Hunter Education MONTHLY NEWS

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In This Issue:

Coordinator's Comments - Policy & Politics

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I heard from a hunter education student the other day, and the gist of the complaint was "Is my instructor supposed to call down the (party to which I am affiliated) in class -- (for not supporting HIS stance on a political issue)?"

Quite frankly -- No!

As much as recent issues have inflamed the masses, especially in regards to the 2nd amendment, and as much as we may PERSONALLY support a particular side of the gun control debate, to "bash" others (or even an entire population of US Citizens) over their beliefs is not part of the Hunter Education curricula (See Hunter Education Standards at IHEA-USA), and therefore, not allowed in our instructional efforts.

That does not mean we can't promote firearm safety rules and information provided by our partner organizations -- it just means we can't stray from the strict promotion and teachings of safe, knowledgeable and responsible shooting and hunting practices -- our mission! Save "our own beliefs" for other organizations to which we may be affiliated, social media and other venues -- when WE DO NOT represent Texas Parks & Wildlife Department or the hunter education program.  (Be smart. Social media can serve to incriminate a person for his/her beliefs -- as we have seen.)

Fortunately, through our hunter education efforts, we save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of injuries -- enhancing responsible firearm ownership and use by hundreds of thousands of Texans, especially hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts.  Our efforts make such activities some of the safest in the outdoors!

THANKS for YOUR continued efforts!

Steve Hall, TX Hunter Education Coordinator

Annual HE Instructor Annual Conference April 20-22!

camp young judaea original


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

The Camp and Cabins have 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
  • Game Warden of the Year
  • Professional Educator of  Year
  • HE Instructor TEAM Award
  • HE PARTNER Award (*NEW*)
  • THEIA's "T.D. Carroll" Award
theia original

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HE REGIONAL STAFF - ORS Support and Workshops

he staff 2018 original


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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Trapper Education Workshop a Huge Success

Trapper Education

The West Texas Trapper Education Workshop was held at San Angelo State Park February 16-18th, and over 30 HE Instructors and their guests were in attendance.  Once again, the Texas Trapper and Fur Hunters Association led the instruction, assisted by HE Specialists. The Specialists honored the TTFHA instructors with a commemorative 25-Year Anniversary of the Partnership (L to R:  Brock Minton - STX; Earle Blakney - TTFHA; Jimmy Brooks - TTFHA; Monica Bickerstaff - NTX; Keith Hernandez - TTFHA and Randy Spradlin - W TX). Participants once again learned the art and science of responsible trapping techniques (labeled as BMP - Best Management Practices) and harvested six raccoons, five gray foxes, three skunks, two bobcats and one beaver. All participants received a 25-Year Challenge Coin as they graduated from the Trapping 101 (*NEW* Hunting 101 Courses). Congratulations to all!  (BELOW):  Jimmy Brooks, who has been teaching TPWD trapper education workshops for all 25 years, shows the basic techniques of trapping prior to having students set their own in the field.



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TPWD Hunter Education Instructor Events



MARCH 23 - 24th - Treestand Manufacturer Association’s Treestand Safety Certified Trainer Training (8-hours total) – Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Athens. CONTACT: Monica Bickerstaff at

APRIL 6-8 - Becoming An Outdoors Woman Workshop at Camp El Tesoro near Granbury; CONTACT:  Heidi Rao at


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


MARCH 23 - 25th - Outdoor Expo in Lubbock -  CONTACT: Randy Spradlin at  


MARCH 21-22nd  National Archery in Schools Statewide Tournament; Bell County Expo Center and Texas-NASP State 3-D Challenge will be held on the same dates and at the same place as the State Tournament (bullseye). (The Bullseye tournament will be in the Exhibition Hall, and the 3-D Challenge will be in the “Dome".)

CONTACT Burnie Kessner to VOLUNTEER at

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

* SAVE THE DATES - CLICK ON:  THEIA 2018 CONF               


CONTACT Morgan Harbison at

  • MARCH 16-17 – Cherokee County  
  • MARCH 23-24 – Montgomery County
  • MARCH 31 - Henderson County
  • APRIL 7 - South Texas Shoot Out
  • APRIL 7-8 - Brazoria County
  • APRIL 14 - Andrews County
  • APRIL 14 - Sadernation 4-H & FFA Shoot

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Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow


February - High Lonesome Ranch, DeBeque, CO - A group of professionals from federal/state agencies graduate from the February 19-23rd CLFT Program.

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. The purpose is not to recruit hunters, but to instill hunting and conservation knowledge in professionals that deal with hunters within the scope of their duties and students studying to work in fields that work with hunters and conservationists. The nationally award-winning program hosts workshops around the country, and to which Texas Parks and Wildlife sends some of its professionals including division directors. Two hunter education staff members, Monica Bickerstaff and Steve Hall, and game warden Albert Flores, Ingleside, are national instructors for CLFT along with other trainers from the Wildlife division and Partners.

zones of fire

Participants at a CLFT workshop go thru skill and live-fire exercises just like in a Hunter Education Field Course. Rotations on Wednesday include zones of fire (photo), target acquisition, rifle shooting, game recovery (blood trail) and trap shooting. On Thursday, they get to go on an actual upland bird hunt behind pointers and retrievers.

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National Archery in Schools STATEWIDE TOURNEY


This year in Texas we will offer our 3rd annual Texas-NASP State IBO 3-D Challenge Tournament in conjunction with the 13th annual Texas-NASP State Tournament and Scholarship Championship in Belton, TX at the Bell County EXPO Center on March 21 & 22, 2018. 

It is our hope that our TPWD Hunter Education Instructors will take a great interest and lead role in assisting the participating schools and students at the 3-D Challenge (SEE BELOW).   Hunter Education Instructors are invited to attend and help at this tournament primarily as Lane Officials having a tremendous positive and direct impact on these future Texas bowhunters and outdoor enthusiasts.  To find out complete details please contact TPWD Hunter Education Manager Steve Hall, or TPWD Archery Coordinator, Burnie Kessner at


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San Antonio Livestock Event - Junior SHOOT-OUT!


Over 900 youth participants and $150,000 in scholarships were awarded at the recent SALE Junior Shoot-out -- held at the National Sporting Complex in San Antonio.

Statewide Shooting Sports Team Lead, Morgan Harbison, C TX Hunter Education Specialist, gets the pleasure and hard work of assisting with and setting up major youth shooing events in Texas.  In mid-February he assisted with the San Antonio Livestock Event (SALE) Junior Shootout, which is the largest of its kind in the nation, distributing $150,000 in scholarships to the shooters. Morgan taught safety clinics on Wednesday afternoon; assisted with setup of stadium field for Fiocchi Frenzy/Make-a-Break shootoffs on  Thursday morning; then controlled and oversaw educational training of Fiocchi Frenzy field with professional shooters Cory Kruse and Trevor Jensen (Thursday - Saturday). He also assisted with shoot-offs on Saturday night and helped in the registration office by consulting on scoring rules, etc. Finally, he assisted each day with the orientation, "All in a week's work! exclaimed the young Harbison, as he chuckled.

You can follow along on Harbison's adventures by consulting the calendar/email above.  If you have youngsters interested in youth shooting programs, he is a good place to start and can empathize with the ride from young shooter to champion. 

SALE Junior Shoot-Out winners included:

  • Trap: Palmer Duke
  • Sporting Clays: Connor Smock, Katy 4-H 
  • Modified Trap: Francisco Ramirez, Webb Co.
  • Super Sporting: Trent Allen, Guadalupe Co 

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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