Hunter Education MONTHLY NEWS

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In This Issue:

Coordinator's Column - The R3 Movement!


Recruitment, Retention, Reactivation (R3) of Hunters and Target Shooters

Having attended the R3 Symposium in Lincoln, NE, in May -- a first of its kind event for 325 professionals from state and federal agencies, conservation groups, NGOs and the outdoor industry -- I believe it is akin to what Ding Darling, Aldo Leopold and others faced 100 years ago with the declines in species and habitats in the United States. This time around, it is the gradual decline in hunting and even target shooting, activities that fund conservation efforts (one of the primary solutions from the deliberations a century ago).

Instead of being pessimistic about the declining rates of participation, the mood was one of optimism of what should be done the next 100  years to sustain the hunting and target shooting heritage (in turn, sustaining the North American Conservation Model). "Think Tanks" of today are focused on overcoming the threats and barriers that face us -- but doing so together! Increased participation will be based on partnerships, access, relevance, target marketing, media awareness, diversity and new technologies.

In Texas, we are drafting a R3 State Action Plan that links to the National R3 Plan.  I will certainly pass along and involve YOU in those strategies best suited towards OUR collective efforts. Hunter education has been integrally involved in R3 at the grassroots level, and will continue to play a major role in accomplishing future successes. 

I, for one, welcome the challenge knowing what hunter education has accomplished in the last half a century -- producing safer, more responsible and ethical hunters!

Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator

PHOTOS: Above, Nebraska Game and Parks Director, Jim Douglas, welcomes the R3 attendees to the Symposium in Lincoln. Below, five organizations inked a memorandum of agreement signifying their partnerships, financing & support for R3 going forward.  Representatives (from L to R) included: Jim Curcuruto, National Shooting Sports Foundation; Ron Regan, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies; Greg Sheehan, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Dan Forster, Archery Trade Association; and John Frampton, Council to Advance Hunting & Shooting Sports, R3 coordinating partner.

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Congratulations to Top HE Incentive Award Recipients!


HE Hall of Fame - Troy Harrison

Heidi Rao, SE TX Hunter Education Specialist, awarded Troy Harrison, Pasadena, his Hall of Fame Award and Academy Gift Card in May. Troy has been extremely active since he joined the ranks in 2011.  Having served as a military and law enforcement officer for the past 25 years, his experiences have helped him transition to hunter education. He stated, "The ethics conversation that begins each class is popular with the students as they are submerged in discussions they can relate to in their lives, but also as hunters." Troy is often contacted after the class by parents with a sincere “thank you” for the way he related to the students.

He currently teaches at Bass Pro Shops, Pearland, and has also held classes at Gander Mountain, Academy, Wal-Mart, Sports Authority as well as other private locations. Troy is employed full time as the Chief of Police in Shoreacres, Texas, a position he has held since 2012, and has been a police officer since 1989. Before law enforcement, Troy served in the United States Marine Corps. He is married to Kathy, who is also a volunteer instructor, and they have two sons, Donovan and Dalton. One is a police officer, one is a United States Marine. Congrats, Troy, and THANKS for your family's service in the military and as volunteers for TPWD!


2000 - Point Recipients - CUSTOM BUCK KNIFE

* David Rios (2,017) Uvalde

* Angelica Sanchez (2,242) Edinburg

* Wayne Scott (2,148) Winnsboro

* Sammy Segner (2,008) Fredericksburg

* Thomas “Buck” Seitz (2,297) Austin

PHOTO: Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator, presents Thomas "Buck" Seitz, Austin (R), his appropriately-named BUCK knife at the annual THEIA Hunter Education Instructor Conference at Camp Young Judaea, Wimberley, in April.  The Buck Knives are signed by the late Chuck Buck, himself!

Handgun, Rifle and Shotgun Award Recipients


2,500 Points - HANDGUN 

* Brent Heath (2,702) - Waco

* Donald Houser (2,784) – Ft. Worth

* Keith Martz (2,686) – Highland Village

* Clinton Narcisse (2,614) – Humble

PHOTO: Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator, presented Clinton Narcisse, Humble, the "VOLUNTEER Hunter Education Instructor of the Year", with a HANDGUN Incentive Award at the annual HE Instructor Conference sponsored by the Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association.

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3,000 Points - RIFLE

* Richard Bailey (3,061) – Grapevine

* Brent Beamesderfer (3,185) - Dayton

* Eric Ochoa (3,148) – Santa Elena

* Robert Stone (3,023) – Grand Prairie

3,500 Points - SHOTGUN

* Gary Glass (3,529) - Eola

* Tracey Walker (3,570) - Rusk

PHOTO:  Randy Spradlin, W TX Hunter Education Specialist, presented Kathy Glass, Eola, with a regional volunteer award at the annual Texas Hunter Education Instructor Conference. She credited her husband, Gary Glass, rifle recipient, with her success in both hunter education and most especially the  Texas Youth Hunting Program.

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Texas Ag Clays Championship - a Big Bang!

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A total of nearly 300 participants from the 580 statewide FFA and Agriculture Science high school entries participated in the finale of the Ag Clays Championship held at the National Sporting Complex in San Antonio, June 4th an 5th. Final results will be posted at both the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas State Rifle Association Foundation web sites. TPWD and the Foundation teamed up, once again, to host the annual event.  The partnership has delivered youth shooting sports events for thousands of youth these past three years. 


