Hunter Education MONTHLY NEWS

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In This Issue:

Coordinator's Column - Making Conservation Leaders


Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow

I am privileged to be part of a national instructor team that annually trains professionals and university students in Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow (CLFT), a program of the Max McGraw Foundation. In February, we were near cold, snowy Chicago and the Foundation's headquarters. That particular workshop hosted agency professionals from 12 states. This month, we will host a similar workshop for university students at Welder Wildlife Foundation near Sinton, being sponsored by the Wildlife Society. In April, we will host our third annual "Hunting for Conservation" at 'Camp for All' near Brenham -- a CLFT two-day short course for TPWD employees & partners.

When I was a wildlife biology student in the late seventies and early eighties, most of my peers were hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts.  Today, only a very small percentage of natural resource college students grow up with hunting as a way of life.

Enter CLFT, a successful program in introducing agency professionals and university students to understanding their constituents and the conservation landscape better, as well as safe, responsible hunting. CLFT is not a hunter recruitment week-long program; however, it does plant the seed for those that do want to try hunting back in their home states. CLFT, like most of our hunter education efforts, CHANGES LIVES for the better, as I have personally witnessed, time and time again, at these workshops.    # 1856

Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator

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Attend Annual HE Instructor Conference in Uvalde!


PLAN TO ATTEND! Fri - Sun - April 26-28th

SSGT. Willie de Leon Civic Center; 300 E. Main Street, Uvalde, Texas 78801


Blocks of rooms at have been reserved for YOU at Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express ($99 rate) to join us this year at the Annual Conference, sponsored by YOUR Association - the Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association!


  • AREA CHIEF MEETING FRIDAY evening - Oasis Restaurant


  • Welcome Reception & Hospitality
  • Hunting 101 Workshops - Waterfowl ID and CWD Update
  • Live-fire Exercises RANGE - Muzzleloading and Shotgunning
  • Arrow Lethality Training by Rob Neilson & Ed Ashby Foundation
  • "Ask a Game Warden" - Dennis Gazaway, Jr. and Henry Lutz
  • Hunting Ethics & Persuasion Training by Michael Sabbeth



  • 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
  • THEIA's "T.D. Carroll" Award

theia original

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TYHP Huntmaster Workshop Schedule - Sign Up!


Bob Barnette, N TX Field Operations Coordinator for the Texas Youth Hunting Program, held the first 2019 TYHP HUNTMASTER workshop March 1-2 at Cleburne State Park. (L to R); Bob Barnette, Immanuel Salas, Chris Bishop, Cliff Holubec, Donna McCormick, Kyle Krause, Cory Harris, and Andy Sobotka, longtime Huntmaster who assisted with training workshop.

HM schedule

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Trapping 101 Workshop Held at Sid Richardson Camp


Earle Blakney, Texas Trappers and Fur Hunters Association, demonstrates techniques to participants at the Trapping 101 workshop held February 22-24th at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch. A total of 22 participants trapped and processed 13 raccoons, 7 coyotes and 3 gray fox. Special thanks to Keith Jackson & Earle for sharing their many years of knowledge and experience!     # 999


Back (L to R): Heidi Rao, Larry Holland, Dominic Rao, Joseph Martin, Brock Minton, Keith Jackson (TTHA), Morgan Harbison, Earle Blakney (TTHA) Betty & Rick Monger; Middle: Rylan Watkins, Alyzea & Victoria Zarate, Luke Rao, Jeremiah Graham, Selena Zarate; Front : John John Rao, Frank Zarate III, Aidan Montague; Not Pictured: John Rao (photographer); Frank Zarate Jr., Randy Spradlin 

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Hunter Education AREA CHIEF Program

HE Area Chief

We need YOU!

TPWD Area Chiefs will be meeting at the annual conference at the Oasis Outback Bar-B-Q and Grill, 2900 E. Main St in Uvalde on Friday evening, April 26th.  Among TPWD Hunter Education Staff's highest priorities in 2019 is to recruit more Area Chiefs (ACs) in the Texas Hunter Education Program, elevating the role of the instructor to include:

  1. Teaching INSTRUCTOR Courses along with STUDENT courses
  2. Teaching and promoting HUNTING 101s (advanced HE) and OUTREACH
  3. Assisting HE Regional Staff and HE Instructors in his/her count(ies)

New 2019 Qualifications to become Area Chief have been streamlined and include completion of the following:

  1. Area Chief Application (Emailed from Austin or HE Regional Specialist)
  2. Recommendation by a regional Hunter Education Specialist and a game warden in his/her count(ies) of responsibility (on AC application form)
  3. Three (3) years as a Hunter Education Instructor
  4. Certification of a minimum of 50 students or 100 incentive points
  5. Willingness to take on added duties in the program and assist HE Staff

To REMAIN ACTIVE as an Area Chief each year, you must:

  1. Teach one (min.) instructor course a year (min. of 3 new instructors).
  2. Attend the annual instructor conference/AC Meeting or a regional meeting*
  3. (* You may substitute regional Hunting 101/event with HE Staff approval.)

For copy of AC Application or information, please email

We need your assistance to update the current AC LISTING effective January 2019. The listing is at the Instructor Resources Page/Hunter Education web site.  ALL AREA CHIEFS previously listed will be grandfathered in; however, by the end of 2019, to REMAIN ACTIVE, the criteria above (instructor course/annual meeting) must be met.    # 1855

PHOTO: Area Chief, Jose Garcia, Irving, shown here teaching firearm safety.

