MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Mike K. Gingles, base game warden for Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, seeks to host classes in August or September 2016 for base residents who want a hunting license in the Yamaguchi Prefecture.
The class would require five residents of at least 21 years of age who reside in living quarters or off-base housing since firearms can’t be stored in the barracks.
There are six tests in order to receive a hunting license. Hunters must pass a physical test, gun license test, game identification test, distance test, animal identification test where they identify if the animal is allowed to be shot and a final skills test where they have to shoot skeet.
Expenses for the classes and a gun cost anywhere from $1,200 to $1,500. Classes will be held between the Iwakuni Agricultural and Forestry Office, the Kumage Shooting Range and an undetermined location on base.
Once attained the license is good for three birthdays, and the hunter is required to pay an annual insurance fee of about 31,000 yen ($306.90). To renew the license, hunters have to take a refresher class that is approximately $30 and pay a fee for the guns they own.
“The last class I did, the forestry office reimbursed the new hunters 60,000 yen ($594.00) because they needed hunters,” said Gingles. “They have a problem with pigs and deer and are pushing for more hunters to get their license.”
Deer are hunted all season and there is no limit. The pigs are hunted at night using dogs with the Iwakuni Hunting Group. They hunt every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday of the hunting season, which runs from November 1 to the end of March.
“No matter who kills the pig, everybody gets a share of the meat,” said Gingles. “It’s a good community relations program.”
Along with pigs and deer, hunters can also hunt ducks, pheasants and monkeys, which can fetch a reward from the forestry office.
“For every pig I kill I get approximately 5,000 yen ($49.50),” said Gingles. “If I kill a monkey, I get approximately 30,000 yen ($297.00).”
The license also offers opportunities to compete in different types of skeet shooting tournaments, which are held twice a month.
“It’s a lot of fun, right now there are five Americans that hunt,” said Gingles. “We shoot skeet, laugh and joke.”
Gingles also offers opportunities for interested parties to experience hunting and skeet shooting prior to making a commitment in getting the license.
“A lot of Marines want to hunt and shoot skeet, but if they don’t have a license they can’t, but they can tag along with me and sit in a hunting blind,” said Gingles. “They can’t shoot but if I kill something I’ll share the meat with them.”
For more information contact Mike K. Gingles at 253-5999.