Announcing the 2020 Montana Master Hunter Program
News from Dani Clark, Master Hunter Program manager
One Montana’s Master Hunter Program is accepting applications from Nov. 15, 2019-Jan. 10, 2020 for our 2020 classes.
The Montana Master Hunter Program is a unique and rigorous program offering advanced education to increase hunter competence, skills, knowledge, and ethics. In addition, the program helps landowners with their wildlife management challenges. Our graduates have the opportunity to access ranches that currently may not be open to public hunting. The programs primary goal is to find win-win solutions benefiting landowners, sportsmen, and wildlife by addressing access to hunting on private lands and wildlife management challenges. The program was created by, and is largely driven by, landowners and is an innovative model for sportsmen-landowner relations.
The program includes classroom and online instruction, and field work. Participants make a commitment to spend more than 50 classroom hours, and are required to complete a written exam and field tests to assess their competence.
Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive a Montana Master Hunter Certificate that is valid for three years. Certificate renewal is available through additional in-person and online coursework, volunteering and mentoring, service days and other methods. Instructors include ranchers, farmers, landowners, university faculty, professional shooting instructors, private land managers, and wildlife biologists, and MT Fish Wildlife and Parks personnel, among others.
One 2019 student shares their reflection. “This program was not just an access program but something bigger. It stresses the importance of relationships with private land owners and understanding their issues from their own point of view. And as a hunter, being open minded to listening to that point of view.”
The program is supported by nonprofit organizations, private foundations, trade associations and industry partners such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Boone & Crockett Club, Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Grain Growers Association, Montana Outdoor Legacy Foundation, Sitka Gear, and Mystery Ranch, and others.
In 2020, One Montana will offer classes in Missoula, Helena and Bozeman over three consecutive two-day weekends. Interested applicants must complete a competitive application online between Nov. 15, 2019 and Jan. 10, 2020. The cost of the program is $345 per participant. These fees only partially offset the costs associated with the program—the course is valued at more than $1,600/person. Scholarships are available up to $250/person.
Please visit: www.mtmasterhunter.com for course dates, instructors, sample curriculum and eligibility requirements and policies.