Volunteer Instructor Newsletter - Fall/Winter 2021

minnesota department of natural resources

Volunteer Safety Instructor Newsletter

Fall/Winter 2021

Thank You Volunteers!

As we look back at 2021, we realize how much has been accomplished despite the uncertainties in the world today.  We know your volunteer efforts have, once again,  gone above and beyond, especially this year!  Several ATV and Snowmobile instructors held additional hands-on training sessions for the youth.  These programs were in high demand due to the backlog of students. Firearms safety instructors also helped whenever they were called upon by their community or our Safety/Training Office, as there was great demand for these classes and field days.

The State of Minnesota and Department of Natural Resources is so grateful for all of our volunteer instructors, and the great work you do to ensure safe recreational opportunities for future generations.

We hope you have a safe and happy Holiday Season and Merry Christmas!

Boser of Pierz is 2020 firearms safety instructor of the year

shelly boser

RTO Jen Mueller (left), Shelly Boser and Frank Flack (right).

The person who has been the lead instructor in the Pierz/Hillman/Buckman area is Shelly Boser, and her unique take to the way she does her job has landed her the 2020 Instructor of the Year award from the Minnesota DNR.

"I was above and beyond surprised when they called me and told me that I won," Boser said.  "I've only been teaching 12 years, and there are other instructors that have been teaching 40 years, and it is a huge honor.

According to retired DNR officer Paul Kuske and Jerome Kahl, a fellow instructor with Boser, their nomination form included a detailed list of all the things that Boser does above and beyond the classroom to make sure her students are confident and comfortable with the material.  Both mentioned the amount of 1-on1 time that students are provided.

"She is amazing with the students, and you can see they connect with her.  She in a way breaks the norm as a female that can share her own experiences about hunting and trapping," Kahl said in his nomination letter.  Shelly shares her positive experice3nes but is not afraid to talk about her mistakes she has made out in the field to emphasize a point of the presentation.  Shelly keeps the attention of the students, and you can tell they are getting something out of the course."

"When you volunteer, it just changes your whole world," Boser said.  "I'm lucky enough to be passionate about something and I get to teach people with that passion."  

A host of people, including per family, boyfriend, and all her co-instructors took the day off work to go see her receive the Award, Aug. 20.  

"It is kind of hard for me to be singled out like this, because we are such a dedicated group that teaches firearms safety," Boser said.  "I just happen to be the lead instructor, and I am above and beyond honored to get this award."

Boser said she is thankful for all her many co-instructors throughout the past 12 years that she has been doing this. 

Morrison County Record, September 5, 2021

Congratulations Shelly!

Firearms safety instructor receives 50-year award

Dick Olson

Richard (Dick) Olson, (l), receives his 50-year firearms safety instructor award from CO Matt Frericks.

Dick Olson, of Orr, has been a teacher of hunter education courses starting when he was 18.  He enjoys talking about the joys of introducing new generations to safe hunting and the changes in hunter education over the years, all with the hope that his enthusiasm for the pursuit may rub off a little bit and attract new instructors into the fold.

Congratulations, Dick!

Henderson man receives 30-year instructor award

paul nelson

CO Zachary Larson presents 30-year award to firearms safety instructor Paul Nelson of Henderson

Snowmobile instructor of the year nominations

If you know of an instructor who goes the extra mile to deliver a top-notch safety program for youth in their community, please fill out the nomination form at:  


We are accepting nominations through Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

On the Horizon

A more automated way to manage your registration of classes is currently being developed.  We are hoping to introduce you to an Event Management System that will streamline the class registration process, collection of student information and more, sometime in 2022.  This system will allow you to more easily register your class, order supplies and automatically submit student rosters.  For parents and students, it will allow them to sign up and pay for a class using their tablet or smartphone.

Stay tuned for more information as we move along!

Reminders on Internet, Media and Social Media

Student photos, videos, and images are not to be shared without a Talent Release Form that has been filled out and signed by a parent or guardian.

Do not post pictures from a youth safety class on your clubs' website, Facebook page or any social media sites without the release.

No personal opinions or comments related to DNR programs or policies on club websites or social media sites.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact your RTO.

Letter from IHEA Membership Director

Hello Hunter Ed Instructors,

First, we want to thank you for your efforts to help us provide hunter education to new hunters.  Your efforts are paramount to successfully growing the Conservation Industry.

Second, we want to pass along a fantastic, no-cost reward provided by IHEA-USA and ExpertVoice.  This reward gives you discounts up to 70% on brands like Browning, Bushnell, Scentlok, Carhartt, Camp Chef, Mystery Ranch and 100’s more.  With the holidays around the corner brands like these will be offering increased incentives.   

Below is an invitation and instructions can join ExpertVoice at no-cost. 

As always, you can join IHEA-USA to access ExpertVoice and all the IHEA-USA Members exclusive discounts also.  Join IHEA-USA HERE

Again, thank you for your dedication to Hunting Education. 


Andrew Smith | Membership Director



Instructor Discount Corner

To accompany the new IHEA First Aid Course presented by My Medic, My Medic is also extending a discount to instructors on any purchase through their website. Simply use the code IHEAFIRSTAID20 for 20% off any My Medic kit for yourself and your classroom.   Tree Stand Buddy, also a sponsor of the 2021 Virtual Conference, is offering instructors a 30% on any of their products with code IHEA30 through their site. They also are extending a 10% discount to students (code IHEA10) and offer several really informative videos on safely setting up and taking down treestands safely on their YouTube Channel which could be shown in the Hunter Education classroom.



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.

     IHEA YouTube videos:  

IHEA's Hunters Connect YouTube Videos


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