MAR 2020 Issue: A Look Back!

View as a Webpage
target talk - texas hunter education news

Coordinator's Column - Giving Roses - a Look Back!


Photo:  T.D. Carroll received the award named after him in 1995 -- the Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association's TOP Award!  It will be awarded once again on May 2nd in Palestine. (See THEIA Conference information below.)

There are moments when I reminisce about past mentors and others who have greatly influenced my life's path, beliefs and passions.  Three such gentlemen were those involved in the Texas hunter education program since its inception in 1972. Theron "T.D." Carroll (center) laid the groundwork for the program in the 1970's and hired Darrell Holt who hired me in 1985.  With the passage of SB204 in 1987 and the inception of mandatory hunter education, I was able to hire longstanding coordinator, D. Terry Erwin (left), who very capably managed the program until he retired after 25 years of service.  Darrell and TD have long since passed, but Terry and I kibitz, every once in a while, about "days gone by".  At the heart of such memories are the VOLUNTEERS -- those of YOU who have influenced us greatly -- some who took me under your wings after I moved here from Colorado.  I've always felt at home in Texas because of mentors like Albert Ross - Arlington, Billy Holt - Breckenridge, Dr. Tom Behr - Del Rio (may they all rest in peace) and their families, and today's longtime instructors like Bill McCubbin - Amarillo, Tom Martine - Austin, Kitty & Jim Haynes, Richmond, John Dea - Lubbock, Charles Snowden - Atlanta,  Jimmie Caughron & Brock Minton (HE Staff); Charlie Preslar - Garland, Duke Walton - Porter, and Bob Boswell - Georgetown, and many more of you who showed me "Texas Friendly" since Day One.  I  appreciate YOU -- the memories of yesterday -- adventures that lie ahead.  THANKS for your service & friendship! As Terry is fond of saying, "Give ROSES while your friends & family are still here," so Here's a ROSE -- to each of YOU! 

Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator

Back to Top

Annual Hunting Accident Report Released


2019 Hunting Incidents

At total of 21 incidents occurred in 2019; one of which was fatal. For the full report, go to HUNTING ACCIDENT REPORTS, Hunter Education Page, Texas Parks and Wildlife .

Back to Top

SIGN UP NOW for these 2020 Events & Workshops


March 25-27th Belton, Texas - National Archery in Schools Program Statewide Tournament and IBO Challenge

"I am writing to invite you to assist at the 2020, 15th Annual Texas-National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament and Scholarship Championship. Approximately 3300 of our TX-NASP students will compete at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton on Thursday, March 26th and Friday, March 27th, 2020 with set-up Noon to 6:00 pm on Wednesday, March 25th.  A total of 3397 students from 158 schools participated in the State Qualifying Tournament for a chance to go on to State. This year's Qualifying Tournament increased in participation by 300 students and 27 schools over last year. Our goal again this year is to have an adult tournament volunteer at every target so your help is much needed and greatly appreciated."- Burnie Kessner, TX NASP Coordinator

Sign-up to volunteer at:


April 4th - W Texas Instructor Meeting & Upland Game 101 - Capitola Community Center; 1502 FM 419; Sweetwater, TX 8:00 a.m.

Join us for program updates, the new Hunting 101 module, and an afternoon in the field putting the module to work, hunting pheasants. Bruce and Riley Braunick of TRK Farms are offering a tour of their bird preserve and some Kansas Blues for the field. We will start the morning in Capitola for the meeting, followed by a short 10-minute drive to TRK after lunch.  If you need to inform us of any dietary restrictions, or need more information, contact


First Huntmaster Training Held

The first Texas Huntmaster Training was held Feb. 28-29th at Cleburne State Park by Bob Barnette, N TX TYHP Field Coordinator and longtime Huntmaster Andy Sobotka.  Please JOIN US for one of the 8 remaining workshops?  You will learn how to set up and run a hunt!

