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
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."