A huge THANKS does out to the Ag Clays Championship Coordinator, Angela Gerlich, TSRAF Executive Director, the TSRAF Board, and TPWD Shooting Sports Coordinator, Morgan Harbison, C TX Hunter Education Specialist (pictured above at the morning briefing).  Hunter Education Instructor, Richard Anderson, San Antonio (pictured right), showed up early to assist however he could. Richard teaches at the Shooting Center and also volunteers for many other events such as Operation Game Thief "Clay Stoppers" fundraiser shoots and, of course, hunter education and Dove Hunting 101 courses. Thanks Richard!

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Student Air Rifle Program Comes to TX

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Student Air Rifle (SAR) Program - July 24th-26th. The Outdoor Tomorrow Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife are teaming up to host the first-ever Student Air Rifle (SAR) Program in Texas, in the DFW area (Location TBA).  Modeled after the very successful (TX) National Archery in Schools Program, (NASP), the SAR Program uses the same range & procedures as NASP to increase shooting sports opportunities.

If a school already uses NASP, SARS teachers need only to attend a one-day training (July 26th) and secure the equipment that is added to their NASP equipment/supplies. A total of $30,000 in equipment is being donated to the first 20 schools that participate in the July 26th training. The first Texas SAR Program Trainers will go through all three days of training July 24th-26th. SAR uses a standard pellet air rifle/(non-lead) ammo in  place of bow/arrows and a slightly different target base, quiver (stand) and safety net.  However, range design, the "11 Steps to Success" and other equipment (e.g. bow racks) are the same.  The program also achieves the same results as NASP (e.g. better attendance in schools, better grades, more student diversity, higher confidence levels, firearm safety awareness and responsibility.) 

If YOU want to become a teacher or trainer, please email

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Quality Deer Management Association Workshop

The Quality Deer Management Association held a Texas "Whitetail Forum" hosted by Area Chief Hunter Education Instructor, Brent Beamesderfer and his family in Dayton, TX, May 17th. Hunter Education will specifically use their Deer Hunting 101 and other curricula resources (e.g. QDMA in the Classroom) in hunter education. Thanks, Brent, for putting together the workshop!


(Back Row L to R): QMDA Regional Director (TX, OK, LA) and Workshop Host, J.B. Wynn, QMDA Member, Brent Beamesderfer, AC - Dayton, and his son, Joe Hamilton, QDMA Founder, Heidi Rao, SE TX Hunter Ed Specialist, John Meekins, AC - Cleveland, James Davis, AC - Pasadena. (Front Row L to R) Kip Adams, QDMA Director of Conservation, Curtis Ansley, AC - Shepherd, Duke and Saralyn Walton, ACs - Porter,  Richard Powell, Orange & Game Warden, Lauren Iles, Liberty County

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Rockport Celebrates 10 Years of Women in the Wild!


Brock Minton, S TX Hunter Education Specialist, Laura Peterek, Game Warden, Aransas County, and other game wardens did not let Hurricane Harvey prevent them from hosting the 10th Annual Women in the Wild
Workshop in Rockport, TX. Women especially enjoyed archery, shotgun and wild game cooking activities. CONGRATS GALS!


Brock Minton also led a Wildlife "Skull, Skins, Scats & Tracks" quiz at Kostoryz Elementary, Grades 3 thru 5, as part of their Science Spectacular Event. Ten groups of 20 to 25 students each were provided information on how to identify native Texas animals using various characteristics. Hunter education outreach is important when trying to engage urban & non-traditional audiences. Be sure to let staff know if you need to borrow these wildlife trunks and ID guides for YOUR local events! 

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Online Registration System - HE Staff Support

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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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International Hunter Education Association-USA Conference - Anchorage AK June 25-28th - State Hunter Education Administrators and Instructors will convene in Alaska for the first time ever at an International/National conference. Proceedings including a plenary session dealing with R3 "Research" (the fourth R perhaps) and current reciprocity issues dealing with online/Internet coursework and standards, including adoption of Trapper Education standards.

NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) - Held in Mansfield, PA, July 22-27th, the national YHEC will feature Brock Minton, S TX Hunter Education Specialist, as Orienteering Lead Instructor, and a team of Texas youth competitors from the State Challenge held in North Texas this last October.

Hunter Education Staff & Instructors will be involved in many summer camps where hunter education certifications and training are offered.  Feel free to hook up with any of these excellent offerings -- that is, if you can take the hot summers in Texas.

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Game Warden Report - "Ag Days" & Outreach Events


May 17 - Game Wardens from Foard and Hardeman, Wilbarger County, participated in an “Ag Day” in Crowell. Seventy (70) high schoolers were treated to Operation Game Thief trailer and the wardens answered lots of questions pertaining to hunting and fishing.  Agriculture Science Ag Days, Ag Clays, Youth Outdoor Days, Lonesome Dove Fests and other event give high school students that complete hunter education additional knowledge and skills to supplement their coursework. Thanks to all hunter education staff, game wardens, professional educators and volunteers who help out with such events! 


Along with a team of staff, game wardens, biologists and volunteers, Brock Minton, S TX Hunter Education Specialist, is shown here teaching basic shotgun at the May "Youth Outdoor Days" events on the Chaparral Wildlife Management  Area. The WMA has hosted the event semiannually for 150+ agriculture science students from schools throughout South Texas.

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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