Hunter Education WEEKLY BRIEF

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Target Talk

In This Issue:

Hunter Education Coordinator's Comments


Nancy Retired !!

Nancy Herron, Outreach & Education Director, retired in early February leaving both a legacy and big shoes to fill.  Nancy's outstanding management of a suite of programs including hunter, boater, aquatic and conservation education, as well as outreach and target range grant program, played an enormous function on behalf of the State, Texas Parks and Wildlife and, of course, YOU!  But it was her relationships with people within the agency and the outside partners that set her apart, and she will be greatly missed by all of us who worked for/with her.

She won numerous awards in her 22-year career with Texas Parks & Wildlife including three distinguished employee awards for leadership, team and innovation.  Nationally, she won awards for her Children in Nature efforts and partnerships with organizations such as Camp Fire USA.  Former First Lady, Laura Bush, sent Nancy a warm letter of congratulations on her retirement, and author of "Last Child in the Woods", Richard Louv sent a video message -- just to show the impact she had and will continue to have on national programs to get children outdoors.   From all of us in hunter education, THANKS Nancy, for all you did to enhance and move our program forward -- enabling us to reach even more hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts in the future!

Steve Hall, HE Coordinator

Back to Top

Trapping 101/Survival Workshops in February!


Still a Few Slots - Sign Up!

Brock Minton, S TX Hunter Education Specialist and Randy Spradlin, W TX Specialist have, once again, lined up the Texas Trapper & Fur Hunters Assoc. and John Weishaar, Ed. D., with Wolf Creek Wilderness Skills Seminars to train instructors in trapper education and wilderness survival, respectively, that last two weekends in February.  There is still time to sign up!

Trapping - February 17th – 19th at San Angelo State Park South Entrance (325) 949-8935 (workshop at the Park’s Pavilion); Fri.1:00 pm to Sun. noon - Please bring your favorite meal(s)/snacks as this is a "pot-luck meals" workshop! You will learn about best management practices, trapping techniques and set your own traps!

REGISTER with Brock Minton at or call him at: (361) 825-3249 (w) or (361) 944-3617 (cell).  He will send you agenda and detailed map.

PHOTO:  Jim Brooks, who has assisted TPWD for more than 20 years, demonstrates how to use the various traps, prior the participants setting their own traps.


John Weishaar

Wilderness Survival - Feb. 24th - 26th at Abilene State Park.

A few spaces are available for the Wilderness Survival Workshop at Lake Abilene State Park, February 24the through noon on the 26th. John Weishaar, Ed. D., of Wolf Creek Wilderness Survival and TPWD personnel are conducting this hands-on workshop.

Outdoor skills including wilderness first aid, shelter construction, fire starting, food gathering, kit construction and many other necessary wilderness survival skills will challenge each participant throughout this three (3) day course.

REGISTER with Randy Spradlin at or call him at: (512) 923-3509 (cell).  He will get you the agenda and more info.

PHOTO:  Dr. John Weishaar, author of Flint and Steel - A Story of Survival demonstrates fire starting for the campers at Outdoor Texas Summer Camps. He has been assisting with the camps since he returned from Colorado, where he not only taught outdoor survival skills, but survived the Alaskan wilderness, himself.

Back to Top

Tree Stand Certification Workshops - March 4-5th

tree stand

Texas Fresh Water Fisheries Center, (TFFC) Athens, TX

Monica Bickerstaff, N TX Hunter Education Specialist, also has lined up the Treestand Manufacturer's Association's John Louk and his staff to once again train and certify Texas Hunter Education Instructors in Tree Stand TRAINER and BASIC INSTRUCTOR for tree stand safety.  To be held at TFFC, the weekend promises a fun-filled hands-on look at the Number (#) 1 cause of injuries/fatalities to hunters in North America --FALLS FROM TREE STANDS!

REGISTER with Monica Bickerstaff at or call her at: (972) 263-1219 (w) or (469) 601-8349 (cell).  She will get you the agenda and more info. about the certifications which will help establish a tree stand safety training network once again in the Lone Star State.

PHOTO:  Game warden cadets (see article below) covered tree stand safety as part of the Instructor Course and Hunting Skills Course.

Back to Top

SAVE THE DATE -- HE Instructor Annual Conference!

