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target talk - texas hunter education news

In This Issue: Talking About Hunting, WHIZ Bang, Nov. Hunts & Courses

Coordinator's Column - A Christmas Story


"You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!"

I often tell people that, growing up Catholic, I must serve a penance of teaching firearm & hunting safety for the rest of my life. Metaphorically, I'm 'Ralphie' from A Christmas Story! For those of you who haven't heard my recount, I received by first gun on Christmas Day 1965, at age six -- a "Red Ryder"!  I joined the ranks of my five older brothers -- a rite of passage in our family of hunters.

Our unfinished basement was the perfect target range, with two dirt walls and crawl spaces below our house.  I shot my brand-new air rifle all Christmas day -- it was the best present ever!  Bright and early the day after Christmas, I again ran down to the basement to empty the nooks and crannies of two "buckets of army men". Except, one of my brothers got dirt stuck in the magazine threads at the muzzle end. I was not happy!  Being unsuccessful at getting it unstuck with pliers, I did the next best thing -- my teeth! It worked! Even though I shook the rifle beforehand, hearing no BB's rolling back and forth within the barrel/magazine (didn't think about a BB in the chamber), and had my hands around the barrel, I heard a strange 'clicking' sound (trigger release tension) as I twisted the muzzle cap with my teeth. 

Until I wiped blood from my mouth, I didn't even know I shot myself. Minutes later, under my mom's arms, and at the hospital where my dad worked, I had every doctor around my bedside because "Doc Hall's son shot himself!"  After dad and other doctors took turns (hemostats - help!), one doctor finally 'squeezed' the BB to the surface at the back of my tongue, gave me ice cream, patted my back and sent me home. Back at school, at the insistence of my teacher, a nun, I had to sheepishly recount how I shot myself with two classes of my peers.

Here's hoping you get a favorite hunting or sporting arm for Christmas, but ALWAYS POINT THE MUZZLE IN A SAFE DIRECTION (certainly not at your eyes, or tongue!) and remember to take hunter education

Merry Christmas!  Until next year -- 2024!

Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator


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How to Talk About, Promote and Defend Hunting


How to Talk About Hunting  Research-Based Communications Strategies

In 2020, the National Rifle Association published a book as part of their NRA Hunter Skill Series -- a book made possible through the NRA Hunters' Leadership Forum. Project Manager with the Forum was Peter Churchbourne, a longtime friend of Hunter Education, and the author and main contributor was Mark Duda with Responsive Management, a well-respected research firm that has conducted fish and wildlife management research for well over several decades. A second book, authored and published by Michael Sabbeth in 2021, is "The Honorable Hunter Instructor Training Manual - How to Honorably & Persuasively Defend and Promote Hunting".

TPWD Hunter Education Staff have used the concepts from these books to help Instructors improve their teaching and media relations knowledge and skills. Both books serve up plenty of factual, proactive fodder by which to communicate and promote hunting with both hunters (students) and non-hunters (families, friends, and outreach audiences).  Hunter Education Instructors and Youth Hunt "Huntmasters" represent the front line when it comes to successfully advocating for hunting, target shooting, responsible ownership and handling of sporting arms and the conservation heritage.  Employing the concepts and strategies will greatly help instructors, huntmasters, and hunting mentors improve their confidence and effectiveness!

If you would like a copy of either publication, please email with your name and mailing address.

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HSCF Convention - SE Regional Meeting on Jan. 20th


Southeast Texas Hunter Education Instructor Meeting

DATE: Saturday, January 20, 2024; 9:00 AM - Noon

LOCATION: Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center

REGISTER for the Meeting HERE

Join us for the annual Southeast Texas Hunter Education Instructor meeting and program update. (All instructors STATEWIDE, welcome!) Held in conjunction with the 2024 Houston Safari Club Foundation (HSCF) WORLDWIDE HUNTING EXPO & CONVENTION, all instructors and their guest(s) receive a complimentary DAY PASS to enjoy the Expo on Saturday afternoon at the same location.

