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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


July 28, 1997
Contact: Tom Brown (360) 586-1661 or Margaret Ainscough (360) 902-2408

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Instructors needed for hunter education

BELLINGHAM -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking applications from men and women interested in serving as volunteer hunter education instructors in the Whatcom County area.

State law requires first-time hunters born after January 1, 1972 to complete a Department of Fish and Wildlife training program before purchasing a hunting license. The original hunter education law required training only of first-time hunters under 18 years of age.

Volunteer instructors trained and certified by the Department of Fish and Wildlife teach the hunter education course, which involves instruction in outdoor safety, wildlife conservation and ethics afield. Currently, there are only seven certified hunter education instructors in the Whatcom County area.

"We have a lot of students wanting classes, but we simply don't have enough area instructors to meet the demand," said Mik Mikitik, state coordinator for hunter education training.

Applications for certification as a hunter education instructor are available from the Olympia hunter education office, which may be contacted at (360) 586-1656.

Certification as an instructor requires a background investigation to ensure candidate suitability, a preliminary examination to evaluate candidate background knowledge, successful completion of a new instructor orientation program and in-class practical experience working with currently certified instructors.

Certification is free for the unpaid instructor positions.

"There's no financial reward and it really does require a time commitment," said Mikitik, "but for anyone who cares about the future of wildlife, hunting or the shooting sports, there is no better way for one person to make a lasting contribution."