The Master Hunter program is an advanced hunter education program designed to help hunters increase their knowledge of the sport, and particularly help them understand the concerns of private landowners.
We believe that it will have a significant effect on improving hunter/ landowner relations and that, over time, it will make a major contribution to improving the public image of the hunter. In addition, graduates will have achieved a qualification that they can be proud of and which we hope will open up new hunting opportunities to them.
The program is open to all hunters, but hunters who plan to hunt in the Master Hunter Special Hunts must complete the program before applying for the hunt. In these areas, the Department is working with private landowners to provide hunting access for Master Hunters on lands that are otherwise closed to the public. These hunts are not necessarily "easy" hunts, but they are hunts where ethical hunter behavior is critical to their continuance. It is possible that in future years, the program will be expanded to cover other hunts in sensitive areas.
See Master Hunter Only Hunts in the Oregon Big Game Regulations
- Foster positive relations between hunters and private landowners.
- Improve awareness of ethical hunting practices.
- Increase access to private lands by giving landowners a way to identify hunters who have graduated from the program.
- Improve the public image of hunters.
- Develop a pool of ethical and knowledgeable hunters for possible use in sensitive wildlife damage control situations such as emergency hunts.
- If a Master Hunter is convicted or has plead guilty to a wildlife violation, all Master Hunter privileges will be suspended for a period of five years.
The program has four phases. The qualification can only be earned by hard work, dedication and a commitment to the well being of Oregon's natural resources. A check for wildlife violations will be done before an award is made and no individual with any violation in the past five years will be allowed to graduate. The Four Phases:
- Complete a home study course which includes a workbook and a supplement that addresses program specific issues.
This home study will take between twelve and fifteen hours for most students. The work book and the supplement will be collected at the class.
- Attend a four hour classroom session where instructors will discuss the home study material with students. Videos that emphasize landowner relations and hunter behavior will be shown and discussed. At the end of this class, there will be a 50 question multiple choice test covering both the material taught in class and the home study book. Please note classes will not be held from May 1 to May 15. (Register for a Master Hunter Course).
- Take a firearms proficiency test where students will demonstrate safe handling procedures and fire their own rifles. The test is to fire five rounds from an unsupported position (offhand or sitting or kneeling) at a eight inch diameter target at 100 yards. Four out of the five rounds must hit within the circle. This will often take place the same day as the classroom phase and students must have sighted in their rifles before this session. Accommodations will be made for students with physical disabilities. If you only hunt with a muzzleloader, a bow or a handgun, you may take the test with one of these. The test uses the same target, but the shooting distances are shorter (muzzleloader-75 yards, handgun-40 yards, bow-25 yards)
- Perform a minimum of twenty hours of volunteer work to benefit wildlife. This can be done through any of the Department's volunteer programs or through a program with any other natural resource agency such as US Forest Service or BLM. Students can also do work on private land if the project is approved in advance. A wide variety of projects are available and examples of suitable projects with full details of how to complete this phase will be sent with enrollment packages. You must achieve a score of 80 percent on each part of phases one, two and three. It is the student's responsibility to find a project that fits their capabilities and timeframe.
Volunteer Wildlife Habitat Project Opportunities (pdf)
Volunteer Opportunities Teaching Families & Youth to Fish
Volunteer Opportunity Fencing Project at EE Wilson Wildlife Area (pdf)
Phases one, two and three must be done in that sequence, however participants can start phase four at any time after enrollment. There is no time limit to complete the program.
If you want to get started, please send the Enrollment Form (pdf) with a check, payable to "ODFW Master Hunter" for $15.00 and we will send you all the training materials and course details. If more than one member of your family wants to enroll, we will need separate enrollment forms and $15.00 each. Each person will receive their own packet. The $15.00 will cover the cost of the study materials, graduation awards and will help defray the administrative costs.
Please note that completing the program does not give you any advantage over other hunters in the controlled hunt process. Nor does it guarantee access to any private land or in any way reduce the rights of landowners to determine to whom they give access privileges.
For more information, (503) 947-6019. FAX (503) 947-6009 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Master Hunters applying between July 1 and July 31 are given priority when selecting hunters for emergency hunts.
These programs are funded by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson) and the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act (Wallop-Breaux).
The Oregon Outdoor Skills Program is subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and offers all persons the opportunity to participate in programs and activities regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. No individual will be turned away from or otherwise be denied access to or benefit from, any program or activity on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Complaints of discrimination should be sent to the Civil Rights Coordinator for Public Access, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop: WSFR-4020, Arlington, VA 22203.