Three hunter education instructors with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are marking their 50th year of service.

Judith Schultz of Verndale, Stuart Anderson of Deer River, and Stanley Heldt of Mayer have donated thousands of hours and taught thousands of students hunting ethics, wildlife conservation, survival and firearms safety.

“These individuals’ commitment to the future of Minnesota’s outdoor recreation heritage serves as example to the more than 4,700 dedicated volunteer DNR safety education instructors throughout the state,” said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR hunter education program coordinator. “Minnesota’s hunters and motorized recreation enthusiasts owe them a debt of gratitude.”

The agency presented an engraved watch to each instructor to commemorate 50 years of service.

Schultz, Anderson, and Heldt join 611 firearms safety, snowmobile safety, turkey clinic, bow hunter, and advanced hunter education instructors recognized this year for five, 10, 20, 30, and 40 years of service totaling 7,135 years of instruction. DNR’s safety programs train 23,000 students annually.

“Volunteer instructors are the heart and soul of the hunter education program in Minnesota,” Hammer said. “The service of these dedicated men and women has made a significant difference in ensuring safe, ethical, and responsible behavior while enjoying Minnesota’s outdoors. No one knows how many injuries have been prevented and lives saved because of their efforts.”

DNR is always looking for experienced people who want to pass on the tradition of outdoors safety and responsibility to the next generation. People interested in joining the DNR in this volunteer activity, should call 800-366-8917, ext. 2504 or visit the DNR website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/index.html.

Logo courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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