Hunter Education MONTHLY NEWS

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In This Issue:

Coordinator's Column - Hunting Seasons are Here!


... As is the Hunter Ed "BUSY SEASON"!

With this monthly update, I will be on my annual trek to spend time with family, elk hunting in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.  Such outings and "way of life" is WHY we do what we do: 1) Educate hunters to be safe, knowledgeable, responsible and involved, 2) Recruit, Retain and Reactivate (R3) hunters and target shooters, and 3) Continue the hunting/target shooting heritage as part of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. I hope that while you are busy with your own hunter education courses, you also get the time to go hunting or target shooting with your family and friends beginning with the dove and early waterfowl seasons and the archery season in October -- all leading up to the general deer season of which Texas hunting memories are made. Don't forget to download the Outdoor Annual APP.  Hopefully, you are promoting the APP for use by your students. THANKS for all you do to save lives, promote legal, ethical behaviors and secure a bright future for our way of life in TX!

Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator

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Wildlife Management 101 - Join us in September!

WL 101


Sign up TODAY for the Kerr Wildlife Management "Wildlife Management 101" Workshop, Saturday September 14th; 9am - 4pm by registering at the following site:

ORS Hunting 101 Registration Page

The agenda includes:

  • Kerr WMA Management Efforts
  • Deer Research - Past & Present
  • Chronic Wasting Disease
  • Feral Swine Research & Ecology
  • Field Trip - Hands-on Tour of WMA


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Hunter Education Instructor Courses & Workshops


Combo Hunter and Bowhunter Instructor Course in New Caney on September 19th.

Join us for a combo hunter and bowhunter education INSTRUCTOR COURSE September 19th from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm at the East Montgomery County Improvement District located at 21575 U.S. Hwy 59 North in New Caney. Duke Walton will cover the " Skills Trail '' along with program, policies and procedures and using the new ORS system for registration of your courses and students. It will be a "working lunch" so feel free to bring your own drinks, snacks & lunch. To register, go to:


"Arrow Lethality"

BOWHUNTING 101 - Area Chief, Duke Walton - Porter, also led a Bowhunting 101 "Arrow and Broadhead Penetration" workshop at the East Montgomery County Improvement District alongside one of our newest partners, the Ashby Bowhunting Foundation.  We were fortunate to have Dr. Ed Ashby, himself - Rock Springs, VP of the Foundation, join workshop participants and add his personal insights and wisdom to the discussions.  Also from the Foundation were President Rob Neilson - Houston, Secretary Jake Thompson - San Antonio, Jake's family, and board member, Troy Fowler - Austin.  Participants learned the "12 Strategies for Arrow Lethality" (see article below), especially with larger big game/exotics.  As a result, participants are enhancing hunting arrow/point selection practices & shooting results.

PHOTO (L to R):  Robert Von Camp (non-instructor) , Clyde McMeans, Jr. - Bellaire, Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator - Austin; Brent Beamesderfer - Dayton, Joe Drobniak - Friendswood, Jake Thompson and his sons, Hunter & Cody, Thomas Bass - Magnolia, Larry Holland - Garland; Troy Fowler - Austin; Rob Neilson - Houston; Thomas Booth - Humble;  Duke Walton - Porter (kneeling).  Not in photo;  Heidi Rao, SE TX Hunter Education Specialist - Houston; Johnnie Smith, Outreach & Ed Director - Austin

Bowhunting 101

Sportsman's Finest Hosts Hunter Education Course in Bee Caves

Hunter Education Instructor, Vincent Lecca - Buda, taught yet another popular course offering at Sportsman's Finest in Bee Caves.  Looks like the rattlesnake hide was a  hit!

V Lecca
D Rios

Oasis Outback Hosts Hunter Education Course in Uvalde

Area Chief, David Rios and his co-instructor wife,  Susan, and instructor Elizabeth Tidwell, held a course in Uvalde at Oasis Outback on August 17th for 16 students (The Outback also hosted the Hunter Education Area Chief Meeting and Dinner at the Instructor Conference back in April.) Great Job!

d Rios 2

Thanks to Uvalde County Game Wardens, Rachel Kellner and Henry Lutz, for assisting with the course. An invaluable part of any hunter education course is when the local game warden(s) cover the most common game law violations and offer a 'personal touch' and interesting stories to the course presentation as well. Students love it!

For example, the most common dove hunting violations are contained within the TOP TEN LIST at your Instructor Resources Page at TPWD WEB SITE.