2020 Texas Youth Hunting Program "Huntmaster" Training Schedule

bow ed

Bowhunter Education Instructor Courses

Bowhunter Education Area Chief, Bob Foster, will be holding bowhunter education instructor courses at Airport Commerce Park, 1340 Airport Commerce Drive (HQ Hunter Ed Program Offices) in Austin on Saturdays - March 28th; April 25th; May 30th

Registration Here

turkey decoy

Turkey Hunting 101 - Whitsett, Texas

S TX Hunter Education Specialist, Brock Minton, and Area Chief, Benny Ham, will be holding a Turkey Hunting 101, March 21st at the Whitsett Community Center from 8:30 - 4:30 p.m. There are 8 seats left, so Register Here TODAY!  For more information, contact:


Photo: Game Warden, Stephen Boultinghouse, Fort Davis, was recognized as Game Warden of the Year at the 2019 THEIA Instructor Conference.  Presenting were Heidi Rao, SE Texas HE Specialist and Randy Spradlin, W TX Specialist!


May 1 - 3rd -  Lakeview Methodist Conference Center in Palestine, TX 75801, Lodging and meals are available on sight at the conference center. An onsite map will be distributed, but here is a sneak peek. Be looking for registration at Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association web site this month and more information in upcoming issues of Target Talk.

Tentative Agenda:

  • Friday, May 1st 
    • 2-5 pm - Registration
    • 5:30 pm - Instructor Reception
    • 7-9 pm - AREA CHIEF MEETING (All instructors welcome)
  • Saturday, May 2nd
    • 8-9 am - Welcome & Overview
    • 9 am -12 noon - WORKSHOPS (Concurrent Sessions I)
    • 12 Noon - LUNCH and Keynote Address
    • 1:30 - 5 pm - WORKSHOPS (Concurrent Sessions II)
    • 6 pm - AWARDS BANQUET
  • Sunday May 3rd

Back to Top

Hunter Education 101s/Courses Held in February


Wilderness Survival 101 

A Wilderness Survival Workshop was held for 27 instructors and other participants the last weekend in Feb. at Worth Ranch in Palo Pinto.

Elizabeth, with an Austin Hiking Group, crawls into a survival shelter she constructed during the hands-on portion of the workshop.  Looks like a well-constructed shelter --congrats!

map and compass

Survival Workshop participants enjoyed hands-on experiences such as map and compass, led by Brock Minton, S TX Hunter Education Specialist, and Fire-making led by workshop host, Randy Spradlin, West Texas Specialist

"Intent of this email is to provide feedback for the class my daughter and I attended this past weekend. First and foremost – it was awesome!!!  I still am in awe that TPWD provides this type of weekend event! I learned so much over the three days that I will be taking with me as I go on adventures in the great outdoors! I think the agenda covered the basics for all topics and really couldn’t think of any additional topics that should/could be added. Obviously due to time and the large number of topics they were all basic information. I would love to see more classes such as this and even more in depth with hands-on activities specifically for Navigation & Compass skills and also the Native Plant Section.The positives? Price, instructors, content, and location. Overall, I will definitely be recommending this class to anyone that I know that enjoys the outdoors, etc. I also will be going back to the TPWD website to find out what other gems are offered that I was not aware of!! Thanks again – I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and hope to find more offerings I can attend!"  Gina -- WILDERNESS SURVIVAL 101 PARTICIPANT

This is a CALL OUT for ALL instructors to HOST 101s!

hog 101

Hog Hunting 101 a Success!  

Scott Lightle, Hunter Education Instructor - Ft. Bend, and Kitty and James Haynes, Area Chief Hunter Education Instructors - Richmond, hosted a Hog Hunting 101 at Scott's Long Acres Ranch, 768 acres of habitat, including 2.5 miles of undeveloped land, along the Brazos River in Fort Bend County. Thanks to all who hosted and attended what should be a popular year-round Hunting 101 series. 

trapping 101

Trapping 101 for the 27th Year

Randy Spradlin, W TX Hunter Education Specialist and Brock Minton, S TX Specialist, once again hosted the Texas Trappers and Fur Hunters Association -- this time at the Sid Richardson Boy Scout Ranch  on Lake Bridgeport, northwest of Fort Worth. TTFHA directors Keith Jackson, Earle Blakney and Dan Hepker and founder, Jimmy Brooks, were all on hand for this workshop and have long been involved partnering with Texas Parks and Wildlife on trapper education.

