November/December 2017 Volunteer Instructor Newsletter

minnesota department of natural resources

Volunteer Instructor Newsletter

November/December 2017

Thank You, Volunteer Instructors!

DNR Volunteer Instructors:

First of all, thank you for a safe and successful 2017!  Your dedication and hard work is vital to contributing to safe and ethical outdoor recreational activities for over 30,000 youth and adults.  When you consider the large number of students trained, it really emphasizes the fact that the DNR could not accomplish this endeavor without you!

Some 2017 highlights:

  • Duane Marvin Hill was our 2016 Snowmobile Instructor of the Year.

  • Lance Morgan was presented with the 2016 Firearms Instructor of the Year.
  • Jayd Soderholm was named 2016 ATV instructor of the Year.

These three individuals are representative of the great work that is conducted throughout the state in our safety education programs conducted by nearly 6000 volunteers!

The Staff at the Safety Training Office wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We look forward to working with all of you in 2018!

2017 ATV and Snowmobile Instructor of the Year Nominations

Nominations for the 2017 ATV Instructor of the Year and the Snowmobile Instructor of the Year are now being accepted.  Most of us know a few dedicated instructors who "go the extra mile".  Please take a few moments to nominate a deserving volunteer safety training instructor. 

The nomination form is located on the DNR website at: 

2017 ATV/Snowmobile Instructor of the Year Nomination Form. There is one form for both safety training programs. Please check the box for the corresponding safety training program on the form.

The Nomination deadline is 11:50 pm Friday, January 5, 2018.

Contacting a Conservation Officer

Phone numbers of Conservation Officers are no longer being provided on the DNR website.

You can reach a Conservation Officer for your safety class by emailing them or calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367.  Their Email address can be found on our Locate a Conservation Officer page at: Locate an Officer.

Due to the fact that Officers' schedules may vary or they are on days off, they may not be able to respond to your email immediately.  You can also contact the Safety Training Office at 800-366-8917.

Length of Service Awards Given to Volunteer Firearms Safety Instructors

International Falls Instructors
L-R: CO John Slatinski; Steven Bacon, Thomas Worth, James Dornhecker, Henry Carey, Keith Boelk, Wayne Swenson and CO Darrin Kittelson. Not pictured: Steve Battalion, Russ Strand, Quentin Kennedy, Rodney Grill and Josh Harder.


Conservation Officers John Slatinski and Darrin Kittelson recently presented length of service awards to volunteer Firearms Safety Instructors at the Trails End Chapter of the MDHA Fall Banquet held in International Falls.

Twelve current instructors were recognized for their years of service.  Their total combined years of service for them equals 222 years, one instructor having taught for 45 years - and counting! 

Congratulations to all of you!  We truly appreciate your dedication to your community and the next generation of hunters!

Firearms Safety Instructor Training Held

fas students

In September, Acting RTO Phil George held a hands-on Firearms Safety Instructor Clinic at Fort Snelling State Park.  As a result, several individuals from the Southeast Asian community became volunteer instructors, which then certified several students in firearms safety before the 2017 Deer Opener.

The new instructors are the first two known Firearms Safety Instructors the DNR has certified from the Karen community.

IHEA Membership - Letter from the Executive Director

December 2017

Greetings fellow Hunter Education Instructor,

As one of the over 55,000+ (one of the largest volunteer corps in the USA) we are asking you to formally join IHEA-USA, the voice of hunter education across the country. Your Annual $30 IHEA-USA Membership assures that all hunter education instructors have a voice and ensures the consistency and relevance of the classes you teach. Your membership comes with these great benefits:

  • Liability Insurance-Individual memberships are provided with Volunteer Liability Insurance up      to $1,000,000 per occurrence. This policy provides protection for a bodily injury or a property damage liability claim arising out of the performance of the registered volunteers' duties.

  • Exclusive "Instructor only" opportunities to purchase significantly discounted merchandise and closeouts offered by hunting and firearms manufacturers and distributors. Discounts include name brand optics, tree stands, knives, firearms, archery equipment, laser pointers and more. Up to 60% off! One purchase will more than pay for your membership.

  • IHEA-USA Membership Card
  • IHEA-USA "Member" Pin
  • IHEA-USA "Member" Decal
  • IHEA-USA Membership Patch*IHEA-USA window decal

  • Award Winning IHEA-USA Hunting and Shooting Sports Education Journal quarterly. The Journal is packed with articles on new instructional techniques, improving your shot, helping wounded vets, the latest equipment, survival techniques, hunting clubs and more.  

For only $30 annually you get much more than what you paid for.  Lifetime memberships are also available and include all the annual membership items, but in addition, include a $100 Cabela's Gift Card, a nice Cabela’s brand duffel bag and other great items. 

Please go to, or click on Printable Membership Application.

Please support IHEA-USA’s mission to continue the heritage of hunting worldwide by developing safe, responsible, knowledgeable and involved hunters.  Become part of the hunter education community that keeps giving back to the wonderful men and women out there volunteering their time to pass down our cherished hunting/trapping traditions.



Brad Heidel

Executive Director 

Outdoor Edge Discount Offers for Instructors

Outdoor Edge Cutlery Corporation offers hunter education instructors discounted items, some by as much as 65%.  Instructors may purchase up to two different items per year from the complete product line at 65% off of the suggested retail price.  Please click on the link below for full details.

2017 Outdoor Edge Instructor Pro-Form - print the form out by clicking on the Printer Icon at the Top Right of the page.

Federal Premium Unprimed Shotshell ID Kits

Federal Premium has Unprimed Shotshell ID Kits (dummy ammo) available for $5.  Go to their website at Federal Premium Educational Materials.

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!

                             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.

Education materials can be purchased at Federal Premium Education Materials.

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

Outdoor Edge

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