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Fish & Game Recognizes Volunteer Instructors

Each year in Idaho, hundreds of dedicated volunteers give of themselves to teach aspiring hunters the subtleties of a deer stalk, how to identify ducks, the safe way to handle a firearm, how to take care of harvested game, how to stay alive if you get lost, and why it is important to have and comply with fish and game laws. There are a multitude of responsibilities that go along with being a hunter. The ultimate goal of each class is to make the graduate a safe hunter, regardless of their chosen weapon for hunting. These volunteer instructors go one step beyond simply making the students hunters; their ultimate goal is to turn them into responsible sportsmen. That objective includes also teaching the importance of ethical hunter behavior, the biological implications of game laws, the social aspects of hunting, and the significance of setting an example for others to follow and emulate. Students learn that most people are not opposed to hunting; it is hunter behavior that alienates others from the sport. Each year in the Magic Valley Region, an average of 1,135 rifle hunter education students graduate from an average of 60 classes. Since hunter education became mandatory in 1980, volunteers in this region have certified 23,745 students. A total of 1,511 individuals in our region have gone through bowhunter education in 91 classes since that program started. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game would like to recognize those individuals who not only took the time to become certified to teach hunter education, but have gone beyond that to set up and teach a class as a lead instructor in the year 2000. Each class for rifle hunter education averages about 18 hours in length; there is an additional three hours involved with range firing and a field exercise for each student. Bowhunter education classes average 12 hours. Being a lead instructor includes setting up a facility to hold the class, ordering materials from Fish and Game, insuring that all required topics are covered in the lecture portion of the class, testing students, arranging a shooting location, verifying that all reports are correctly filled out, and submitting class records back to Fish and Game. It's obvious that to be a lead instructor is a labor of love, and entails well over the average number of class hours when all aspects are considered. The volunteer rifle and bowhunter education instructors listed below are to be commended for their willingness to give of themselves, for their dedication to the cause, and for their desire to see our hunting heritage passed on to and preserved by future generations of hunters. Rifle Hunter Education Lead Instructors, 2000: Russell Beams, Bob Penney, Dave Heidemann, Dave Hamby, and Gary Goodman of Twin Falls; Jeff Birch, R.B. Higgins, Virginia Johnson, Dave Pinther and Rod Runyon of Burley; Rick Bohling, Scott Claiborn and Bill McClymonds of Buhl; Rick Hartley, Bob Hopper, Stu Murrell and Donna Weed of Jerome; Doug Walrath, Mark Lockwood, and Rick Doyle of Hailey; Joni Cordell and Richard Tews of Shoshone; Kyle Hartley and Kyle Fisher of Kimberly; David Neumann and David Willis of Gooding; Walt Charles, Rupert; Rockie Egner, Filer; Ronnie Geer, Hagerman; Cathie Osterhaut, Declo; George Menzik, Glenns Ferry; Rick Schiermeier, Murtaugh; Monte Straley, Ketchum; Wade Schorzmann, Castleford; and Richard Whittle, Oakley. Bowhunter Lead Instructors, 2000: Greg Betts and Michael Rice, Burley; Dan Tiller and Champ Church, Hailey; Darrell Nunez, Filer; Mitch Swenson, Gooding; Rick Briner, Hazelton; Bob Hopper, Jerome; and Bill McClymonds, Buhl. In addition to the incentive points earned by active participants in the program, each lead instructor for the year 2000 will receive a gift certificate from the Department of Fish and Game for $11.50 toward the purchase of their 2001 hunting license. To all instructors, the Department extends a grateful Thank you! for a job well done.