, many hunters and fishers like to have their license in hand and be ready for the new season, said Peter Vernie, WDFW licensing manager.
“It’s always great to be prepared when the new season arrives,” Vernie said. “Fishing and hunting licenses are gifts that last the whole year.”
Gift giving options from WDFW include:
- 2018 Fishing and Hunting Licenses (valid Apr. 1, 2018–Mar. 31, 2019): Recreational fishing and hunting licenses are available for purchase this month by telephone at 1-866-246-9453, at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, or at hundreds of WDFW license vendors across the state (http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/). License fees vary by type, but some of the most popular can be purchased in the $30 to $50 range. An annual freshwater fishing license for Washington residents is $29.50, while a deer-hunting license for state residents is $44.90.
- Discover Passes (valid for one year from the issue date): A Discover Pass (also available at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov) offers motor-vehicle access to millions of acres of Washington state-managed recreation lands, including state parks, water access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails and trailheads. The state Discover Pass is available online for $35, and also at fishing and hunting license dealers. Holders of annual hunting and fishing licenses do not need a Discover Pass to access lands managed by WDFW, because they receive a free Vehicle Access Pass with their license.
- Wildlife-themed license plates: Wildlife-themed license plates for motor vehicles—including those with images of a steelhead, bald eagle, orca whale, elk, mule deer, or black bear—are available for purchase at an additional cost to regular vehicle-licensing fees. Proceeds from the special license plates go to management of wildlife species. Personalized license plates are also available, with a choice of up to seven letters or numbers not already in use. Personalized license plate proceeds help support management of non-hunted wildlife species. A personalized license plate can be combined with any background. Purchasing information is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/license_plates/.
- WDFW books: “Living with Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest” is a 392-page guide to living with a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, available for $25; and “Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest” is a 320-page guide to creating wildlife-friendly gardens, available for $25. The books may be purchased at retail book outlets; additional purchasing information is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/book/.
- Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary certification: Learn how to create year-round habitat for birds and other wildlife. For $10, qualified recipients receive a designation sign, a certificate and an e-subscription to a monthly newsletter. Visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/backyard/ for details.