Hunter education classes required for some

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Yes, we are going to discuss this again, although the topic has been featured in the last few columns.

If your youth needs to participate in a hunter education course in order to hunt this fall, Fish and Wildlife reminds prospective hunters to complete their hunter education class before hunting season.

Each year Im asked by parents about the requirements for allowing youth to hunt in the fall. Usually these inquiries come my way in August and September. Many times, it is too late for the youth to hunt in the year of the question.

Already this year, these parents and youth are behind the ball. However, there are a few classes left this year, but these late classes may fill up. Plus, there is a hunter education deferral program. Read on.

All hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972 must complete a hunter education course to buy a hunting license. To find a course and learn about hunter education requirements, new hunters should visit the Fish and Wildlife hunter education webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/basic.

Those who are unable to complete a hunter education course before the fall hunting seasons may qualify for a hunter education deferral. For more information on the deferral, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/deferral-program.

Plan now for hunter education

Again, here is the info. Yes, I have been hammering this in this column for weeks, but it is so important it deserves additional mentions.

All individuals born after Jan. 1, 1972 must show proof of hunter education certification before purchasing their first Washington hunting license.

If you already have a valid hunter education training certificate, just show it to a license vendor to purchase a hunting license. Hunter education training certificates can be from Washington or another state. Please note that an out-of-state license is not the same as a hunter education certificate.

There is no minimum age required to enroll in hunter education, but instructors may require a parent or guardian to attend all classes if students are under 12 years of age.

There are classes planned for Quincy and Moses Lake in the next few months. Go to the Fish and Wildlife website for class dates.

Hunter education deferral program There is another way to hunt this year, even if hunter education is not completed: The hunter education deferral program. The hunter education deferral program allows a one-year, once-in-a-lifetime deferral of hunter education training for individuals new to hunting who are accompanied by an experienced hunter.

Deferred hunter applicants must: Be at least 10 years old and must not have failed a hunter education course in the last 12 months. Accompanying, licensed hunters must: Be over the age of 18, be a Washington-licensed hunter while accompanying the deferred hunter, have held a valid Washington hunting license for the last three years. Also: Supervise only one deferred hunter to provide maximum supervision to the deferred hunter and enhance safety, plus, remain close enough to the deferred hunter to have uninterrupted, unaided visual and auditory communication with the deferred hunter while hunting.

Open application for master hunter applicants

Dennis note: This program was in danger of disappearing because of budget cuts. Check out the Fish and Wildlife website to see if this is a program for you.

Fish and Wildlife is inviting new applicants to join the ranks of 1,650 certified master hunters across the state. Fish and Wildlife administers the Master Hunter Permit Program to skilled volunteers who are willing to aid department efforts in support of the public and Washington wildlife.

They are opening the Master Hunter Permit Program to new applicants. Fish and Wildlife enlists master hunters for controlled hunts to remove wildlife that damage property. Master hunters also provide approximately 15,000 hours each year on volunteer projects involving landowner relations and access to private lands, conservation projects for game and diversity species, and hunter education.

To enroll in the program, hunters 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 WDFWs website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/master-hunter.

Applicants can submit applications from July 1 through August 15, 2019.

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