Meeting Location: 3rd floor The Woodlands Room at the end of hallway

-- FREE PARKING!!!  - more details to come with maps and directions 


Hunting Matters - KPRC AM 950 (KPRC-AM)

Joe Betar, HSCF Executive Director, is host of the Convention and friend to Hunter Education in Texas. He also is host of Hunting Matters Podcast.

Subscribe Today! Tradition. Conservation. Family. The Outdoors. It matters to you. It matters to us. This is “Hunting Matters”, presented by the Houston Safari Club Foundation (HSCF). With HSCF Executive Director Joe Betar. Join Joe as he engages in conversations with guests, from various backgrounds, that have a passion for hunting and conservation. Great discussions, news, hunting legislation and more! Listen and discover. "Hunting Matters"

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Instructor Conference - Training Session Requests


Texas Hunter Ed Instructor Assn

Do YOU have TRAINING Ideas?

Email us at:

APRIL 26-28th, 2024

Y.O. Ranch Hotel and Hill Country Shooting Sports Center will host the Central Texas THEIA Conference in April next year. Please get it on your calendar NOW!  Come help us celebrate your successes, attend the latest training seminars, and enjoy food and comradery with your fellow instructors from throughout Texas.

TPWD Staff Host: Morgan Harbison, Central TX Hunter Education Specialist

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Awards Presented to Two More LEGACY Instructors

2022 Legacy Award Recipients


Lonnie Ward – Argyle, and Monica Bickerstaff, N Texas Hunter Education Specialist, were finally able to get together so Monica could recognize Lonnie with his 2022 Legacy Award.  He has certified 24,000+ students in 1300+ courses taught during the 26+ years since joining the volunteer Texas Hunter Education Instructor ranks. Ward took the opportunity to give Bickerstaff a tour of Denton County Sports Association, Inc.’s (DSCA) indoor classroom and range where he conducts classroom and live-fire instruction, plus outdoor “Field Day” activities on-site (day or night, rain, or shine). "Ward’s creativity in putting together a Hunter Skills Trail within the range’s limited space -- located BETWEEN two cell towers -- is commendable to say the least," said Bickerstaff. "Thank you for your creativity in affording students live-fire and skills trail activities in the DFW Metroplex! Your dedication to Texas Hunter Education is greatly appreciated! Congratulations, Lonnie!"


Jerry Warden - TYHP Director

Among the Legacy Award Recipients and honorees at the THEIA 2023 Hunter Education Instructor Conference held at the Texas 4-H Center in Brownwood, last April, was Jerry Warden - Rock Springs, former Texas Youth Hunting Program (TYHP) director who took the program to great heights early in the 21st Century. Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator, traveled to Jerry and his wife Kiki's ranch near Rock Springs to present the award. Hall said, "Wow -- this place is really out here - Way to go!"


Jerry and Kiki Warden were tireless in their efforts to create opportunities for young Texans to hunt, especially on private lands, throughout Texas. They have been recognized by many for their accomplishments, which now includes this award from the Texas Hunter Education Program, which honors their leadership in the Texas Youth Hunting Program. The program is the epitome of the process of acquiring new knowledge and skills through hands-on, mentored hunting and shooting sports opportunities. Among the program's highlights, including many that occurred during Jerry's Legacy, over 82,700 participants have been reached since 1996. Private landowners appreciate the added liability protection afforded them in hosting young hunters and their families.  TYHP Volunteers and "Huntmasters" enjoy the challenge of setting up and conducting such hunts. TYHP has become the model youth hunting program, nationally, and has recently branched out to include mentored adult hunts within the scope and objectives of the Texas Wildlife Association -- an R3 Hunting Companion program!  Congratulations Jerry & Kiki!

