The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has two Hunter Education Instructors marking their 50th year of service, having taught at least one hunter education class every year since 1962.
Monty Montenegro and David Deyell have donated thousands of hours and taught thousands of students hunting ethics, wildlife conservation, survival and firearm and archery safety.
“Mr. Montenegro and Mr. Deyell’s commitment to the future of California’s hunting heritage serves as example to the 850 dedicated volunteer Hunter Education Instructors (HEI) throughout the state,” said Capt. Roy Griffith of California’s Hunter Education Program. “California’s 300,000 licensed hunters owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Born in 1929 on Catalina Island, Montenegro is a former U.S. Marine who served in the Korean War. He was the first HEI to offer the course in Spanish, and with help from his wife, Ana, translated the course’s 100-question exam into Spanish. A version of that translation is still in use today. A proud Marine, Montenegro served as Department Commandant for the Marine Corps League and today is Post Commander of VFW Post 3197. He teaches in Los Angeles County.
Deyell grew up in New York, where he taught members of his younger brother’s Explorer Scout troop the fundamentals of firearm safety and marksmanship. Inspired by his father, an avid target shooter, Deyell went on to help his high school rifle team win top honors in New York City four years in a row. He moved to California in 1960, where he soon began teaching hunters. He continued teaching hunter education through his service in the U.S. Army, where he served in an Army Marksmanship Training Unit during the Vietnam era. Deyell teaches in Ventura County.
In a continued effort to reduce firearm accidents, the state of California requires all first-time resident hunters, regardless of age, to complete hunter education training or pass a comprehensive equivalency test before purchasing a hunting license. DFG’s HEIs conduct training throughout the state. Each year approximately 30,000 students complete the state’s ten-hour minimum hunter education course.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer Hunter Education Instructor, or those interested to take a Hunter Education course, may go to: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/
Image courtesy California Department of Fish and Game