May/June 2017 Volunteer Instructor Newsletter

minnesota department of natural resources

Volunteer Instructor Newsletter

May/June 2017

DNR Announces 2016 ATV Instructor of the Year

Jayde Soderholm
Jayd Soderholm (L) is presented with the 2016 ATV Instructor of the Year award from RTO Jen Mueller (R).


Jayd Soderholm was announced as the 2016 ATV Safety Instructor of the Year. Soderholm teaches ATV safety training annually in the Windom area to around 10 -15 youth and sees the value of small group training. Soderholm works as a Deputy Sheriff with the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s department and has responded to a number of accidents involving ATVs.

Congratulations, Jayd!

Volunteer Firearms Safety Instructors Receive Length of Service Awards at Recent Classes

Larry Plank Rochester
Larry Plank of Rochester, MN, received his 40-year instructor award at a recent spring firearms safety class.
Bob Weiman
Bob Weiman of Monticello (L) received his 40-year firearms safety instructor award from CO Rick Reller (R) at a recent youth firearms safety class.

Firearms Safety Classes a Tradition at Monticello Gun Club

Monticello Rod and Gun Club
CO Mitch Sladek (L), members of the Monticello Rod and Gun Club Firearms Safety Hunter Education Instructor Team, with CO Frank Rezac (third from the right).


The Monticello Rod and Gun Club has been hosting youth Firearms Safety/Hunter Education classes for the DNR for 60 years.  RTO Frank Rezac presented members of the gun club with an award of appreciation. 

Thank you for your long-standing support of safety training classes!

Regional Training Officer Kevin Neitzke Retires


CO Kevin Neitzke retired on May 2, 2017 after 22.5 years with the Minnesota DNR, and an additional 4 years as a Wisconsin game warden.

Congratulations, Kevin!

Acting Regional Training Officer Named

Phil George of the Rochester Station has accepted the acting RTO position for the Southeast Metro region and began his duties on May 31.  Phil can be reached at 507-775-2006.

Welcome, Phil!

Reminders on Collecting Additional Fees

 Just a reminder, if you charge an additional fee, it must be lesser or equal to the DNR fee for that course.

       • Firearms Safety – up to $7.50 per student
       • ATV Safety – up to $10.00 per student
       • Snowmobile Safety – up to $5.00 per student

Appropriate uses for collecting the additional fees:
       • Facility rental fee
       • Food and refreshments for students
       • Transportation to field activities
       • Incidental class expenses
       • Training aids/safety equipment
       • Additional ammunition

If the additional fee is collected, it must be reported with your class rosters.
       • Include itemized lists of purchases
       • Provide copies of receipts

Family & Friends Discounts for Online Courses

For those of you who are aware of the Family and Friends discount offered by Fresh Air Educators (, and, this is a great option for families who have children completing the ATV, Snowmobile and Firearms safety classes. The initial course fee is paid, with additional courses paid at a discounted rate.  The discounts can be applied to any of the courses offered by Fresh Air Educators - ATV, Snowmobile, or Firearms Safety. 

A few things to know:  Here is how you can help families obtain the discount:

1) Instructors:  It's recommended that you Do not pre-buy codes for your safety class;

2) If Instructors purchased codes, remember, you can only collect up to the DNR course fee at the time of the class.

3) Encourage families to take advantage of this offer - available on the DNR website;

4)  If Clubs want to sponsor students/classes, they can purchase codes at a group rate; however, the Club cannot be reimbursed;

Go to Discount Offer to learn more. 



New Benefit for IHEA-USA Instructors

IHEA-USA & Experticity have launched a new partnership to reward instructors and increase funding for hunter education.  IHEA-USA instructors are invited to participate in an exclusive discount program on, where hundreds of brands offer hunting experts like you the opportunity to enjoy VIP discounts of up to 70% off and the opportunity to buy new products from the hunting brands you know and love.

Joining the program is simple and free.  Click on IHEA Special Offer for Instructors to unlock your access, spread the word to your fellow instructors, and start saving!

Poison Ivy - It's Everywhere and Coming to an Arm or Leg Near You!

poison ivy

                             Links to Websites:


Henry Repeating Arms Company  .22  rifles, both Lever and Bolt action - 

718/499-5600 or visit their website at:  Henry Repeating Rifles

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 – Username is volunteer and the password is huntsafe.

To access the instructor resource section of the IHEA website, go to, 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 Association

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