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Work with Your Hunter Education AREA CHIEFS

Area Chiefs represent a vital level of service in the Texas Hunter Education Program.  In 2024, your Hunter Education Regional Specialists will be rejuvenating the program, trying to recruit instructors to get even more involved in the program.  Here is the current list of PARTNERS & AREA CHIEFS. Every hunter education instructor, professional educator and game warden is encouraged to contact their local Area Chief(s) to see how they can communicate better, locally, to achieve the mission.  If a county does not have an Area Chief, and you would like to offer your services, please contact your regional specialist (see contacts below in this or any other Target Talk newsletter) for an application which includes their approval as well as that of a local game warden with whom you currently work.

NOTE: If you see any information on the current Partners and Area Chief Listing needing to be added, deleted or changed, or to get an Area Chief application, you also can contact Hunter Education Coordinator

inst course

Several Area Chiefs in the Greater Houston area, Dawn Davis (L), Kitty Haynes (third from left) and Cheryl LeJune (orange shirt) teamed up recently to offer a hunter education INSTRUCTOR course -- a valuable role for TPWD, Hunter Education Program, and the perpetuation of safe, responsible, knowledgeable and INVOLVED hunting and shooting sports practices.  THANKS to all AREA CHIEFS for your service to the State of Texas!


2nd Area Chief Workshop Held in Austin, TX in Oct 1985

L to R (standing): USFWS Region 2 Representative, Richard Enriquez, Maruice Downey - Dallas, Joe Bardin - Round Rock, Joe Davis - Lubbock, HE Coordinator, Darrell Holt; L to R (kneeling) Jody Webb - Dallas and Bill Sharp - San Antonio.

The Area Chief Program began in 1985 when the first instructors stepped forward to volunteer to train new instructors on how to teach basic student courses. They were assigned count(ies) to mentor other instructors, host meetings and dinners for fellow instructors, promote local outreach activities and generally 'lead' the hunter education bandwagon in their community and county or even several counties. Area Chiefs continue to have the same duties, plus working closely with their regional specialists (see contacts and photos below) and teaching and promoting Hunting 101s (advanced Hunter Ed.).

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Mentored Hunts for Adults and University Students

mentor hunt

A LOCOVORE Way of Life

New adult hunters are beginning to find the same opportunities as youth. New strategies outlined in the State's R3 Action Plan include mentored hunting programs for those new to hunting, but over 17 years of age.  For example, the new Adult Learn to Hunt program with the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) will be a huge new endeavor -- providing the same experiences for adults that they do for tens of thousands of youth and their families.

Photo: Johnathon Nguyen took this nice doe on an Inks Lake State Park Public Land Mentored Hunt which are limited, but available each year -- to go along with TWA's Adult Learn to Hunt Mentored Experiences, mostly on private lands.

The Challenges - Lack of Access, Awareness, Motivation and Training/Skills

Adult hunters also may be a different sort of challenge, as they reached that age with lack of access. awareness, motivation, and training/skills for hunting, and, many times, shooting sports in general. Some barriers go even deeper.  It can be a very personal challenge. Rachel Levin recently put it in her article, "I Eat Meat. Why Was Killing My Own Food So Hard, "This night is different from other nights. Last week I was huddled in a foggy parklet listening to triple-vaxxed friends crow about cryptocurrency over wisps of hamachi crudo. Tonight, I’m sitting fireside beneath a heavily bearded bison, digging daggers into a feast of wild game, and dinner conversation is…wild."  Ultimately, hunting is securing a source of protein, low-cholesterol, low-fat meat for the table -- to go along with many other benefits including recreation, physical exercise & health, spirit, economy, companionship, and the chance to escape urban/suburban and working ways of life.  Hunting and its culture becomes its own WAY OF LIFE for many in America.

TPWD Mentored Dove Hunt - Clearfork Ranch, Shackelford County


TPWD Wildlife Division's District 3 staff hosted a university-level mentored dove hunt in late September. A total of 8 Hunters, five (5) from Tarleton State University and three (3) from Abilene Christian University, all members of Student Chapters of The Wildlife Society experienced dove hunting, Texas-style. 


