In This Issue:
Are we there yet?
You’ve heard for almost a year that we are to launch the new Online Registration System “ORS” and yet it is not launched as of today. It seems that every time I want to hit the ‘launch’ button, something else needs a ‘fix’ and we’ve had to delay. We are as close as ever, but I will take the blame for getting you all revved up, only to prevent you from putting in gear your courses, paperwork & payments ONLINE.
The new system will simplify our lives when it comes to: 1) scheduling/promoting our courses (CLASSROOM or INTERNET + FIELD), 2) registering and passing students, and 3) paying the STATE FEE online (from students fees collected directly by instructors). It also serves as our database for 1.5 million permanent records and access to: 4) UPDATING information and DUPLICATING hunter and/or boater education STUDENT/INSTRUCTOR certifications. (No longer will cards be issued by mail –strictly online!) We will not use snail mail in any way except to mail course supplies via the: 5) SHOPPING CART feature — which will be part of the ORS. (You also can continue to send in supply orders to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
I know some of you are frustrated (probably as much as staff), but I appreciate everyone’s patience. Our complex database & incentive awards system, volume of records and state payment system were part of the complexities of developing the new system. We are not out of the woods, either, as it will be a constant maintenance issue to ensure a convenient, fast experience at the user end — you and your students!
Again, I would personally like to acknowledge Tim Spice, IT contacts, Mark Miller and Rick Parsons, and the rest of the TPWD team for making this a reality and getting us into the phones and computers of today’s world.
Steve Hall, TX Hunter Education Coordinator
ABILENE – April 21-23rd
Reserve HOTEL ROOM TODAY!
Rooms blocked at MCM Elegante Suites at $104.00 per night. Rooms are 2 room suites. The rate is for single or double occupancy.
- Contact (325) 698-1234
- Toll-free (888) 897-9644
- Fax: (325) 698-2771
- 4250 Ridgemont Dr, Abilene, TX 79606
AREA CHIEFS TO MEET FRIDAY EVENING and THEIA BOARD SUNDAY MORNING — at Hardin Simmons University; Rooms TBA!
- Welcome Reception & AREA CHIEF MEETING (Friday)
- TPWD & THEIA UPDATES
- CWD; Feral Hog Mgmt. & Issues
- NEW Online Registration System
- Hunting 101 Workshops
- Mentored Hunts/R3 Initiatives
- Keynote – Mr. Michael Sabbeth, Denver, CO (Ethics & Image)
Michael Sabbeth – Keynote Address
The HONORABLE HUNTER!
Michael G. Sabbeth is a lawyer in Denver, Colorado. He lectures on ethics and rhetoric. He has written the book “The Good, The Bad and The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values.” & is now working on a book titled “No More Apologizing! Arguments to Defend and Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports.”
INSTRUCTOR AWARDS BANQUET
- HE Hall of Fame Recipients
- Volunteer of the Year (TX)
- Regional Volunteers of the Year
- Game Warden of the Year
- Professional Educator of Year
- HE Instructor TEAM Award
- THEIA’s “T.D. Carroll” Award
Heidi Rao, SE TX Hunter Education Specialist, and the rest of the Hunter Education Staff and Instructors are preparing for yet another Becoming An Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop at the MO Ranch adjacent to TPWD’s Kerr WMA.
GOOD NEWS: Women lead the list of audiences wanting to get more involved in hunting, shooting and eating wild game.
BAD NEWS: BOW supply is far less than demand. TPWD and Texas could use more outdoor skills and experience workshops (statewide and local) to satisfy the rich demands expressed, especially through social media (e.g. Facebook) by women to participate in outdoor activities.
TPWD will continue to explore ways to increase the supply side of the equation. Until then, host a hunter education event/course for WOMEN! You should fill it up, especially if you advertise via Facebook and especially if it involves “Hunting and Outdoor 101s” such as firearm safety, outdoor cooking and game processing, among other topics.
PHOTO: TPWD Area Chief, Grace Pratt (right), takes a BOW participant through handgun 101 at a recent 2016 workshop.
