Volunteer Instructor Newsletter - Summer2018

minnesota department of natural resources

Volunteer Instructor Newsletter

Summer 2018


NEW Firearms Safety Hunter Education Manual Process Begins

The first of many meetings and discussions of the development of a new Firearms Safety Hunter Education manual officially took place on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.  RTOs and Staff at the Education Section’s Safety Training Office discussed a timeline for the final product, as well as a communications plan to provide updates to all volunteer firearms safety instructors throughout this process.  Stay tuned through the Volunteer Instructor Newsletter and regular email notifications informing you of our progress!

It is important to note that the layout of chapters in the manual will continue to be presented in the same sequence.  The content will be more concise, up-to-date and written in plain language, with clean, clear and concise information and illustrations.  Our goal is to provide you with a manual you can teach from without having to change the order in which you teach the course or needing to relearn the material.

Your input is also needed!  Plans are to send a draft manual out in late fall/early winter for your review, along with a questionnaire.  Instructor Forums will be scheduled in January 2019 specifically to discuss the manual, answer your questions and seek your feedback on changes.

We hope to have a final product by May 2019.

Gale Bradford is 2017 ATV Instructor of the Year

Gale Bradford ATV Instructor
CO Amber Ladd (L), Gale Bradford and Jeff Bradford (R).

The 2017 ATV Instructor of the Year is Gale Bradford of Wright, in Carlton County. 

Bradford, who is the lead ATV safety coordinator for the Evergreen PAC ATV club, has been involved with the club for 11 years and has taught youth ATV classes for more than seven.

Bradford stepped into the role after her mentor, Rita Butterfield (2009 ATV safety instructor of the year) passed away unexpectedly.  Bradford has a passion for youth ATV training and is committed to continuing the work of her mentor.

"Gale's dedication to ATV safety is impressive," said Conservation Officer Amber Ladd, who patrols the McGregor area and nominated Bradford for the award.  "She goes above and beyond to make sure youth riders who want to take safety training have the opportunity to do so."

Last summer, for example, Bradford's club had one class that grew unexpectedly large.  Rather than turn away students, she organized more volunteers and set up two sets of courses.  Last summer, Bradford's club certified more than 100 students, which is the most students they have certified.  The club offers courses in Aitkin and Carlton counties.

Congratulations, Gale!

Byron man receives 50-year instructor award

Graham Luck and firearms instructors
From Left to Right: CO Phil George, Graham Luck, Ralph Hettig and Doug Ondler.

CO Phil George recently awarded firearms safety instructor Graham Luck, with his 50-year volunteer award.

Congratulations, Graham!

Regional Training Officers on Staff

Beginning Wednesday April 18, Regional Training Officers on staff are:

Chelsie Leuthardt - Southeast Metro 

Brandon McGaw - North Metro 

Brett Oberg - Southwest Metro 

Jen Mueller - Southwest MN

Mike Lee - Northeast MN

Greg Oldakowski - Northwest MN

Bruce Lawrence - Recreational Vehicle Coordinator (statewide)

For specific information on the assigned counties per RTO, please consult the RTO map on the DNR website at:  http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/education_safety/safety/instructors/rtomap.pdf.  Contact information is also provided.

Aircraft training for Conservation Officer Cadets

cadets learn about helicopters

Academy 18 Cadets are now in their 8th week of training at DNR the Enforcement - Education Section at Camp Ripley.  They begin Field Training August 8, which runs through December 3rd.  Field Station assignments begin December 4. 

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 www.ihea.com – Username is volunteer and the password is huntsafe.

To access the instructor 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 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