Four of the eight (8) were selected as continuation of a mentorship initiated at a mentored deer hunt in January 2023. District 3 Wildlife Staff served as mentors, cooks, instructors, and guides. Ranch facilities and assistance was provided by Clearfork Ranch. TPWD Biologists, Olivia Kost, Patrick Kostecka, and Kyle Melton, provided hands-on instruction regarding dove ID, biology, habitat management, population monitoring techniques, and field care of harvested doves.


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Texas Hunting Program Going Strong

"We have completed 91 Texas Youth Hunting Program youth hunts so far this season and have with 84 currently posted from December thru next April 2024."

Briana Nicklow, TYHP East Texas Field Operations Coordinator

THANKS to the HUNTMASTERS and TYHP VOLUNTEERS for making these happen and giving young Texans the opportunity to learn how to hunt in a responsible manner and enjoy meeting other families like themselves!

Dec 1–3 Blanco Dec 15-17  Bandera Jan 12-14  Grayson
Dec 1–3 Duval Dec 15-17  Victoria Jan 12-14  Kimble
Dec 1–3 De Witt Dec 15-17  Mills Jan 12-14  Gillespie
Dec 1–3 Lampasas Dec 15-17  Lampasas Jan 12-14  Clay
Dec 1–3 Frio Dec 15-17  Willacy Jan 12-14  Aransas
Dec 1–3 Kerr Dec 15-17  Somervell Jan 12-14  Austin
Dec 1–3 Comanche Dec 15-17  San Saba Jan 12-14  Karnes
Dec 1–3 Sutton Dec 15-17  Caldwell Jan 12-14  Pecos
Dec 1–3 Shackelford Dec 15-17  Burleson Jan 19–21  Young
Dec 1–3 Bell Dec 15-17  Eastland Jan 19–21  Gillespie
Dec 1–3 Cherokee Dec 15-17  Stephens Jan 19–21  Bosque
Dec 1–3 Tarrant Dec 15-17  Guadalupe Jan 19–21  Zavala
Dec 1–3 Aransas Dec 15-17  Hamilton Jan 19–21  Kerr
Dec 1–3 Montague Dec 29-31  Bosque Jan 19–21  McCulloch
Dec 8-10 Camp Jan 5-7  Bandera Jan 19–21  Kerr
Dec 8-10 Val Verde Jan 5-7  Gillespie Jan 19–21  Young
Dec 8-10 Kimble Jan 5-7  Bowie Jan 19–21  Jackson
Dec 8-10 Mills Jan 5-7  Kimble Jan 19–21  Gillespie
Dec 8-10 Waller Jan 5-7  Matagorda Jan 26–28  Frio
Dec 8-10 Leon Jan 12-14  Lampasas Jan 26–28  Donley
Dec 8-10 Live Oak Jan 12-14  Kimble Jan 26–28  Freestone
Dec 8-10 Runnels Jan 12-14  Gillespie Feb 2-4  Maverick
Dec 8-10 Callahan Jan 12-14  Kimble Feb 2-4  Blanco
Dec 8-10 Bosque Jan 12-14  Kerr Feb 2-4  San Saba
Dec 8-10 Jackson Jan 12-14  Duval Feb 9-11  Kerr
Dec 8-10 Coleman Jan 12-14  Liberty Feb 16-18  McCulloch
Dec 8-9  Willacy Jan 12-14  Clay Feb 22–25  Val Verde
Dec 9-10  Willacy Jan 12-14  San Patricio Apr 5-7  Bell

Annual Harper WMA Hunt (Memory of Jacob Krebs) is Jan. 19-21st!


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WHIZ BANG Finals - A Bang Up Time!


The TPWD Whiz-Bang finals was held on October 28th during the NSCA National Championships at the National Shooting Complex. There were 20 youth participants involved, 5 from each of the 4 age groups. The winners of the 4 age groups are (Upper L to R): Senior 2 Cam Dickinson, Montgomery County, Senior 1 Cash Burns, Montgomery County, (Bottom L to R) Intermediate William Edgmon, Frio County, and Junior Clark Braddock, Henderson County. A HUGE thanks to Morgan Harbison, TPWD Mobile Shooting Sports Program Director, for bringing WHIZ Bang around the state and throughout the year, concluding with outstanding skills demonstrated by these four young shooters. Congratulations to all!


