OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is currently accepting enrollment applications through Feb. 15 for its Master Hunter program.
WDFW enlists master hunters to participate in controlled hunts to remove problem animals that damage property or threaten public safety. To qualify for the program, applicants must demonstrate a high level of skill and be committed to lawful and ethical hunting practices, said Lt. Eric Anderson, manager of WDFW’s Hunter Education Division.
“This program was designed to create a pool of highly qualified hunters who can help the department manage wildlife in sensitive situations,” Anderson said. “This is a great opportunity for conscientious, committed hunters to assume a leadership role among their peers.”
Hunters enrolling in the program must pay a non-refundable $50 application fee, pass a criminal background check, sign a Master Hunter Code of Ethics form and provide at least 20 hours of volunteer service on projects that benefit the state’s wildlife resources. They must also pass an extensive written exam based upon the program’s curriculum.
Anderson encourages hunters who enroll in the program to study the materials thoroughly to prepare for the test, because applicants are allowed only one chance to re-take the exam. Those who successfully complete the enrollment process will receive a certificate, master hunter patch and identification card, and will be eligible to participate in depredation hunts.