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Student Air Riflery Program - New Program for Schools


Copperas Cove Junior High School - Thanks to Principal Amanda Crawley for getting many of her coaches signed up to teach the new Student Air Riflery (SAR) Program at her school.  Patterned after the successful National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), SAR simply replaces the bow/arrows with air rifles/non-toxic pellets -- for safe use in gyms and on campuses. SAR will introduce thousands to firearm safety and fun, safe live-fire and target shooting exercises within their hunter education coursework in schools.  TPWD and its partner, Texas State Rifle Association Foundation, launched TX SAR in December 2018, and will fully implement the program this coming school year. Be on the lookout for trainings in your region and be sure to contact your regional staff member (see contacts below) if you are interested in hosting a training!

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Hunter Education Instructor Profiles & HE Partners


Terise "Tess" Clark, El Paso (Certified 2013)

Texas 4-H Shooting Sports

Why I became a Hunter Education Program VOLUNTEER - To further education among the youth in my region.  I am also a volunteer coach for archery and shotgun through Texas 4-H Shooting Sports.  I require all kiddos registered in my 4-H to have Hunter Education certification to further their firearm and outdoor safety knowledge and skills.

My most prized sporting arm Perazzi MX8 Shotgun - 4 barrel skeet set. With this shotgun, my son is able to excel his love for clay shooting out of the trap field and into the skeet field. 

My favorite hunt – All types - As a family we enjoy dove to deer to predator hunting.  As long as we are together enjoying the outdoors, we have a blast (pun intended)!  

My tee-shirt would say - "Hunt with your kids, not for them!"


Chris Mitchell, New Braunfels (Area Chief - 2012 & TYHP Program Director)

Texas Youth Hunting Program

Why I became a VOLUNTEER - I became a Hunter Education Instructor to promote the Texas Youth Hunting Program and teach in my area.

My most prized sporting arm - BC Miroku 20 gauge over-and-under.  This shotgun belonged to my late father-in-law, Maury F. Goad, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired).  Maury was a WWII right-waist gunner on a B-17 who flew over 20 missions in the European theater.  He bought the shotgun to hunt pheasants while stationed in Korea years later in the 1960s.  The gun was stolen in 2014 along with all my other family heirloom firearms, but was returned in 2018.  The shotgun was the only gun recovered.  I presented it to my wife at Christmas.

My favorite hunt – All species of deer, primarily whitetail.  Deer are amazing, adaptable animals, and I love all aspects of pursuing deer and venison preparation.  I am a meat hunter; my trophy room is an upright freezer.  

My Tee-Shirt Message - “The country that draws a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man will find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards” - Quote from Colonel Ardant Du Picq, Napoleon’s Chief of Staff

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TSRA Legislative Director, Alice Tripp, Retires


Pictured here with Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, Alice Tripp, Legislative Director for the Texas State Rifle Association and one of the charter Becoming An Outdoors-Woman members and instructors, has retired effective August 31st.  She served for 11 sessions and 21 years in a position vitally important to the mission of TSRA, but also educating hunters and target shooters on all issues impacting them and their activities. The hunter education program is going to miss you greatly, Alice, and all that you have done for hunters and target shooters in the Lone Star State -- a true legend for defending Texans' rights and privileges and educating its citizens !  Mike Cox, a veteran of TSRA, will take over as Legislative Director and is also an instructor who presents LTC programs in Central Texas and within the Capitol, and is an appointee of the School Safety Center.

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GAME WARDEN News - New Lt. Colonel Named


TPWD's Law Enforcement Division's Grahame Jones, Colonel Game Warden, hired and welcomed a new deputy director, Lieutenant Colonel Ron VanderRoest, to the division's executive staff on August 12th. Jones said, "I am proud to announce that Ron VanderRoest has been selected to be our next Lieutenant Colonel!"  He added, "Ron was hired as a Game Warden in 2000, was promoted to Captain in 2007, and then promoted to Major in 2014. He holds a MS Degree from Tarleton State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA. Ron is a leader, communicator, and bridge builder who is keenly focused on our shared mission and vision. Please join me in congratulating Ron as he transitions into his new role!" Photo:  New cadets go through rigorous, extensive and diverse training procedures including hunter education.

Thank you! - Grahame L. Jones, Colonel Game Warden


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Arrow/Broadhead Penetration & Reduced Wounding


Workshop Highlights Research by Dr. Ed Ashby

TPWD has hosted two workshops in Uvalde and Porter focusing on research by Dr. Ed Ashby and promoted by his Ashby Bowhunting Foundation. The research led to a list of 12 Penetration Enhancing Factors (Copyright 2019) that are designed to assist bowhunters in enhancing their recovery rates, especially on large big game such as elk, bear, moose, exotics and African big game. The workshop highlights the 3rd goal in Hunter and Bowhunter Education:  "Take a Good Shot!"


