The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Magic Valley Region recently held a volunteer recognition dinner to honor and thank our Hunter Education instructors and Reservist volunteers. In 2018 these dedicated volunteers taught 43 hunter and bowhunter classes, and 16 field day classes to our next generation of hunters. Reservists in 2018 provided 1,174 volunteer hours that directly benefited Idaho’s fish and wildlife resources.
The “Instructor of the Year” award was presented to two individuals who have generously given their time to teach Hunter Education courses.
Howard McCuistion from Jerome, who began teaching Hunter Education in 1985, was recognized for teaching over 76 Hunter Education classes. Upon receiving his award, McCuistion noted that he has a passion for teaching our future hunters how to safely and ethically hunt.
Ed Hartman from Twin Falls was also recognized as “Instructor of the Year.” Hartman, who became a Hunter Education instructor in 2015, has taught or assisted in 35 classes over the last three years. When accepting his award, Hartman said “I am committed to insuring that our Idaho hunting heritage continues by teaching new hunters to be safe and responsible when in the field.”
Each year, several residents of the Magic Valley volunteer for many different volunteer projects. These projects not only benefit the region’s fish and wildlife, but also area hunters, anglers and trappers. The Magic Valley Region’s “Reservist of the Year” award was given to Chris Foster of Twin Falls. Foster, who has been a Reservist since 2015 has contributed countless hours of service to the department with habitat improvement projects and assisting with the Take Me Fishing trailer.
A lifetime achievement award was given to Gene Wright from Burley, who has been actively volunteering for Fish and Game for over 28 years. Wright has worked on a wide range of habitat improvement projects, taught Hunter Education classes, assisted with the Fishing Trailer events and monitoring big game across the region.
A well-deserved thank you goes out to all Hunter Education instructors and volunteer Reservists that are freely giving of their time to benefit hunters, anglers and trappers throughout the Magic Valley Region.