Expanded Hunting Opportunities

Elk

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person. — Fred Bear


The final rule expanding hunting and fishing on national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries across the country was published in the Federal Register here https://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2020/2020-2021-Station-Specific-Hunting-and-Fishing-Final-Rule.pdf
 
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has expanded hunting opportunities at three units of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge for the 2020-2021 season.
 
South Bay – We opened 396 acres at the South Bay Unit (Porter Point and Lewis) to elk and deer hunting for the first time, in adherence to the Washington State and refuge-specific regulations in place at adjacent Refuge lands, including a firearms restriction on the use of centerfire and rimfire rifles.
 
Nemah – We opened 143 acres at the Nemah Unit (boat access only) to elk and deer hunting for the first time, in adherence to Washington State regulations.
 
Leadbetter Point – We opened 2,181 acres at the Leadbetter Point Unit to a regulated (WDFW hunt-by-reservation permit required) early muzzleloader elk season, as well as occasional special elk hunts, as needed. To apply for a permit click here:  https://privatelands.wdfw.wa.gov/private_lands/
 
Early Muzzleloader Elk Season Opportunity.  One (1) hunter per day allowed.  Only hunters with a valid reservation are allowed to access this site and may bring no more than one (1) non-hunting companion.  Hunter parking located at the end of Stakepole Road.  Walk-in access only; hunt area is most easily accessible from parking area either via walking the shoreline of Willapa Bay or by using the Yellow Trail (Bearberry Trail) from the Green Trail (Bay Loop Trail).  Hunting is allowed 150 yards north of the Yellow Trail (see map).  Firearms must remain unloaded on the trail and hunters should be aware that the unit is also open to hiking along the established trails and along the ocean beach.
 
This unit is currently open for waterfowl hunting.
 
In addition, we eliminated the recreation user fee at the Riekkola Unit. The refuge specific regulations for Willapa NWR in the Code of Federal Regulations are now aligned to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations and we eliminated the requirement to obtain and carry a Migratory Bird Hunt Application and report waterfowl taken per instructions on the Migratory Bird Hunt Report.  
 
The comment period for the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge draft hunting compatibility determination closed on April 30, 2020. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service would like to thank everyone who provided comments. The final Compatibility Determination can be found here Revised Compatibility Determination for Big Game and Upland Bird Hunting on Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
 
The change to the huntable acreage is a minor amendment to existing regulations and is therefore covered under a Categorical Exclusion U. S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION STATEMENT FOR CATEGORICAL EXCLUSION.