Hunter Education MONTHLY NEWS

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In This Issue:

Coordinator's Column - Annual Instructor Conference


COME TO UVALDE the 26th!

Each year in April, the Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association (THEIA) hosts an annual gathering of dedicated hunter education instructors.  It's a chance to recognize peers, attend workshops, hear from leaders in hunter education, share memories, celebrate our mutual successes, plan for another great year and just have FUN. This year's conference will be held April 26-28th in Uvalde - see next article (PHOTO:  Game Warden James Michael, Hays County, leads the "Speak with a Game Warden" Workshop in 2018 near Wimberley, TX).

My only disappointment with our annual conferences has been the lack of attendance (numbers of instructors), especially professional educators and game wardens -- who are primarily non-existent except for, perhaps, the award recipients.  I would like nothing less than to see a more vibrant conference with participation by all facets of the 3,000 + active instructors. This next year, I will be meeting with THEIA, Texas Youth Hunting Program (Texas Wildlife Association), Texas Game Warden Association, Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas, Outdoor Tomorrow Foundation, Dallas Safari Club (Convention) and/or others to see what, if anything, we can do to bolster the quality, attendance and timing of the conference and maximize the recognition of instructors as well as the benefits of the program to the State of Texas.  Maybe we can host it in conjunction with one of these partners' events, or otherwise entice YOU to come to the conference!  Part of the "out of pocket expense" fees you collect per student should be used for expenses to get you to such conferences and meetings.  I hope you consider that in your planning to attend this particular conference -- an annual celebration of YOUR GOOD WORK!  I hope to see YOU there!  # 22283

Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator

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HE Instructor Conference in Uvalde this Month!


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

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


Lodging is at Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express to join us this year at the Annual Conference, sponsored by YOUR Association - the Texas Hunter Education Instructor AssociationCOST:  $45 for THEIA Members; $65 for Non-members. 


  • AREA CHIEF MEETING FRIDAY evening - Oasis Restaurant



  • HE Hall of Fame Recipients
  • Statewide Volunteer Instructor of the Year
  • Regional Volunteer Instructors of the Year
  • Assistant Instructor 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

Sahawe Dancers


Welcome Reception & Area Chief Meeting (Oasis Grille)

TPWD Hunter Education Program Update

Arrow Lethality Training - Rob Neilson & Ed Ashby Foundation

"Ask a Game Warden" - Dennis Gazaway, Jr. and Henry Lutz

Hunting Ethics & Persuasion - Training by Steve Hall & Michael Sabbeth, Denver CO

Live-fire Exercises RANGE - Muzzleloading and Shotgunning

Sahawe Dancers - Saturday Banquet Entertainment (See Photo Above!) - a unique performing group from Uvalde, Texas. For more than 60 years the Sahawe program has been an exciting combination of Scouting, lore, leadership development, and performance. Their colorful performance has entertained audiences throughout the United States and internationally at conventions and community events.  # 19855

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TYHP Huntmaster Workshop Schedule - Sign Up!

HM schedule

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NASP Hosts Successful Statewide IBO 3-D Challenge

IBO 2nd

The IBO 3-D Archery Challenge was held March 7th at the Belton County Expo Center with Results HERE.  

Teams: (Total Scores)

1st - Pasadena Memorial HS (1,679); 2nd - Allen HS Lowery Center (1,651) 3rd; Kaufman ISD (1,633)       

Boys: Wesland Ung - Allen HS (283)

Girls: Avery Speaks - Pasadena Memorial HS (287)  # 13033

Individual Photo:  Ashlee Reed (R) took second place for Girls High School with a score of 285.  Here she and another participant shoot at the practice range prior to the IBO Challenge.


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Hunter Education Program, Policies & Procedures



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)

Photo: Area Chief, Benny Ham, annual presents Skulls, Skins and Scat activities at the annual Lonesome Dovefest held in Karnes City the third Friday of September.


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PRIZES for Reading Target Talk!

Waterfowl Hunters

Win Prizes NOW!    # 23950

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


New Hampshire Hunter takes Waco Bowhunter Ed Course

Demos Regis, age 70, started bow hunting a year ago and says, "I am having the time of my life."  He took an on-line course but could not find a follow-up field course in New Hampshire, so he searched on-line and found a Texas bowhunter education field course conducted by Brent Heath, Area Chief, Waco, in March. Way to go, Brent, you are truly national!  # 23504


Crossroads Baptist Expo

(From L to R); Clyde McMeans, Jr., Bellaire, Duke Walton, Jr., Porter, James Davis, Pasadena and Richard Powell, Orange, and Brittney Yargo, Porter (not pictured), teamed up to present wildlife (e.g. skins, skulls, scat and tracks) and a Texas Animals display at the Crossroads Baptist Expo, reaching nearly 800 with their exhibit. Great work guys and gal!  Keep it up!