To GET STARTED (See Ashby Bowhunting Foundation's newly designed website) go to "Top 12 Arrow Penetration Enhancing Factors" which are the strategies that resulted from Ashby's valuable and comprehensive research. The resulting "Arrow Weight Chart" also highlights the results.  Of course, such selection must go with the corresponding practice, hunting skills and techniques for getting close to the game in the first place!  Great job, Ashby Bowhunting Foundation!

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State Youth Hunter Education Challenge in October


Arlington Sportsman's Club (ASC) Hosting YHEC OCT 2019

The Texas Youth Hunter Education Challenge, for youth ages 9-18, is scheduled for Saturday, October 12th, at Arlington Sportsman's Club, 11500 CR 525, Mansfield, TX 76063, from 7 am to 7 pm. Cost is $35.00 (includes T-Shirt and  meal). Extra meals are $8.00 each -- to be noted on registration form.

To obtain registration forms, please contact:

Deborah Laughman, Texas State YHEC Treasurer; 6249 E. FM 916; Grandview, TX 76050;; 817-991-5525. Return completed forms to Deborah Laughman with check made payable to YHEC Outdoor Sports, the memo line should state “YHEC Registration.”

Deadline for registration is September 30, 2019.  (Note: There will be a $10 fee added for registrations received after 9/30/18.) This is both a spectator and participant event, so families and friends are invited. 

There are 6 scoring events: 22 cal. rim-fire rifle, muzzle-loading rifle, shotgun, archery, a combination wildlife identification/hunter skills trail, and a 'hunter responsibility' exam.  Olympic style medals will be awarded for first, second, third and fourth place in each event. You must provide your own equipment and ammunition, but there is some loaner equipment available, in case a participant lacks the necessary equipment. Teams that have been involved in the Challenge are certainly invited, once again, but, if you can put together a team between now and October, please consider it (especially Professional Educators and 4-H Clubs).

If you have questions or you want to VOLUNTEER for the event, please contact:

David Hammonds, Texas State YHEC Director; 153 Scott Lane; Weatherford, TX 76085;; 817-915-4294  

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R3 News - Recruitment, Retention & Reactivation


R3 Newsletter Source for Info!

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Hunter Education Program are part of a statewide R3 strategic effort as well as the national effort that is collectively contained within the R3 National Action Plan created by the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting SportsThe R3 Community Newsletter highlights national activities and strategies that organizations and agencies have put into action that will help us help ourselves in the overall goal of continuing the American hunting and target shooting heritage.  Featured in the latest newsletter is the NRA Hunter Services & Adaptive Shooting Programs -- a list of organizations that offer outdoor opportunities for people with disabilities.   Sign up to be a member of the R3 Community TODAY!

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IHEA-USA Launches "Hunters Connect"


IHEA & Partners Create Digital Media Tools to Help New Hunters Clear Hurdles to Get Outside

IHEAS-USA News Release : Hunters Connect will answer How-To, Where-To, When-To and What-To for Those Entering Hunting for First Time.

More than 600,000 new hunters go through hunter education courses annually in the U.S. and the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA-USA) is continually striving to communicate with those hunters using a variety of methods. Hunters Connect, part of HunterEd.Com, a new HunterEd R3 outreach program, was created to leverage digital media tools that lower the hurdles facing new hunters. Available beginning August 5, the Hunters Connect digital video library will provide the “how-to,” “where-to,” “when-to,” “what-to” for new hunters.

These topics will cover what new hunters want to know yet have struggled to find as the mentor-based culture has changed. From purchasing and applying for licenses, selecting firearms and bows, choosing gear, reading maps, tactics for hunting
different species, food care and prep, and everything in between, Hunters Connect will speak to the Millennial and Gen Z generations and those adult onset hunters just entering hunting. The existing library will be enhanced with a weekly video added every Monday and distributed via all social media channels; YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and email.


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Download the Outdoor Annual APP Today!


Promote the APP in your courses!

Outdoor Annual APP

Designed to accompany each hunter afield, the Outdoor Annual APP is a must for anyone heading outdoors to fish, hunt or boat on Texas landscapes.  The convenient APP should be promoted by Texas Hunter Education Instructors as a primary source for the rules and regulations with which each hunter must be familiar.  Now, there is no excuse for leaving a booklet in the car or at home when getting checked by a warden!

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Hunter Education Staff & Contact Information


(From L to R) - Morgan Harbison (Central TX HE Specialist), Steve Hall (HQ, HE Coordinator), Heidi Rao (Southeast TX HE Specialist), Monica Bickerstaff (North TX HE Specialist); Eddie Kleppinger (HQ, HE Admin. Asst.), Brock Minton (South TX HE Specialist), Randy Spradlin (West TX HE Specialist)

N TX, Monica Bickerstaff, D/FW; 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;

HQ, Steve Hall, Coord.; 512-389-8140 w; 550-7330 c; Eddie Kleppinger, Asst.,; 512-389-8142 w

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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