Hunting & Wildlife

Hunting and gathering have always been essential parts of our Swinomish culture as a way to provide nourishment for our bodies and our spirits. The right to hunt and gather on open and unclaimed lands throughout the Washington Territory was reserved by our ancestors in the Treaty of Point Elliott.

The goal of the Wildlife/Hunting Program is to preserve and protect the Swinomish Tribal Community's Treaty-Reserved and federally protected Hunting and Gathering Rights. Through the Wildlife/Hunting Co-Management Agreement with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Wildlife/Hunting Program continues to ensure that the best management methods based on science are implemented to protect the resources and ensure healthy and sustainable game populations continue to be protected for the benefit of all people.

As a wildlife co-manager, the Swinomish Tribal Community sets hunting regulations, hunting seasons and bag limits based on the ability of wildlife populations to support harvest. Hunting regulations are shared with WDFW co-managers and modified based on information from both co-managers. Tribal Fish and Game Enforcement officers ensure that tribal hunting regulations are followed by tribal members.

The Wildlife/Hunting Program works on cooperative projects to enhance deer and elk herds and their habitats. The Wildlife/Hunting program worked on the Nooksack elk augmentation project that increased the Nooksack herd population from 300 to an estimated population of 800 animals in 2010. Management actions for the Nooksack herd are carried out by Swinomish, WDFW and other Point Elliott treaty tribes. These actions include radio collar tracking of individual animals which provides data to population models used by the co-managers in herd management.

Hunting & Wildlife


Valentino Villaluz
(360) 630.9544


Mon-Wed | 8-6 PM
Thu | 8-5:30 PM