From the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
-- Washington's Fish and Wildlife Department is accepting enrollment applications through Feb. 15 for its Master Hunter program.
WDFW enlists master hunters to participate in controlled hunts to remove problem animals that damage property or threaten public safety.
To qualify for the program, applicants must demonstrate a high level of skill and be committed to lawful and ethical hunting practices, according to Lt. Eric Anderson, Hunter Education Division manager.
"This program was designed to create a pool of highly qualified hunters who can help the department manage wildlife in sensitive situations," Anderson said. "This is a great opportunity for conscientious, committed hunters to assume a leadership role among their peers."
Hunters enrolling in the program must to pay a non-refundable $50 application fee, pass a criminal background check, sign a Master Hunter Code of Ethics form and provide at least 20 hours of volunteer service on projects that benefit the state's wildlife resources. They must also pass an extensive written exam based upon the program's curriculum.
Anderson encourages hunters who enroll in the program to study and thoroughly to prepare for the test because applicants are allowed only one chance to re-take the exam. Those who successfully complete the program receive a certificate, master hunter patch and identification card, and are eligible to participate in depredation hunts.