OLYMPIA — Informational meetings for certified master hunters will be held in Kennewick and Longview to discuss changes and improvements to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Master Hunter program.
The meeting in Kennewick is scheduled March 14 at the Benton County PUD Auditorium, 2721 W. 10th Ave. (intersection of Hwy. 395 and 10th Avenue). The meeting in Longview is scheduled April 4 at Bob’s Sporting Goods, 1111 Hudson Ave.
Both meetings will be held from 1-4 p.m. Attendance is not required.
At the meetings, members of the Master Hunter Advisory Group will summarize recent changes in the Master Hunter program and discuss the group’s possible future focus areas. The advisory group will also seek input on improvements to the program, hold a question and answer session and conduct a survey. WDFW staff members will discuss upcoming hunts for master hunters in the general area.
Master hunters are highly qualified hunters who participate in often sensitive, controlled hunts to help WDFW remove problem animals that damage property or threaten public safety. A primary purpose of the program is to offer an opportunity for committed hunters to help preserve the sport’s heritage, said Phil Anderson, WDFW interim director.
“Our goal is to develop a group of highly skilled people who display the highest standards of conduct and are dedicated to conserving wildlife habitat and strengthening public support of hunting,” Anderson said.
The meetings are not intended for master hunter applicants or those interested in applying. The 2009 application deadline for the program is March 31.
Master hunters are advised to use the website as their primary source of information and to check it routinely for updates and other information (http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/masterhunter/).
There are currently more than 1,665 certified master hunters in Washington.