The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its meeting in Lakeland June 13 named Bruce Antognoni of White Springs its 2012 “Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year,” an award given annually to the volunteer who significantly advances the cause of safe hunting through extraordinary service in training and education.
Since 2008, Antognoni has volunteered teaching the state’s hunter safety course – required of anyone born after May 31, 1975 – who wishes to obtain a Florida hunting license to hunt unsupervised. He acts as hunter safety area coordinator for Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton and Alachua counties. During 2012, Antognoni was the chief instructor of 17 hunter safety classes, certifying 388 students throughout the year.
One quality that makes Antognoni an asset to the program is the fact that he puts together a youth shooting-sports team that places high every year in Florida’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge. Another is his fundraising efforts to send Florida participants to the national competition in Pennsylvania. Now, he is developing an archery shooting platform at the Osceola shooting range in Lake City.
That’s not all. Antognoni won the North Central Region’s Instructor of the Year and Area Coordinator of the Year awards. He worked with Columbia County’s 4-H shooting-sports program and the Boy Scout summer camp in Putnam County. He is also a National Rifle Association counselor and is certified as an archery education instructor with the National Shooting Sports Program and the National Bowhunter Education Foundation.
Because he received the award, Antognoni is now in the running and representing Florida for the national title “Federal Ammunition Hunter Education Instructor of the Year.”
Anyone interested in learning how to become a volunteer hunter safety instructor can go to MyFWC.com/HunterSafety.