There were 2381 participants during the 2023 NSCA National Championships held at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas beginning on October 21st through October 29th, 2023. There were 49 states represented, no West Virginia, and 18 countries in attendance. There were 260 junior (16-20), 129 sub-junior (15 and under), 27 lady sub-junior, 63 lady junior, and 233 lady participants during the national’s event. In total, there was 1,408,150 competition targets thrown which does not include practice or demo fields. Brandon Powell, Georgia, is the 2023 Sporting Clays National Champion with a total main event score of 287 out of 300.

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Irving Police Activities League (PAL) Youth Hunt


Monica Bickerstaff, N TX Hunter Education Specialist, was photographed scouting for white-tailed deer at Lake Whitney while assisting Irving Police Athletic League (PAL) coaches with final preparations for this year’s PAL mentored youth hunt held the weekend of November 3-5, 2023. The hunt was conducted in partnership with the Lake Whitney Corps of Engineers, Irving PAL and TPWD. Twelve youth – four young ladies and eight young men ranging in age from 11-17 years – were accompanied on the hunt by 11 coaches and camp staff - 10 Irving Police Department employees (past and present) and Bickerstaff. The entire trip is FREE to all PAL youth having successfully completed PAL’s Texas Hunter Education course and participated in the five crossbow archery practices conducted by TPWD Hunter Education Instructor, Chelsey Jones, Irving Police Media Affairs Coordinator, fellow coaches, and PD employees passionate about hunting. Jones serves as the hunt coordinator, coach, and mentor as she shares her passion and knowledge with PAL youth during the two-day hunt.


As Jones aptly noted, “the youth, the coaches, and everyone involved had a great time! Watching these kids experience something that they would not normally get to is the best thing and so rewarding for the mentors!” She continued in saying, “The coaches not only get to share their passion for the great outdoors with these youth but also get to teach them about firearm (crossbow) safety, camping, hunting & wildlife management. On top of all that, these kids also get to experience hiking, s’mores for the first time ever, getting off of their devices & getting to know PD employees (past & present) on a different level, which is a bonus!


TPWD Wildlife Biologist Kyle Melton explained Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and its potential impact on deer herds as PAL youth and Park Rangers Aaron Szotka and Jarod Brisco observed Melton’s sampling procedure. The hunt resulted in 14 deer – 1 buck and 13 doe. Another successful wildlife management hunt benefiting Lake Whitney and the Corps of Engineers is in the books!!!

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New SAR Website Features TX HE Staff & Instructors


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National Archery in Schools Program Tounament


TX - National Archery in the Schools

2024 State Qualifying Tournament

  • Schools must participate in a qualifying tournament, alone or with other teamsr to participate in the State Tournament. Registration and posting of scores on the State Qualifying Tournament listing at
  • You may submit as many teams as you wish in the State Qualifying Tournament and the State Tournament.
  • The 2024 Texas NASP State Qualifying Tournament is $2.00 per student by mail or by credit card.

Braden Richter

Who May Participate

(State Qualifying Tournament)

  • Schools (Public, Private, Charter, Magnet or Homeschool) that teach NASP archery in school, in a class during the school-day for 10 hours minimum, are qualified to compete in this tournament. The following Divisions are part of the Qualifying Tournament:
  • Elementary, 4th & 5th grade.
  • Middle, 6th - 8th grade.
  • High School, 9th-12th grade.

NOTE:  TX-NASP School Teams and Individuals must participate in the State Qualifying Tournament to attend the State NASP Tournament March 26-27th

For more information contact: TX NASP Coordinator, Travis Glick

NASP websites: &

NASP Tournaments:


NASP National Updates and Information

With the school year in full swing and the competition season picking up, NASP® would like to make you aware of some things we think you would care about. 

