OLYMPIA – The open enrollment period for the 2009 Master Hunter program will begin Jan. 1, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Details on the program, application forms and enrollment procedures are available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/masterhunter/. Applications will be accepted Jan. 1 through March 31.
Master hunters participate in controlled hunts to remove problem animals that damage property or threaten public safety. To qualify for the program, applicants must:
- Pass a comprehensive test based on study materials.
- Take Criminal Observation and Reporting Training (CORT).
- Provide at least 20 hours of approved wildlife conservation volunteer work.
- Sign a Master Hunter Code of Ethics agreement.
- Allow WDFW to conduct a criminal background check (passing threshold criteria).
- Demonstrate a high level of proficiency and skill with legal hunting weapons.
- Be committed to lawful and ethical hunting practices.
“Our goal is to recruit hunters who are dedicated to conserving wildlife habitat and ensuring future hunting opportunities,” said Phil Anderson, WDFW interim director. To help reach that goal and strengthen the program, WDFW recently established a Master Hunter Advisory Group whose “giving back” motto serves as a guide for future master hunters, Anderson said.
WDFW and the advisory group plan to conduct three master-hunter orientation meetings for potential applicants next January and February in Olympia, Yakima and Spokane. The meetings will focus on the application process, requirements for certification and the role of the master hunter. The meetings, which will be announced later, will be open to the public with no pre-registration required.
“Participating in the program is a great opportunity for conscientious, committed hunters to assume a leadership role among their peers,” Anderson said. “Their knowledge and conduct in the field can help build positive relationships between hunters and landowners while promoting the heritage of hunting.”