Randy 2

Waterfowl/Upland Game Hunting 101s

Cactus Mayor, Soccorro Marquez, received a Certificate of Appreciation from W TX Hunter Education Specialist Randy Spradlin, for the city's support of the West Texas Hunting 101 courses held there in the winter of 2020.  Participants learned how to hunt the bird species, applicable safety & laws, biology and management practices, and live fire exercises prior to going on actual hunts.

H E course

Hill Country Student Course

Chief Game Warden, Kevin Davis - Point Venture, and Hunter Education Coordinator, Steve  Hall - Austin, held a student course at Point Venture including a hunter skills trail and live-fire exercises using the Student Air Rifle Program

Reactivated Instructors

Hunter Ed Instructor Course - Buda

Longtime instructors Librado "Lee" Garcia, Austin, and Ron McCandless, Dale, who have long assisted the Boy Scouts of America Longhorn Council's at their camp facilities near Bastrop, were reactivated in February at an instructor course held near Buda. Both also are active in the Texas State Rifle Association supporting shooting competitions and the protection of firearm rights in Texas. Thanks for getting reactivated --one of the three R's in hunting - Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation! Thanks, too, to J.B. Kolodzey, Kyle, for sponsoring hunter education instructor and student courses, along with 4-H Shooting Sports, at his new, private facilities about 4 miles east of Buda!

Back to Top

Recruitment, Retention & Reactivation (R3)


Sign up for R3 Newsletter!


TPWD Mentor Hunts

Megan, from Austin, went on her first hunt as part of the Mentor Hunt opportunities at Inks Lake State Park this past December.  As a result, she also plans to attend the upcoming "Hunting for Conservation" workshop at Camp for All near Brenham, designed for TPWD employees and Partner groups (e.g. Becoming An Outdoors Woman, Texas Master Naturalists, etc.) wanting to learn more and to go hunting for natural, organic foods themselves.  Megan said, "I wanted to mention how much I enjoyed being able to take part in the novice hunt at Inks Lake SP in December. Taking my first deer was an experience like no other and not one I'll soon forget."


Mentoring Family and Friends

This past December and January, Jenny of Breckenridge, a mother to two young toddlers, introduced her daughter, Lana Kay, at a very early age, to waterfowl hunting in the small ponds of North Texas. Note that Lana Kay is integrally involved in safe shooting introduced to her by her parents, in this case, a pop-shotgun.  As part of the safety protocol, Jenny also dons hearing-type muffs to stress noise reduction for both her and her daughter.  It just doesn't get any better than introducing children, even at a very young age, to hunting and the outdoors.  Jenny plucked her wild ducks, then cooked a delicious meal for her family -- another important ingredient in showing family and friends a very satisfying WAY of LIFE!  "From field to fork" as they say! That is fine shooting and raising, Jenny!

Back to Top

Tuck - Tuck - Cutt- Cutt - Phewt!


Rob Neilson, Ashby Bowhunting Foundation president, shared this Archery Shot Placement guide, by Sitka, with TPWD Hunter Education Instructors.  Proper shot placement is critical to taking a good shot (Hunter Education Goal #3) and making a "clean kill" as we like to say. Archery Shot Placement: Turkey Anatomy provides a good refresher for you bowhunters ready to take to the spring woods to chase the wily birds with your archery equipment.

Back to Top

Hunter Education Instructor Profiles


Email to:

Upcoming Profiles (2020) - Bill McCubbin, Duke Walton, Bob Gulash, Buck Seitz, Charles Edenfield, George Solis, James Burger, John Davis, Ken Lewis, Larry Brownlee, Rick Cumins, Sal DiVenti, Susan & Dave Rios and Suzy Duffek.