  • NASP® reporting system is open for the 2023-2024 season. As soon as you have finished presenting your NASP® lessons for the year, please go to and complete your report.
  • Recognize your NASP® Academic Archers. https://www.naspschools.or
  • In March 2024, NASP® will be asking you to participate in a Student survey. 
  • If any of your archers would like to provide content for our Student to Student section of our website, please have them go to NASP Students to apply
  • While it is possible to work on your bows, Genesis Archery has resources available to help you: Genesis Retailers
  • On Target for Life Awards are designed to recognize some our special NASP® people.  Learn more and apply now.
  • In-school NASP® instructors, did you know that your kids can participate in a NASP® tournament (for free) while learning NASP® archery in school?  Learn more here

Your NASP® Team

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HE Students and Instructors Trained in November


Junior Holds Course for 4-H

Junior Munoz - Austwell (R), a USFWS Aransas NWR Employee, traveled to Seguin to certify students in the County 4-H Shooting Sports Chapter there. An Area Chief, Munoz often travels to other cities in the South-Central Coastal Region and in the Rio Grande Valley, "Because I Looovvvve it," said Munoz. Munoz also has been busy conducting youth hunts as a Huntmaster for the Texas Youth Hunting Program.  Keep up the great work, Junior!



New Instuctors at FTW/SAAM Ranch

Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator (R) traveled to the FTW Ranch near Barksdale to train and certify professional hunting staff and guides, David Knesek (L) and Efren Hernandez (Center).  David, Efren and their staff specialize in providing hunting adventures (mostly exotics year around) and teaching Sportsman's All-weather, All-terrain Marksmanship (SAAM) courses to clients from all over the world, especially exotic hunting "from field to fork" and shooting skills, including long-distance and sniper training specialties.  In this case, when they teach those new to hunting during their week-long adventure hunts, they will add on hunter education training and certification for those not yet certified.  Hunter education as a part of hunting lodges, target shooting ranges and related venues offer the best in hands-on experiences and memories. Way to go FTW!

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Spotlight - National Bowhunter Education Foundation


Marilyn Bentz, Exec. Director

Photo: Marilyn with an Osceola turkey taken in 2009, not with a bow, "but with the biggest gun on the rack!" she mused.

Marilyn Bentz has served as executive director for the National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) since 2003, over 20 years! She said, "Bow hunter education has been a part of my life since I started bow hunting over 35 years ago in 1987."

Her first employer was the archery icon, Chuck Saunders. "He was history, marketer extraordinaire and innovator all in one," she wrote. "I was so fortunate to know the individuals that formed the basis for today’s bow hunting world.  Fred Bear, Ann and Earl Hoyt, Jim Easton, Bill Wadsworth and people like Pete Shepley and Andy Simo whose companies were just getting started." She summed up saying, "They all left their imprint on the archery industry as well as Marilyn Bentz (me)!"

She took the International Bowhunter Education Program course and instructor class in 1990. In 1997, she served as a volunteer on the NBEF Board of Directors until 2003 when she became the Executive Director of the organization. Her main goals included forming partnerships with those who could get the bowhunter education program out to more individuals - the ones not being reached.  One of her first partnerships was with Kalkomey Inc. which greatly updated the IBEP-copyrighted student manual to full color and bulleted style information. Along the way, she also partnered with organizations such as the Treestand Manufacturers Association. Most recently she collaborated with the crossbow industry and combined certification for crossbow safety through the International Crossbow Education Program (ICEP)

Marilyn is widely known in the shooting and hunting industry as being supportive of issues which encourage broad based participation and setting high education standards which follow the renown North American Model for Wildlife Conservation. She sums up her career by reminiscing, "The deer, squirrel, and hogs, harvested in addition to the knowledge, associations, and life experiences have been more success than I could have ever imagined when I set out on this journey over 35 years ago."  Texas enjoys working with your, Marilyn -- keep up the great work!

