The state Department of Fish and Wildlife will take applications for its Master Hunter Permit Program from Jan. 1-Feb. 15. The program is designed to promote safe, lawful and ethical hunting, and to strengthen the state’s hunting heritage and conservation ethic.
The department calls on master hunters for controlled hunts to remove problem animals that damage property. Master hunters also participate in volunteer projects involving increasing access to private lands, habitat enhancement, data collection, hunter education and landowner relations.
To qualify for the program, applicants must demonstrate a high level of skill and be committed to lawful and ethical hunting practices, said David Whipple, hunter education division manager.
Hunters enrolling in the program must pay a $50 application fee, pass a criminal background check, pass a written test, demonstrate shooting proficiency, provide at least 20 hours of approved volunteer service and meet other qualifications described on the agency’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/masterhunter.
Whipple encourages individuals who enroll in the program to prepare thoroughly for the written test, because applicants are allowed only one chance to re-take the exam.
There are about 1,850 certified master hunters enrolled in the program, which is now administered by the department’s Wildlife Program.