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PRIZES for Reading Target Talk!

Waterfowl Hunters

Win Prizes NOW!    # 1202

HE Instructor certification numbers are hidden throughout Target Talk! However, since December's issue and with eight (8) hidden numbers per monthly issue, not one instructor has claimed his/her prize, yet.  Many other instructors have called in liking the idea, but those with numbers in the newsletters must not be noticing their numbers. We'll keep trying by upping the ante to ten (10) numbers per issue. Email/call (512-389-8142) to claim your prize TODAY! 

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Hunter Education Instructor Events & Outreach

St Lukes

St. Luke's Wild Game Dinner

"For many years Hunter Education has been a focus of our St. Luke's Wild Game Dinner in San Antonio. This year, we served the 750 guests and over 100 volunteers. Here, instructors, Jim Ford (L) and Bob Vela did a GREAT job representing HUNTER EDUCATION! A big thanks to both!  Rick Hite - San Antonio


IBO Challenge - Belton TX

S TX Hunter Education Specialist, Brock Minton, assisted Area Chiefs, Duke Walton, Porter, and Bob Boswell, Georgetown, with the set up of their skins, skulls, scat and tracks display for the IBO Archery Challenge held March 7th in Belton.


Houston Rodeo

A total of 28 Houston Hunter Education Instructors reached 358 participants at the Hunter Education "Lasershot Booth" at the Ranching and Wildlife Expo at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo the week of Feb. 25th.  Outreach is an important function of hunter education instructors, so great job to all!    # 1515


All in the Family!

Jamie Haynes joined his mother, Kitty Haynes, Area Chief, Richmond, to volunteer for the Ranching & Wildlife Expo at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  As with many hunter education families, youth raised helping mom and dad (in this case, James Haynes), also join the ranks of (assistant) hunter education instructors as they grow up. Thanks Haynes family for being role models in the outdoors and especially in the Texas Hunter Education Program.


Far West Texas Happenings

Randy Spradlin, W Texas Hunter Education Specialist, has been busy to trainings such as this bowhunter education instructor workshop for eleven Physical Education Teachers from Canutillo ISD in El Paso County.  Tree stand falls are the number one hunting incident in the United States and should be covered in all hunter and bow hunter education coursework.  Great job, Randy, teaching tree stand safety even in the West Texas Plains.

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More on Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow Program

Clft 2

Above: Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow (CLFT) Program Coordinator, Scott Craven (WI), demonstrates field dressing at a recent CLFT professional workshop at Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation. Below: Denise Harmel-Garza, Texas Agrilife Extension, College Station, teaches at university student at the Welder Wildlife Foundation near Sinton. 


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SALE Largest Youth Shoot for Scholarships in Country


San Antonio Livestock Exposition (SALE) held its 7th consecutive Junior Shoot-Out at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, February 14-17th. Touted as the “the nation’s richest youth clay target event,” with $150,000 in scholarships and $250,000 in prizes, scholarships were awarded for participants in Trap, International Trap and Sporting Clays. There were individual and team awards.       # 2159


A total of 115 Chapters (35 Future Farmers of America and 80 4-H Shooting Sports) comprised teams participating at the February event. The top three competitors in Trap, open division, were Nicholas Vanway, Bridget Bearden, and Kenneth Dovenbarger. The top three competitors in Sporting Clays, open division, were Trent Allen from Guadalupe County, Trey Birkner from Montgomery County, and Jacob Psutka from Johnson County. The top three competitors in International Trap, open division, were Trey Birkner from Montgomery County, Zachary Wright, and Garrett Meier from Bandera County.  Special thanks goes to Angela Gerlich, Executive Director for the Texas State Rifle Association Foundation who sponsors prizes & awards for TX Youth Shooting Sports events such as Shoot-Out, Whiz Bang and Ag Clays.  Morgan Harbison, C TX Hunter Education Specialist, is shown here presenting awards and prIzes to the participants. Congratulations to all of the participants at the Shoot-Out!


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Follow Student Air Rifle (SAR) Program on Facebook


SAR Basic Air Riflery Instructors:

We now have a Facebook closed group for SAR Basic Air Riflery Instructor’s. Here is the link: SAR FACEBOOK. Once there, you can find the group and request to join. We plan to use this a communication forum for all BARIs. We have an Instagram page as well. Thank you for your involvement with SAR and helping us grow our social media pages. Jake Hindman, President/CEO - FBpage@studentairrifleprogram.

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Hunter Education Staff Contact Information

HE Staff

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L to R:  Heidi SE, Randy W, Morgan C, Brock S, Steve HQ, and Monica N.


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

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

C TX - Morgan Harbison, College Station

S TX - Brock Minton, Corpus Christi; 361-825-3249 w; 361-944-3617 c # 23069

N TX - Monica Bickerstaff, Grand Prairie; 469-601-8349 c

TPWD HQ ADMIN (ACP) - 1340 Airport Commerce Dr., Bldg. 6-B, Austin, TX 78741

HE Coord. - Steve Hall,; 512-389-8140; 550-7330c

HE Asst. - Eddie Kleppinger; 512-389-8142




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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

National Bowhunter Education Foundation

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wildlife & sport fish restoration