The DOW has scheduled a training session for people in southwestern Colorado who want to become volunteer “Huntmasters.” The weekend training session is Aug. 4-5 in Durango; anyone interested must pre-register by July 15.
Throughout Colorado, Huntmasters lead young hunters and their parents on special hunts to provide instruction in outdoor skills, wildlife, camping and all aspects of hunting, explained Jim Bulger, Hunter Outreach Coordinator for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
“Huntmasters give the youth hunters and parents the skills and first time experience they need to begin to build their own hunting traditions as a family,” Bulger said.
At the Huntmaster training, individuals learn how to organize big game and small game hunts for groups of youngsters and novices. Huntmasters also set up special hunts for women who want to learn outdoor skills and wish to participate in the Women Afield Program.
At organized youth hunts, each young hunter must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Big-game hunts are usually limited to no more than eight hunters. Depending on the location, small game hunts can accommodate a large number of participants. All those who participate in the hunts also must have earned their hunter education cards before attending a hunt.
Huntmaster students are taught the many logistics of setting up an event: cooking, setting up wall tents, preparing a camp, handling guns, guiding hunters, working with other volunteers, working with landowners and more.
Our huntmasters do everything an outfitter does,” he said. “Our emphasis on these hunts is not to harvest animals. We emphasize education.”
Huntmasters should be interested in hunting, be willing to take time to teach youngsters and their parents, and be willing to organize volunteers. The DOW supplies camping, cooking and most hunting equipment for these hunts.
To register for the class, please call 303/291-7248. For more information, contact Leigh Gillette, southwest region Education Coordinator for the DOW at 970/375-6709. To read more about the Hunter Outreach Program and how to apply to attend this or other courses, visit the Division of Wildlife Website at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterOutreach/.