Early Archery season begins the Tuesday after Labor Day, and runs for 12 days (for now)
Late Archery opens the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and goes until December 15th.
Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti, ), named after U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, occur in the Coast Range, the Olympic Range, and other areas west of Interstate 5. Olympic National Park in northwest Washington holds the largest number of Roosevelt elk living anywhere (about 5,000). This subspecies is the state mammal of Washington.
Almost all of the coastal units are open for hunting during the early season, either a 3pt bull minimum, or 3 pt bull or antlerless, depending on unit.
Washington offers unlimited, over the counter tags to hunt.
Non-resident tags cost $497.
Most hunting is for resident herds, as the only real migratory herds are in the Olympic Park.
The early Archery season is during the pre-rut, so most bulls sneak in quietly, but some bugling does occur.
Best way (in my opinion) is to hunt behind closed gates on private (public walk in access) timberland.
Mountain bikes are a great way to get back into area and find undisturbed herds.
Every unit is capable of providing a "trophy" , but average harvest is 2-3 year old bulls.
Units open to the taking of antlerless elk have higher success rates (obvious reason)
Hunting near the coast is unique in that you go from sea level to 1500 feet, dense forest, from reprod to Old Growth, heavy blowdown from coastal storms, sword ferns, devils club, salmon berries, blackberries, all sorts of reasons to make hunting tough...
It will rain.
But lots of elk, and once you find them, they don't run into the next county.
Southwest Washington puts out the most animals in the state largest harvest is in the Winston Unit, but that is "Cascade Roosevelt" and a regular zoo during season.
Coastal areas have less pressure, and more walk in areas.
Area is heavily roaded, so not a wilderness experience, but bikes and game carts make the roads convenient to the hunter.
Get a few miles in and you are all alone...