Al O

Major Albert A. Ohliger (Ret. USAF), Richmond (2015)

Why I became a VOLUNTEER - I enjoyed being the Houston Area Boating Safety Chief & Instructor helping safe boating operation and wanted to do the same for Hunter Safety. I enjoy shooting as a skill sport.  I feel most issues and accidents happen due to lack of proper awareness and carelessness.  Not understanding full ramification o the careless of indenture knowledge makes this worse particularly with our “highly educated & knowledgeable” younger folks.  That is what drove me to add the Hunter Ed to my being a Boater Ed Area Chief.

My most prized sporting arm - Pistol (right) and Rifle (left) – National NRA competitor in both - I mainly shoot competition 22 Rifle (Anschutz), now. I was a High Power 100yd, 200yd, 300yd 400yd .223 national competition shooter as a preference and also 200yd, 300yd, 400yd & 600yd 7.62 M1A1 NA Precision Competitor. I also shoot AR-15.

My favorite hunt – Rabbit because it is more like target shooting and I like BBQ rabbit and rabbit stew. Plus, having lived most of my life in Southern Louisiana, there were a lot of rabbits in our sugar cane fields.  Deer is also a favorite because it is more like target shooting. 

Tee-shirt message - “Wildlife Hunting Control Enhances our Environment!”


Mike Robinson, Terrell (1992)

Why I became a VOLUNTEER - Got into teaching Hunter Education to actually “give back” and so others did not learn the hard way like many of us older hunters did (and be lucky we are still here to talk about it…).  Initially, I did this to be a troop resource being an assistant scoutmaster and taking my boys thru the course.

My most prized sporting arm Ruger M77 stainless/black composite 30.06 with the silver matte 3X9 Nikon and black sling.  It is just pretty to hunt with…

My favorite hunt – Spring Turkey Hunt - Due to the challenge of using the calls and decoys and hour tough it can be to outsmart an old tom; but, just to hear the gobble from a distance almost makes it a successful hunt.

Tee-shirt message – “Hunting – A Texas Tradition!”

Back to Top

Boater Education's Tim Spice Retires!


Tim Spice, Longtime Boater Education Coordinator and Hunter Education Instructor, retired the last day of February after 25 years of service. Among his prior military service (National Guard), deployments, and his many boater education and water safety accomplishments, Tim led the team responsible for contracting with an outside vendor to develop the current Hunter and Boater Education Online Registration System. One of his team members, Mark Miller, IT Manager, awards Tim a "Certificate of Completion" (pun) among the many stories and accolades at Tim's retirement party.  Congratulations Tim!  We will miss having you at the helm! Bon Voyage!

Back to Top

In Memory ... Ed's Sister


Rose Caroline Kleppinger - Laredo

From Hunter Ed Admin, Eddie Kleppinger:

"Dear Friends & Coworkers:  Thank you for your kindness and support during our recent time of loss. Although you did not know my sister, I hope you have someone in your life who is very similar. Her 3 children, 5 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren, and Jacob, her Yorkie, were the center of her universe. Rose Caroline was an excellent cook and baker. Annually, the weeks leading up to Christmas found her baking hundreds of homemade cookies for old and new friends alike. Each Thanksgiving, she tried to prepare each family member’s favorite dish. She loved the holidays. Artistically gifted, she always created beautiful holiday displays and settings. A visit to her home began with her trying to feed you, and always ended with her still trying to feed you or sending something home for later. Rose Caroline was a good daughter, mother, grandmother, and sister. She was much better than any of us deserved. She will forever be loved and missed."

Back to Top

Hunter Education Staff Contact Info.

Hunter Education Staff

(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

S TX, Brock Minton, Corpus:; 361-825-3249 w; 361-944-3617 c

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

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

C TX, Morgan Harbison, College Station:

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

Back to Top

Hunter Education Resources/Partner Links

Hunter Education Overview | Instructor Resources | Student Resources

Operation Game Thief | Texas Game Warden Association

Texas Youth Hunting Program | Texas 4-H Shooting Sports

International Hunter Education Association | NRA PROGRAMS & Services

NSSF Hunting & Ranges | Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association

Texas State Rifle Association | Hunters Connect

Back to Top

Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Funding