Tim Lemon, a hunter education specialist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, has been recognized as the 2013 Hunter Education Professional of the Year by the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA), the professional organization for 67 state and provincial wildlife conservation agencies and the 70,000 volunteer instructors who teach hunter education in North America.

Lemon, of Roaring River, was recognized in a ceremony April 4 in San Antonio at the annual IHEA conference.

Lemon coordinates instruction in hunter ethics and responsibility, wildlife management and conservation, firearms, wildlife identification, survival and first aid, specialty hunting and tree stand safety for District 7, made up of Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Surry, Yadkin, Alexander, Iredell, Stokes, Forsyth and Davie counties.

Among Lemon’s many achievements cited for the honor were his dedication to increasing youth involvement in hunting, increasing the number of volunteer instructors in his region by 140 percent and increasing the number of schools fielding a youth shooting sports team from 12 in 2001, to 49 in 2012.

“Recognizing professionals at the grassroots level — the ones who are doing the hard work on behalf of their agencies and hunter education — is very important to the association,” said Steve Hall, IHEA executive director. “Mr. Lemon is an outstanding representative of all hunter education agency professionals coordinating programs, attending events and teaching hunter education at regional and local levels.”

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission employs nine district hunter education specialists across the state. The hunter education specialists are organized within the Commission’s Law Enforcement Division where they work closely with wildlife enforcement officers to coordinate and teach free hunter education courses in all 100 counties.

All first-time hunting license buyers in North Carolina must complete a hunter education course.

“Tim has worked tirelessly throughout his career in promoting conservation and the pursuit of safe and ethical hunting,” said Travis Casper, the state hunting education coordinator. “We want to encourage future generations to hunt safely, enjoy the outdoors and advance conservation. Tim has done so much to achieve those goals.”

For more information go to www.ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0031.

Logo courtesy North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

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