Master Hunter Permit Program

Master Hunter Permit Program and other WDFW work has been funded by the Legislature. For more information please see the email to Master Hunters.

Special Note - COVID-19: Since there are big unknowns related to how long COVID-19 restrictions will go on and the availability of volunteer opportunities once restrictions are lifted, WDFW will be extending the completion deadline for the 2019 Master Hunter Permit Program applicants. WDFW is currently not able hold Master Hunter Permit Program exams, hunter education classes, and engaging volunteers in a very limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 open application period may start July 1 and close on August 15. WDFW may also modify the open application period if COVID continues to be an issue with volunteer opportunities and Master Hunter exams. 

 

In 2007, the Fish and Wildlife Commission signed the Master Hunter Program Policy C-6005 creating the Master Hunter Permit Program (MHPP). It was designed to provide adequate numbers of hunters with specific qualifications to address certain human/wildlife conflicts. Since then the program has evolved to include the following goals:

  • Promote support in the general public for hunting.
  • Promote the highest standards of hunting.
  • Enhance landowner-sportsman relations.
  • Increase volunteer efforts on conservation projects that benefit wildlife, wildlife habitat, promote hunting access on private land, and the associated agency priorities.

Master Hunters are ambassadors to the public and should conduct themselves as role models for the rest of the hunting community. Being a Master Hunter is a privilege, not a right.  As such, if Master Hunters are not abiding by the highest ethical standards, they may be suspended or expelled from the program. 

In 2013, the Hunter Education Division, which manages the MHPP, was transferred within WDFW from the Enforcement Program to the Wildlife Program. At that time, Wildlife Program staff members created the Wildlife Program Policy Statement regarding the Master Hunter Permit Program, which outlines how the department will engage Master Hunters.

Applications for the Master Hunter Permit Program are only accepted during the open enrollment period each year.  All program requirements must be completed by the requirement completion deadline.

For questions regarding the MHPP, please contact Kris Thorson at Kristopher.thorson@dfw.wa.gov or by phone at 360-902-8410.