The Point No Point Treaty Council and its tribes co-manage wildlife, along with other Olympic Peninsula Tribes, and the State of Washington. Together our programs develop regional management and hunting plans for wildlife species, such as deer, elk, bear, mountain goats and cougars. 

Each tribe implements wildlife research and monitoring that is most important for managing the wildlife in their respective areas.  The Treaty Council Wildlife program staff maintains a conservation program for a variety of species and provides recommendations to its member tribes e governing boards.  Our staff meets with local, State, and tribal wildlife managers to share information crucial to managing wildlife populations, discuss research and monitoring efforts, coordinate future research and adjust harvest seasons and quotas.  The Port Gamble S’Klallam and Jamestown S’Klallam tribes both have tribal fish and game committees that the Treaty Council supports by providing them with science-based information to guide the development of their hunting regulations and also supporting wildlife conservation efforts. Treaty Council staff regularly consults with federal agencies to coordinate management of threatened species, migratory birds and marine mammals.

Treaty Council’s wildlife research program is focused on deer and elk populations along the northern and eastern sides of the Olympic Peninsula.  However, Treaty Council staff also monitor the harvest of nearly all hunted species (such as waterfowl, grouse, cougars, etc.) to collect biometric data and monitor harvest numbers.

Currently, the main wildlife projects include:

  • Working on elk population census counts to determine the number of calves born, calf overwinter survival, bull ratios, total population size and more
  • Placing GPS collars on elk (and recovering them several years later) to better understand home ranges and seasonal movements; movement rates; immigration and emigration from relatively closed populations; and how habitat use is changing over time within an evolving landscape
  • Collaborating with WDFW to maintain the flashing elk-crossing signs south of Sequim (and the associated radio collars on elk), which are activated when elk-collared elk are within a quarter mile of the highway
  • Developing a pilot project using game cameras to estimate black-tailed deer abundance on DNR lands near Sequim, with the possibility of expanding it to a broader area depending on the results. 
  • Collecting and surveying harvest data

Like non-Indian hunters complying with state law, tribal hunters must comply with the hunting regulations adopted by their tribes.  They are required to carry a tribal hunting license, and must obtain permit tags for each big game animal they wish to hunt.  Tribal hunters may hunt only within specific areas, particular seasons, and bag limits.  They must tag big game animals and submit harvest reports to their tribe.  All tribal hunters carry photo identification cards that include their name and tribal affiliation.

In the region of Washington ceded under the Treaty of Point No Point, big game harvest by PNPTC tribes make up only a small fraction of the total harvest.  Between 2010 and 2019, PNPTC tribal hunters harvested 141 elk, compared to state hunters who harvested 1,660 elk; tribal hunters harvested 580 deer while state hunters harvested 21,078 deer.