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Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow Program in TX


Above: Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow (CLFT) Program Instructor Misty Sumner, Fort Davis, instructs participants in how to properly clean the game birds they shot during their mentored hunt opportunity. Below: University Students from throughout the United States were trained in CLFT at the Welder Wildlife Foundation near Sinton.  On hand were Texas-based CLFT instructors including  hosts, Selma Glasscock (L, Standing)&Terry Blankenship (2nd from RT, Kneeling), Game Warden Albert Flores, who, along with game wardens Lerrin Williams and Scott McLeod, served up a wild game dinner, Misty Sumner (2nd from L, Standing; retired - TPWD) who led the hunter education certification course, and Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator (3rd from R, Kneeling).  # 22839


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Women Who Wander Outdoor Retreat near Garner SP


TPWD Game Warden, Rachel Kellner, Knippa, led the band wagon March 29-31st, reaching over 600 women with archery, shotgun, hiking and other activities at an event geared specifically for women that know little about the agency, its mission and/or opportunities. Kellner said, "My dream was to hit a demographic that is not often tapped into, to let them know what Texas Game Wardens do on a daily basis and to show them what Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has done for ages. I believe we knocked it out of the park! (Pun intended!)."  Women Who Wander, partially fashioned after a similar, annual Rockport event led by female game wardens, will be an annual event, too!

Outdoor Women

Kellner added, "One (participant) shared her son had just passed away, another had just received a breast cancer diagnosis -- but they all decided they needed this event and this 'hike for strength' (see photo above). The picture of them at the top had us in tears. We had ladies who had never pick up a shotgun walk away wanting information on the next Operation Game Thief clay shoot because they had fallen in love with the sport. (A total of) 235 women floated the Frio River on multiple guided trips by our Game Warden Search & Rescue teams." She heard comments like, “This was the time of our lives!” and “Why haven’t I done this before?” Rachel's favorite was “I cannot wait to take my kids next time!” "Boom!" said Rachel "That’s the ticket!"

From TPWD Executive Director, Carter Smith:

"What an exceedingly powerful and impactful event.   Kudos to you and our colleagues who worked so hard to pull it all together and to make such rich and lasting memories for the women who attended.  I can’t think of better ambassadors for the outdoors, our game wardens, and our department.  Thanks for leading by example with your irrepressible energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to our Home Ground, our mission, and to all who care about it, and for it.  You make us proud each and every day.

Proud to be on your team!"

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Game Wardens Honored at March Commission Meeting


National Wild Turkey Federation - Officer of the Year

Game Warden, Calvin Harbaugh, La Grange, is a senior warden with more than 25 years’ experience. Among his many accomplishments and activities, he conducts a number of Operation Outdoor events, introducing youth to hunting and fishing activities. He has assisted with Wounded Warrior Hunts for military veterans and is a member of the Critical Incident Peer Support Team and Search and Rescue Team which further exhibits his passion for serving others which extends throughout the State of Texas.  Hunter Education staff & volunteers wish to congratulate GW Harbaugh!  # 8593


Texas Game Warden Association - Game Warden of the Year

Game Warden, Matt Waggoner, Mineral Wells, was assigned to Palo Pinto County where he served until May 2018. At that time, Matt transferred one county over to Young County. Matt has spent 10 summers on one of the busiest lakes in Texas - Possum Kingdom.  Matt has been a board member for the Palo Pinto County Youth Hunt and for the past few years has overseen the hunt. This hunt involves taking approximately 15 kids. He also assists with the Jack County Youth Hunts each year -- totaling about 100 kids hunting for the first time.  David said that Matt has always been a person he can count on for the annual deer hunt held for the surviving children of police officers killed in the line of duty.  He volunteers to help set up, guide and whatever else he needs to do.  He has a knack for explaining the proper way to shoot a gun to a timid first-time shooter. 

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IN MEMORIUM - Floyd Raef and Jim Markle

Floyd Raef

Floyd Raef (Left) - Academy® Hunter Ed Instructor

Floyd taught many hunter education courses out of the Fort Worth Academy store location and had a total of 181 incentive points in 2018.  We will miss you, Floyd -- and the great partnership you helped forge.

Jim Markle (no photo available) - Grand Prairie Sportsmen's Club

Jim led the activities for the Grand Prairie Sportsmen's Club along with other club members who collectively earned the "Texas Hunter Education Program Partner Award" in 2017.  Jim amassed nearly 3,500 incentive points during his tenure which spanned 24 years.  The club & program will most certainly miss you, Jim!

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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    # 4331

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