Michael Sabbeth

ABILENE - April 21-23rd

Be sure to book your calendar for the next Hunter Education Instructor Annual Conference sponsored by YOUR association -- the TX Hunter Education Instructor's Association (THEIA).  W TX Hunter Education Specialist, Randy Spradlin, and Area Chief/THEIA Board Member, Dr. Edgar Reed, Hardin-Simmons University, have made plans to host you this year. We hope YOU come this year to support your fellow instructors, association and TPWD!  Heck, just come for the kibitzing and FUN!

PHOTO:  Michael Sabbeth, Denver, author of The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values, tries his hand at crossbow shooting during the annual IHEA-USA Heritage Hunt.  He will give a keynote address and a breakout session dealing with Hunter Education Instructors better articulate hunting arguments, values, ethics and heritage. he was recently featured in the Hunting and Shooting Sports Education Journal with a series of articles on the topics of his training.


  • Welcome Reception (Friday)
  • CWD; Feral Hog Mgmt. & Issues
  • NEW Online Registration System
  • Treestand Safety Training (4 hrs.)
  • Hunting 101 Workshops
  • Mentored Hunts/R3 Initiatives
  • Keynote - Mr. Michael Sabbeth, Denver, CO (Ethics & Image)

Back to Top



  • HE Hall of Fame Recipients
  • Volunteer of the Year (TX)
  • Regional Volunteers of the Year
  • Game Warden of the Year
  • Professional Educator of the Year
  • THEIA's "T.D. Carroll" Award
  • SPECIAL Awards and Prizes

PHOTO: Joe Drobniak, Friendswood, accepted the Southeast Regional Hunter Education Instructor of the Year Award from Heidi Rao, SE TX Hunter Education Specialist in April 2016 in Houston.

Game Warden Cadets get Trained as HE Instructors

game wardens
g wardens

61st Game Warden Cadet Academy

Hamilton, TX: All five Hunter Education staff, Boater Education Specialist, Mary Carrier and the Target Range Grant Coordinator, Renan Zambrano, were on hand to train the new cadets as Hunter Education Instructors, partners, outreach specialist and hunting incident investigators -- among the many duties they serve the State of Texas. The cadets first time afield was during the "Hunter Skills" and "Teaching" activities, so they seem to enjoy the experience. All were strongly encouraged "Once they hit the ground where they are stationed and get settled in, get to know the schools and volunteers that teach hunter education in your communities --they are an invaluable, long-time resource in teaching safe, responsible, knowledgeable actions by hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts!  Vice versa --get to know both YOUR veteran and new game wardens, after they hit the ground running.  CONGRATS!

Back to Top

New Online Registration System About to Launch


Hopefully, for REAL, this time.  Going Paperless!

Hunter and boater education instructors have been patiently waiting, once again, for the launch of the new EDUCATION REGISTRATION SYSTEM and Database, a launch that has been rescheduled three times due to various components encountering glitches during the pre-launch testing phases. 

GOOD NEWS is we are ever so close, and actually, part of the system is up and running these past two weeks -- the part where people can look up their certification information and PRINT their own cards.  The link to that component is at Education Registration System.  Try it out!  Also up and running are the Vendors of online courses being able to download and pay for students completing their Internet courses.

BAD NEWS is that the component to populate your courses with students encountered a setback as did the 1.5 million records we dumped into the new database component of the system, where we are cleaning up duplicates and other errors --most of them historical in nature --  the transfer of data from our old HABES system.

YOU will be receiving an email when the system is launching --hopefully within the next two weeks. Training has been and will be scheduled to help instructors get up to speed --both by TPWD staff and by Element, Inc., the developer of the new system.  It will be fairly intuitive for most instructors; however, we also realize that there are instructors who don't use computers.  There are "Quick Start Guides" to guide you through each step if you are willing to learn on your own.  It will save us all from having to use any mail services, complete Scantrons, or make calls for duplicate cards any more. The only future function involving mail services will be to order your supplies online, and have TPWD fulfill those orders through the regular means. 

Be looking for an email from TPWD hunter and boater education staff getting you primed for using the new system!  (By the way, we will continue to accept Scantrons and checks; but the quicker we get away from the older system, the better off we will all be --off and running into the 21st Century!)   Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator

Back to top

TPWD & Texas Hunter Education Partner Resources

Hunter Education Overview | Instructor Resources | Student Resources

Operation Game Thief | Texas Game Warden Association

Texas Youth Hunting Program | Texas 4-H Shooting Sports

Other Hunter Ed Resources

International Hunter Education Association | NRA Programs & Services 
NSSF Hunting & Ranges | Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association