Master Hunter application deadline Feb. 15

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The Fish and Wildlife will accept applications for its Master Hunter Permit Program through Feb. 15. The program is designed to promote safe, lawful and ethical hunting and to strengthen Washington’s hunting heritage and conservation ethic.

Master hunters are used for controlled hunts to remove wildlife that damage property. They also participate in volunteer projects involving access to private lands, habitat enhancement, data collection, hunter education and landowner relations.

Applicants must demonstrate a high level of skill and be committed to lawful and ethical hunting practices, to qualify for the program.

Fish and Wildlife will hold four meetings designed to provide new information to current master hunters and to educate prospective applicants about the permit program. The meetings are scheduled as follows: Spokane: Feb. 3 from noon to 5 p.m. at the INWC building, 6116 N. Market St.; Mill Creek: Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fish and Wildlife Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Boulevard. This orientation includes a CORT class and Longview: Feb. 15 from 6-8 p.m. at the Lower Columbia College, 1600 Maple St.

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 Fish and Wildlife’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/masterhunter/

There are approximately 1,650 certified master hunters currently enrolled in the program.

Fish and Wildlife Director resigns

After three years as director of Fish and Wildlife, Dr. Jim Unsworth recently informed the state Fish and Wildlife Commission that he will resign his position effective Feb. 7.

The commission will name an interim director as soon as possible and will initiate a national search for Unsworth’s replacement.

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