Olympia — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Master Hunter advisory group have scheduled August meetings in Bothell and Wenatchee for certified master hunters to discuss the new Master Hunter program and upcoming hunts in central and northeastern Washington.
The meeting in Bothell is scheduled Aug. 16 at the Kenmore Shooting Range clubhouse, 1031 228th Street S.W. The meeting in Wenatchee is schedule Aug. 23 at the Chelan County PUD building, 327 North Wenatchee Ave.
Both meetings will be held from 1-4 p.m.
At the meeting, WDFW staff and representatives from the advisory group will provide updates on recent changes to the program and listen to suggestions on its future direction. The transition from the former Advanced Hunter Education program also will be reviewed.
A similar meeting was held in Spokane June 14.
WDFW’s voluntary Master Hunter program was recently revamped to clarify requirements for participation. An enrollment process was held this spring for those interested in participating in the program and gaining certification. The next opportunity to apply will be Jan. 1, 2009.
Master hunters are highly qualified hunters who participate in 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 Mike Kuttel, policy lead.
“Our goal is to develop a group of highly skilled people who consistently display the highest standards of conduct and are dedicated to conserving wildlife habitat and ensure future hunting opportunities,” Kuttel said.
Kuttel also reminds master hunters to use the program’s 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 approximately 350 certified master hunters in the central region and 275 in the northeastern region.