Hunter Education MONTHLY NEWS

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In This Issue:

Coordinator's Comments - R3 - the Next 50 Years!

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Many of you have seen or heard about "R3" - Recruitment, Retention and Re-activation.  The concept arose from the realization that with the decline in hunting & shooting sports participation in America comes the decline in species and habitat conservation (North American Wildlife Conservation Model).  The decline is such that many in the conservation community are hugely concerned with the BUSINESS MODEL of fish and wildlife conservation for the next 50 years and beyond. This is akin to issues that Aldo Leopold and others posed with the vast wildlife declines back in the early 1900's.

Enter the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports and its National Action Plan that seeks to bolster strategies to overcome the threats and barriers to participation. Those leading the R3 charge are hosting a National R3 Symposium May 21-23rd in Lincoln, NE to begin the broad awareness and support for the plan. Texas has begun to put its State's plan in place and will seek YOUR advice soon!

YOU, as Hunter Education instructors, have taken the lead for many existing strategies for the last 50 years. Given continued funding levels, I expect you will to continue to play one of the more critical roles in future strategies such as engaging new and more diverse customers, mentoring and training new hunters, gaining access to hunt on private lands, funding the acquisition of new public places and maximizing opportunities on shrinking landscapes.

Here's to YOU -- for continuing to play an integral role these next 50 years --whether you are serving as hunter education INSTRUCTORS, hunt MENTORS or hunt MASTERS!

Steve Hall, TX Hunter Education Coordinator

Hunter Adoption Model: Adapted by Dunfee and Byrne 2013 from earlier research conducted by Decker et al; Seng et al; and others


Annual HE Instructor Annual Conference April 20-22!

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Camp Young Judaea, Wimberley; Friday - Sunday - April 20-22nd; PLEASE COME!

The Camp has been reserved for YOU to join us this year at the Annual Conference, sponsored by YOUR Association - the Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association!


the young hunter


  • Welcome Reception & Hospitality
  • Hunting 101 Workshops
  • Live Fire Standards - Rifle, Handgun, Shotgun
  • Partner & Mentor Programs
  • Hunting Ethics & Persuasion Training by Michael Sabbeth, last year's Keynote 


Dr. Bob Norton - Author of The Hunter - Development Stages and Ethics 


  • HE Hall of Fame Recipients
  • Volunteer of the Year (TX)
  • Regional Volunteers of the Year
  • Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
  • Professional Educator of  Year
  • HE Instructor TEAM Award
  • HE PARTNER Award 
  • THEIA's "T.D. Carroll" Award
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ORS UPDATE and HE Regional Staff Support

The new ONLINE REGISTRATION SYSTEM (ORS) is fully functioning; with enhancements continually being made to ensure that it is more convenient to both the customer and instructors and more user-friendly.  Here are some important updates!

  • INCENTIVE AWARDS - Eddie Kleppinger, Hunter Education Administrative Assistant, is busy finalizing the data that establish the incentive point totals for 2017 and will be busy mailing out incentives beginning in May.  He has worked diligently with the developer to establish a system that will be transparent to the instructor beginning around June (constantly being able to monitor your own points in the ORS).  The new incentive totals are based on the following point scale -- which is different than in the past, but fairly equivalent to the old system.


            o Instructor Certification – 25 Points

            o Students Taught - 2 points/student (Classroom); - 3 points/student (Field)

            o Tenure - 10 points per year (Minimum 5 students certified per year)          

            o Hunting 101s/Outreach (e.g. Shows, Youth Hunts) – 3 Points per Volunteer Hour

          Area Chiefs           

            o Area Chief Certification – 50 points

            o Tenure - 15 point per year (Minimum 3 instructors taught per year)

            o Instructors Taught - 5 points per instructor taught

  • LAUNCH DATE of IMPORTANT CHANGES - April 16th - There will be a significant launch of new updates to the ORS system, and therefore, the ORS system will be down for part of the day on the 16th.
  • NEW "QUICK START" GUIDES - Part of the launch on the 16th will feature UPDATED Quick Start Reference Guides for each step in the process of setting up and processing courses.  Be sure to review each guide after the launch date.
  • TEAM INSTRUCTORS - Co-instructors not listed as the primary instructor (the one who sets up the course in ORS) will have access to view the course rosters (read only) and access to add PREP/TAUGHT Hours to get credit and to enable us to use such hours as part of the STATE'S MATCH for federal dollars.
  • AUDITS & FEDERAL AID - Prep and taught (VOLUNTEER) hours are important for us to use as STATE MATCH , as mentioned above, but also what the auditors (both federal and state) use to ensure that we comply with the many rules governing the use of volunteers, the value of the in-kind match, etc.  PLEASE ensure that ALL hours listed are ACCURATE to the dates and totals listed!
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N TX, Monica Bickerstaff, D/FW; 972-263-1219 w; 469-601-8349 c

S TX, Brock Minton, Corpus; 361-825-3249 w; 361-944-3617 c

SE TX, Heidi Rao, Houston; 713-829-1377 c

W TX, Randy Spradlin, Abilene; 512-923-3509 w/c

C TX, Morgan Harbison, College; OR, Steve Hall, Austin; 512-389-8140; 512-550-7330 c

PHOTO - Hunter Education Staff (L to R): Morgan Harbison, Randy Spradlin, Brock Minton, Heidi Rao, Steve Hall and Monica Bickerstaff

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Treestand Safety Workshop - Fun in the Pineywoods!