Texas Youth Hunting Program – TYHP
Adventure Hunts will be advanced hunting opportunities designed for older hunters (age 13-17) with previous hunting experience in TYHP. Adventure Hunts will feature chances to learn and apply advanced hunting skills such as stalking and calling, and many will employ more primitive sporting arms such as bows and muzzleloaders.
TYHP Adventure Hunts will focus on wilderness-style camping. In some cases, that wilderness may very well be in another state. Adventure Hunts will include expeditions to locales such as Colorado, in pursuit of wildlife we normally don’t get to hunt in Texas such as elk. However, most of the Adventure Hunts will be in Texas, but you’ll be learning to hunt our Texas game in new ways that will be exciting and interesting.
- Kids must earn spots on Adventure Hunts by “giving back” to the TYHP program and/or the Hunter Education community.
- One way for kids to earn points is to help a Huntmaster on a regular TYHP hunt.
- Have an idea for an Adventure Hunt, or know a property (public or private) that we should consider? Do you know a ranch already in TYHP that would be a good location for an Adventure Hunt? Let TYHP Staff know!
- To conduct Adventure Hunts, we will need Huntmasters and volunteers that are knowledgeable of these styles of hunting and physically capable of doing the hunts – please let us know if you wish to help!
- If you are a volunteer that would like to someday run an Adventure Hunt, please consider taking a Huntmaster Training Class this year.
Denver, CO – IHEA-USA Board of Directors has hired Brad Heidel as its new Executive Director. Brad has begun his transition into the role, effective immediately, and will be working remotely from Madison, WI.
Brad began his career in the outdoor/nonprofit world and began working for the Wildlife Heritage Association where his passion for hunting and conservation continued to grow. Brad brings with him over 15 years of experience in the outdoor industry. He worked with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation where he was a Regional Director in the state of North Dakota and quickly developed a talent for building relationships within the hunting industry. This, along with his passion for the outdoors, led him to Pheasants Forever, Inc. where he served as the Director of Corporate Relations until coming to IHEA-USA as the Executive Director.
“I am excited for this opportunity and looking forward to leading the IHEA-USA while helping the next generation of hunters and wildlife conservationists into our ranks” said Heidel, “IHEA-USA is the bridge that takes those that want to hunt to becoming hunters. It is going to take continued agency and industry support of our organization to allow us all to continue the hunting traditions that we all cherish.”
“We’re excited to have Brad join our team,” said Megan Wisecup, IHEA-USA president. “Brad’s wealth of experience with conservation, marketing, corporate relations in the outdoor industry, and his credibility among his peers adds greatly to our organization. We’re looking forward to the perspective and experience he’ll bring to our Association and to hunter education worldwide.”
Contact Information: Brad Heidel; 800 East 73rd Ave, Unit 2; Denver, CO 80229; Cell (Preferred): (651) 403-1772; Office: (303) 430-7233; Email: email@example.com
About IHEA-USA – The International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) – USA is the professional hunter education association affiliated with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the 50 state fish and hunter education programs. The programs employ 57,000 instructors, many of whom are volunteers, that teach hunting and shooting safety and responsibilities throughout the United States.
Hunter Education courses train and certify more than 700,000 students annually. Since 1949, almost 44 million students have completed hunter education courses that cover firearm safety, bowhunting, wildlife management, field care of game, responsible hunting, landowner relations, wildlife identification, and much more.
Hunter Education Legislation
The TX legislative session is in full swing and sometimes it is necessary for hunter education instructors to testify on behalf of the Hunter Education program (what and how hunter education is taught, etc.) — especially by those of you that are veterans or active in the military, NRA, law enforcement and related services/organizations that use sporting arms/firearms in training. Hunter Ed bills are continually introduced each session.
If you are a veteran hunter education instructor and would offer your services to tesitfy (March/April 2017) please let us know so we can properly notify you if a volunteer hunter education instructor is needed. TPWD must remain neutral on all testimony and cannot lobby. Those representing themselves as instructors must be professional and tesitfy as to what is taught and is in the hunter education policies/framework only. Any topic outside of hunter education must be handled individually or under a separate affiliation.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in attending hunter education hearings and possibly testifying if so desired.