The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Education Section held their annual Hunter Safety Volunteer Instructor Workshop Feb. 25 at Camp Grant Walker in Pollock with 175 people in attendance.
LDWF utilizes the workshop to honor volunteers for the countless hours devoted to preparation, teaching and sharing of life-saving skills that benefit hunter education students. Additionally, the workshop is an opportunity for volunteer instructors to network with other instructors and share ideas to enhance their hunter education classes.
Awards were presented to several outstanding instructors who have gone “above and beyond” to help train a new generation of hunters. Instructor of the Year awards were presented to one team and two individuals in each of the north, southwest, and southeast regions of the state.
Team Awards went to Tom Cathey, Roger Crawley and Keith Lowery from Ouachita Parish; Jesse Mercer, Jr. and Keith Willett from Grant Parish; and Jason Juban, Larry Lapeyrolerie and Huey Smith from East Baton Rouge Parish. Individual awards were presented to Edward Adams, St. Charles Parish; Ronald Coco, Avoyelles Parish; Charles LeBlanc, Washington Parish; James Mardis, Morehouse Parish; Walter “Donny” Moon, Winn Parish; and Roy Page, Bienville Parish.
The Todd Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Thomas “Tommy” LeBlanc from Iberville Parish.
Volunteer instructors were also presented awards based on their years of service in five-year increments. This year Rupert Breland, Washington Parish; James Greene, Jr., Kenner; and Lloyd Posey, Franklin Parish were inducted into the Hunter Safety Volunteer Hall of Fame for thirty years each of dedicated service to the Hunter Education Program.
The workshop also offered interesting and informative in-service training sessions for the volunteer instructors. Department biologists gave presentations on wildlife diseases of concern to hunters, the Louisiana Whooping Crane reintroduction project and proposed laws affecting hunters. Demonstrations were also offered on how to create European deer skull mounts, hands-on teaching ideas and teaching techniques.
Volunteer instructors are the backbone of the department’s Hunter Education Program, training some 18,000 students annually in hunter safety. The department truly appreciates their contribution to the sport of hunting and congratulates the award winners. Persons interested in becoming volunteer hunter education instructors can find out more information on the Hunter Education Program from the department’s website: www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/hunter-education.
For more information contact John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or firstname.lastname@example.org.