Volunteer Instructor Newsletter March/April2017

minnesota department of natural resources

Volunteer Instructor Newsletter

March/April 2017

2016 Snowmobile Instructor of the Year Announced

Marv hill picture
(L-R) DNR Officer Bruce Lawrence presents Marv Hill with the 2016 Snowmbile Safety Instructor of the Year award.


Duane (Marv) Hill of Virginia has been named the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Snowmobile Instructor of the Year for 2016.

Hill has been the lead instructor for snowmobile classes taught at the Mesabi Sno Voyageurs Snowmobile Club for 47 years.  Hill has instructed and assisted teaching over 2,000 students over the years.  Through the years he has also recruited numerous other volunteer instructors.

Outside of the classroom, Hill helped to develop the Laurentian Snowmobile Trail, the Harry Burr Memorial Rest Area, as well as organizing the area's first charity ride to benefit the March of Dimes.  He has served a number of volunteer leadership positions including Mesabi Sno Voyageurs Snowmobile Club, Range Trail Committee and is a current member of the Minnesota United Snowmobiler's Association (MnUSA).

From snowshoeing through remote, wooded areas to flag early snowmobile trails, fundraising and working with youth to instill safe habits on the trails, Hill's lifetime love of the sport is reflected in his many years of volunteer service.

"Marv genuinely cares about teaching students the ways to legally, responsibly and safely operate snowmobiles," said DNR Conservation Officer Matt Frericks, who nominated Hill for the award.  "Only a dedicated instructor who cares about getting young people involved and teaching them the sport of snowmobiling would make such an effort for so many years."

Congratulations, Marv!

It's Green Lights and Blue Skies for McBroom

dan mcbroom

Regional Training Officer Dan McBroom is retiring.  His last day was April 4, 2017.  McBroom was the Southern Minnesota Regional Training Officer since 2012.  Previously, he was the Conservation Officer for the Rochester Station.  He was with the DNR since 2007.

Congratulations on your retirement, Dan!


Southern MN RTO

Jen Mueller is the acting Regional Training Officer for Southern Minnesota, replacing Dan McBroom.  Her RTO duties began on April 5, 2017.  She can be reached at 320-234-3499.

Welcome, Jen!

2017 Instructor Forums - FAQs

There were twenty one Instructor Forums held during the past couple of months around the state.  If you attended a Forum, thank you!  We thought it would be helpful to give you answers to frequently asked questions brought up by instructors.

1.  How can the Hunting Regulations be ordered, as it doesn't show up on the course registration form?

Please call the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 to order the current Hunting and Trapping Regulations Booklets for your class.  They usually ship in a day or two. 

2.  Do I need more (additional) training to teach online field days?

No.   As a DNR certified volunteer firearms safety instructor, you are qualified to conduct a field day for online students, or incorporate them into your classroom's field day without any additional training on your part.  The Field Day Instructor Manual is a comprehensive manual that leads you through the entire field day process for students who have completed the online course.  It can also be used for classroom students as well, as it is scenario-based.

3.  Is there different Field Day training for the online students than for classroom students?

The only difference is that students who have completed the online course have not had any hands-on training.  Those students must come in and meet with FAS instructors at least 1-to 1 ½ hours before the start of the range & field activities.  Those students need to complete paperwork, take the 15 question quiz and go over the required “hands on” handling of firearms, identify the types of firearms (long guns), loading & unloading w/dummy rounds, review of proper field carries, talk about a hunting plan (worksheet) and survival kit, sight picture/sight alignment exercise w/dominant eye, and review of map and compass exercise.

We would be happy to mail you the Field Day Instructor Manual and accompanying Pocket Guide.  Specifically, pages 12- 20 of the Field Day Instructor Manual lay out all the activities that online students should complete prior to participating in the field day scenarios.  You can also download the manual at:  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/resources.html - click on the Field Day Instructor Manual.

The manual encourages you to work very closely with online students, keeping in mind that this may be the first time the student will handle and shoot a firearm. 

4.  Can the Conservation Officer attend the field day if I am holding a Field Day for online students?

Yes!  In fact, you can work with your local CO to coordinate when he/she would like to present the law information at your Field Day.

5.  How can we find out about joining an instructor group, or  adding and recruiting new instructors with our existing instructor team?

Please contact your RTO for information on how to contact existing instructor teams in your community. If you are interested in recruiting newly certified instructors, a good way to network is to attend an Instructor Clinic being held in your community.  Go to Instructor Classes on the DNR website or contact your RTO.

Firearms Bracelet - Reminder to Certify

bracelet firearms safety

We are out of stock on the Firearms bracelet and do not have any available at this time.  We will let you know if we are able to order them for your future classes. 

Caution: Tick Season is Here!

tick map minnesota

Avoid blacklegged tick habitats during the peak time of year (generally mid-May through mid-July).
• Blacklegged ticks are found in wooded, brushy areas.
- Unless you spend time in that kind of setting, simply being in a high-risk county won't place you at risk. 
- You should know whether the areas where you live, work, or play have blacklegged ticks. 

For more information, go to: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/lyme/index.html

lymes disease

Links to Websites:


Henry Repeating Arms Company   .22  rifles, both Lever and Bolt action -      718/499-5600 or visit their website at:  Henry Repeating Arms Co.

Hunter Safety Systems - Fall Arrest Harness   Toll Free 877-296-3528 or go to: Savage Arms   .22 bolt action youth models - single shot

Third Hand Archery - Tree Stand Gun Hoist and other training aids available for purchase.

IHEA - Subscribe to the International Hunter Education Association Email Newsletter.

To access the volunteer discussion section of the IHEA website, go to www.ihea.com – Username is volunteer and the password is huntsafe.

To access instructor’s resource section of the IHEA website, go to www.ihea.com, click on Instructor Resource.  The Username is instructor and the Password is gohunt.


Adaptive Equipment for Disabled Hunters

Alan Madison DVDs

DNR Instructor Page

Ducks Unlimited

Hunter Education Tools

Izaak Walton League

 MN Deer Hunters Assoc.

MN Shooting Ranges

MN Volunteer Instructor Association

Nat'l Bow Hunter Ed Foundation

Nat'l Shooting Sports Foundation

Nat'l Wild Turkey Foundation

Pheasants Forever

Ruffed Grouse Society

Safari Club

Turn In Poachers


American Council of Snowmobile Associations



Heads Up Braking System

MN 4-Wheel Drive Association

MN United Snowmobilers Association

Nat'l Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council