Volunteer Instructor Newsletter - Fall 2018

minnesota department of natural resources

Volunteer Instructor Newsletter

Fall 2018

Winona's Charles Perry named DNR Firearms Safety Instructor of the Year

chuck perry
Enforcement Regiional Training Officer Chelsie Leuthardt and Chuck Perry.

Charles Perry, of Winona, has been named the 2017 Volunteer Firearms Safety Instructor of the Year.

Perry has been a longtime advocate for firearms safety and outdoors education, and a certified instructor with the DNR since the early 2000's.  He is president of the Lewiston Sportsmen's Club, working tirelessly to encourage youth involvement in the outdoors. 

Perry  teaches with at least 14 other instructors - many of whom he recruited - Perry teaches both traditional classroom courses and field days for students completing the course online.  In addition, he leads a "Kids in the Outdoors" program, assists with two high school trap-shooting teams, organizes and teaches a program aimed at introducing archery and outdoor safety to kids, and had provided individual firearms safety days for youth who weren't able to attend group classes.

“The time and effort that Perry puts into his classes and outdoor education for kids in general is staggering,” said Tom Hemker, the Winona-area conservation officer who nominated him for the award. “He does everything. He wants to give back and mentor others in the outdoor activities he’s always loved.”

Known as the go-to person in his community for questions about safety education or organized outdoor activities, Perry has taken kids hunting who don’t come from hunting families but have shown an interest in the outdoors. He shares his knowledge about places where people can hunt and shoot and constantly looks for ways to spark in kids a connection with the outdoors. During the winter, for example, he’s organized events that revolve around hunting for shed deer antlers.

“We all need to do our part to ensure the continuation of our proud tradition of hunting and conservation, and Chuck is a shining example of the difference that dedicated and motivated individuals can make,” said Capt. Jon Paurus, safety training education manager for the DNR Enforcement Division.

Congratulations, Chuck!

FAS Group photo

The Minnesota Volunteer Safety Instructor Association (MVSIA) presented a muzzleloader to Perry, shown here with the team of instructors.

Firearms Safety Manual - Progress Update!

The Education/Safety training group has been meeting regularly to work on the new Hunter Education/Firearm safety manual.  The project was divided up among the staff and each was assigned a chapter or two to draft and compile supporting documents - including pictures and graphics. A review of the content is ongoing to ensure that all of the IHEA and our learning objectives are met. Progress continues on the draft in regards to photos, graphics, charts and other visuals.

At our most recent meeting we focused on photo and graphics placement and determining what photos will be used.

A photo shoot has been scheduled for early October to obtain photos of field carries, proper tree stand placement, to name a few.  The group also discussed fine-tuning specific topics and content in the draft and components that still need to be added to some of the chapters.  A lesson plan is being developed for instructors to use as well as worksheets for the manual. This has been an exciting process for us and we look forward to sharing a rough draft soon!

Maple Grove Firearms Safety Team

From L to R: Pierce Smith, Mike Hanold, John Larson, David Larson, Garret Sarkinen, Dave Schaffer, and Steve Heinen

The DNR Volunteer Firearms Safety Team, lead by David Larson, stopped for a group photo after recently conducting a youth firearms field day for students who completed the online course.  The field day was held at North Metro Range in Maple Grove. 

OHM Course Update

The online Off-Highway Motorcycle safety training course is complete.  The OHM online course is now a stand-alone course found on the DNR website at: OHM Online Course.

The chapters containing the OHM content have been removed from the ATV online course.

The OHM course is free to take online.  Students will be directed to send a $5 fee and their temporary certificate to the Safety Training Office for processing and mailing out an OHM Certificate to the student.

From the Field....

Academy 18 Cadets

Following 15 weeks of intensive training at Camp Ripley, 18 cadets have graduated from the DNR's Conservation Officer Academy. The officers will spend the next several months working with experienced officers before moving to their assigned stations in December.

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.


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