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Odds and Ends - Incentives, Training and Discounts


Letters from Instructors


Thanks for the Knife (2000-point Incentive Award). It means a lot to me! Almost 40 years ago, I was sitting at the Dallas Gun Club and said to the president, Ron Coleman, "You know, our youth program here stinks!"  He replied, "Why don't you do something about it?"  This prompted me to get certified as a hunter safety instructor, and you have seen the history. Thanks for the opportunity to pass on my love of hunting to future generations!"

Sincerely, Bill Thomas, Hunt TX

P.S. Tradition says I give you a coin for the knife.  Here it is (enclosed)

Photo: George Lentz, La Vernia, received his 2000-point Knife Award from Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator back at the 2022 Instructor Conference.  These incentives are limited edition Buck Knives signed by the late Chuck Buck.

NEED for more 12-Factor Arrow Lethality Training Workshops - An Example


Ashby Bowhunting Foundation Arrow Lethality Training - Instructor's Conference

From the HRCA Backcountry Wilderness Area

Background of HRCA - Highlands Ranch Community Center, Colorado

"The bull Ben eventually shot was hung up on a particular cow and spent a good amount of time just out of range chasing that cow. He eventually moved to within 60 yards of Ben and stood perfectly without a clue that we were around. Ben took the shot and smacked the bull in its shoulder. I had a good view of the bull walk about 150 yards up a hill and bed down in a thick brush patch. We watched that spot until it was completely dark and decided to wait another hour until we went in to find the bull. Unfortunately, the bull was not there when we arrived. A search for blood and the arrow turned up the arrow shaft, just 20 yards from the shot location, and broken off at the insert. Not a good story. Ben thought he may have hit a bit forward and the arrow shaft confirmed that feeling. He must have hit the bone of the shoulder joint and not penetrated more than a couple of inches. We came back the next morning and searched thoroughly. No blood and no clues. Archery can be a game of inches. A couple of inches higher or back and the bull would have died quickly.

UPDATE: We found the carcass of Ben’s bull during 2nd rifle season.

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Texas Youth Hunter Education Challenge - Discount

Christmas Greetings from Academy!

As a thank you to our community partners, we would like to gift your organization, participants, and families with a special Holiday offer!  Please see attached exclusive offer for 20% off on Thursday, December 7th at all Academy stores and online at Families also will be able to save at Academy Sports + Outdoors with $10 off $50 or more purchase when they sign up of for texts alerts from Academy. Text FUN3 to 22369. Offer expires 2/3/24. Message and data rates may apply. Academy has been a long-time partner of Hunter Education and the NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge! Thanks for your conservation support!


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TPWD Communications - Outreach & Education

The TPWD Communications Division staff (e.g., media, magazine, marketing, education, creative services, R3 staff) recently met at Honey Creek State Natural Area to brainstorm mutual strategies, including R3 Programs and Initiatives within the Outreach and Education section, including hunter education.


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Hunter Education Staff & Contact Information


Morgan Harbison, C TX:; 512-413-0194

Monica Bickerstaff, N TX (DFW):; 469-601-8349 c

Kevin Vo, Austin, Hunter Ed. Admin:; 512-389-4999 (general); 512-389-8142 (direct); Email Support:

Steve Hall, Austin, Hunter Ed. Coord:; 512-389-8140 w; 512-550-7330 c

Brock Minton, S TX:; 361-944-3617 c

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

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

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Texas Hunter Education Instructor Resources

Hunter Education Teaching Resources

Hunter Education Overview | Instructor Resources | Student Resources

Texas Hunter Education Partners

Operation Game Thief | Texas Game Warden Association

Texas 4-H Shooting Sports | Texas Wildlife Association

Texas Youth Hunting Program | Adult Learn to Hunt Program

Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association

Texas State Rifle Association | Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation

National Hunter Education Partners

International Hunter Education Association-USA | Hunters Connect

National Shooting Sports Foundation NRA PROGRAMS & Services

National Bowhunter Education Foundation | Ashby Bowhunting Foundation

National Archery in Schools Program | Student Air Rifle Program

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Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Funding