Master Hunter Permit Program requirements

Because Master Hunters assist the department in certain human-wildlife conflicts and are ambassadors to the public, there are a number of requirements for certification. To become a Master Hunter, applicants must:

  • Be a Washington resident as defined in RCW 77.08.075.
  • Complete the enrollment application form and return it to WDFW with a $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with at least one legal hunting equipment.
  • Provide at least 20 hours of volunteer service on a project(s) benefiting wildlife resources.
  • Receive a score of at least 80 percent on a written examination, which covers information contained within the independent-study materials.
  • Sign an agreement to abide by the Master Hunter Code of Ethics.
  • Submit to and pass a law enforcement background check pursuant to WAC 220-412-030.

Master Hunter Permit Program Enrollment Application

The next Master Hunter Permit Program enrollment period will be open from July 1, 2024 through August 15, 2024. An application fee of $50 is required when submitting an application for the Master Hunter Permit Program.

Shooting Proficiency

Master Hunters assist the department in addressing certain human-wildlife conflicts. As such, Master Hunters must be extremely proficient with their hunting equipment. Applicants are required to qualify with at least one legal hunting equipment. To qualify with a specific hunting equipment, applicants must use the Master Hunter Shooting Proficiency Certification form.


A part of being a Master Hunter is giving back to our hunting heritage. Master Hunter applicants must provide at least 20 hours of volunteer service on a project(s) benefiting wildlife before becoming certified. Visit the Master Hunter volunteer opportunities page for more information on approved projects.  Master Hunters can volunteer for other conservation partner’s projects for service credit. Non-WDFW projects should be pre-approved by regional volunteer coordinator or the MHPP coordinator.  Volunteer projects associated with the following are generally considered a priority:

  • Recreational hunting access
  • Landowner-sportsmen relations
  • Wildlife habitat enhancement
  • Hunter Education training
  • Wildlife surveys
  • Promotion of safe, ethical, and responsible hunting

Master Hunter Applicants can also attend a Crime Observation Reporting Training (C.O.R.T.) program. Coordinated by Eyes In The Woods, the program trains citizens to identify, document and report natural resource crimes. This training can count for three volunteer service hours

Volunteer hours should be recorded via the CERVIS site if possible. If not, you can report the hours on the Proof of Service Form.

Master Hunter Permit Program Exam

Being an ambassador for to the public, Master Hunters must have a broad base of knowledge on WDFW and hunting challenges. As such, applicants have to pass a 100-question exam on the independent-study materials with an 80 percent score or better. The materials are available online year round for applicant review. Applicants who are not successful in passing the test on their first attempt may retake the test only once, after a 7-day waiting period, before the requirements submission deadline.

Code of Ethics

The code of ethics is a pledge for all applicants to review and sign to hold themselves to the highest ethical standards.

Criminal Background Check

Each applicant must go through a background check as stated in WAC 220-412-030. The background check is completed through the WDFW Police. Unless identified on the application that an applicant has had a violation, this requirement is the last that WDFW will complete prior to certification. If an applicant notes that they have had a violation before, WDFW will complete the background check once the application form is turned in as well as when they have completed the above requirements.