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WA Master Hunter Permit program accepting applications Jan. 1

From Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

-- Enrollment applications for the Master Hunter Permit program from Jan. 1 through Feb. 15.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife enlists master hunters for controlled hunts to remove problem animals that damage property or threaten public safety. Master hunters also participate in volunteer projects involving access to private lands, habitat enhancement and landowner relations.

To qualify for the program, applicants must demonstrate a high level of hunting skill and demonstrate a commitment to lawful and ethical hunting practices, said Sgt. Carl Klein, manager of the WDFW Hunter Education Division.

"This program was designed to create a pool of highly qualified hunters who can help the department manage wildlife in sensitive situations," Klein said.

"This is a great opportunity for conscientious, committed hunters to assume a leadership role among their peers."

Hunters enrolling in the program must pay a non-refundable $50 application fee, pass a criminal background check, pass a written exam and meet other qualifications described on the Master Hunter website, http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/masterhunter/.

The application form is also available on that website.

Klein encourages hunters who enroll in the program to prepare thoroughly for the written test because applicants are allowed only one chance to re-take the exam.

Those who successfully complete the enrollment process will receive a master hunter patch and identification card, and will be eligible to participate in depredation hunts.

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