Monica Bickerstaff, N TX Hunter Education Specialist, coordinated a Tree Stand Safety Instructor Certification Workshop taught by John Louk, Executive Director, Treestand Manufacturer's Association (TMA). Assisting Louk was L.J. Smith, expert litigator in tree stand and hunting incidents, former MS Hunter Education Coordinator (retired) and former president of the International Hunter Education Association. Special thanks goes to Texas Hunter Education Instructor's Association (THEIA) for providing breakfast, lunch and refreshments. Thanks, too, to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center for providing an excellent venue for the training! PHOTOS: (Above) Lindsay Hodgdon, THEIA president, 'student' teaches how to successfully climb into and out of a hang-on stand, including a controlled fall/recovery out of and back into the stand.  (Below)  Front row: (l to r) HE Instructors David Hammonds, Lindsay Hodgdon, Travis Tidwell and Glen Hayes.  Back row: Instructors Larry Holland, TMA's LJ Smith, Mike Bira, TMA's John Louk, Monica Bickerstaff, Steve Russell, Brent Heath, David Pasternak and Lloyd Love. 

Treestand Safety

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TPWD Hunter Education Instructor Events



MAY 3-6 - NRA Annual Convention - "The 147th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits will take place at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, May 3-6 in Dallas, Texas. The Exhibit Hall will be open May 4-6. Join over 80,000 patriots and 800+ exhibitors for the biggest Annual Meeting yet, featuring a jam-packed schedule of seminars."


APRIL 14-15th Turkey Hunting 101 - Three Rivers - (Turkey Hunt drawing among seminar registrants); CONTACT: Brock Minton at


APRIL 28 – Hunting 101 at Sportsman’s Elite in El Paso - CONTACT: Randy Spradlin at  

MAY 18-20 – Wilderness First Aid Course/Hunting 101 - CONTACT: Randy Spradlin at  


APRIL 20-22 - TX HUNTER ED INSTRUCTOR CONFERENCE (THEIA) - Camp Young Judaea near Wimberley - CONTACT Morgan Harbison at or Steve Hall at   REGISTER NOW at:


CONTACT Morgan Harbison at

  • APRIL 14 - Andrews County
  • APRIL 14 - Sadernation 4-H 
  • APRIL 21 – Chambers County 
  • APRIL 21 – Spring 4-H 
  • APRIL 27-28 - Brazos County 
  • APRIL 28 - Midland County 
  • APRIL 28 – Barbers Hill 4-H 
  • APRIL 28 -29 – Victoria County 
  • APRIL 31 – Henderson County  

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Hunting for Conservation - a CLFT "Short Course"


April 17-18th - Camp Young Judaea

Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow is a professional and university student training program orienting folks with little or no knowledge of hunting and conservation to a week-long Hunting 101, Hunter Education and Wildlife & Conservation primer, including an actual hunt.  Texas Parks and Wildlife is conducting its second CLFT short course entitled "Hunting for Conservation" primarily for non-hunting employees and partners that work with hunters and related constituents on a daily basis.  If you know of a partner at the last minute that can benefit in such a primer to hunting, please contact

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NASP 2018

The 3rd annual Texas-NASP State IBO 3-D Challenge Tournament and 13th annual Texas-NASP State Tournament and Scholarship Championship were held at the Bell County EXPO Center on March 21 & 22nd, and the event was another HUGE SUCCESS!

A total was 454 participants competed in the 3-D Challenge (Hunter/Bow Hunter Education-assisted) with 188 girls and 266 boys. A total of 2,134 students competed in target archery, 113 more than last year, including 11 more schools.  

Dorothy Cobb, Allen High School 12th grader, shot a record 292 in 3-D and a 297 in the bullseye tourney (both out of 300) -- highest scores among all archers at each tournament.

Below (l to r):  Monica Bickerstaff (NTX), Heidi Rao (SE TX), Randy Spradlin (W TX), Danny Deaver (Lone Star Bowhunter's Assn.- LSBA), Steve Shedd - LSBA, Travis Glick (TX-NASP staff member) and HE Instructor Larry Holland joined the IBO national coordinator, Ryan Bass, in serving 454 participants at this year's IBO 3-D Challenge.


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Hunter Education Instructor NEWS

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HOUSTON - Over 20 Hunter Education Instructors from Houston and surrounding cities attended a new instructors course and Instructor "Meet and Greet" (ORS Update, News, Events, Rodeo Laser Shot schedule, etc.) on February 9th, spearheaded by Heidi Rao, SE TX Hunter Education Specialist. THANKS for your commitment to hunter education within the largest population center in Texas!

St Luke Men's Club Wild Game Dinner March 3rd

SAN ANTONIO - Rich Hite, San Antonio, reported that instructors Jim Ford and Bob Vela once again provided a hunter education display and materials for 750 guests and about 100 workers at the annual dinner -- one of the largest of its kind in the nation.  Way to go guys!

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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

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wildlife & sport fish restoration