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Target Talk 10/11/2016

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Target Talk

In This Issue:

Teaching Outdoor Ethics!

Ethics

Coordinator’s Comments

I have an upcoming presentation at the “Texas Master Naturalists” Annual Conference in Conroe regarding “Teaching Outdoor Ethics” — as originally compiled from research conducted by Dr. Bob Jackson and Dr. Robert Norton, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, in the 1970s and 1980’s.  Their research centered on the behaviors of waterfowl and deer hunters and was the basis for the publications and articles dealing with the “Phases of Hunting” and “Teaching Hunting Ethics.”

I believe in the adage, “Ethics are Caught — Not Taught!” since so many influences (e.g. upbringing, ethnicity, culture, parents, family, friends, religion, school, events) shape our moral codes — ultimately, our ‘appropriate’ behavior around others/society.

However, as hunter education instructors, I believe we have the opportunity to “plant ethical seeds” in our courses relating to right/wrong ways to hunt, shoot and handle firearms.  Even though we only have hours to influence our students, we facilitate a way of thinking — a “RITE OF PASSAGE” — when it comes to ‘passing’ THE mandatory training.  Anecdotally, I hear from students all of the time about their excellent “hunter safety/education” experience and what it meant to them. And, that is from students in many states, not just Texas.

In the last few years, I have been discussing ‘ethics and values’ with many colleagues including folks like Michael Sabbeth, who is a lawyer and outdoor writer (See The Honorable Hunter).  Early on, Mike wrote a book about teaching values to youngsters — which grabbed my attention — and we’ve been talking ever since.  He is now lecturing and writing on the subject of values-based education for hunter education professionals, instructors via shooting sports/hunter education magazines, and at national conferences.  He and I are collaborating on updating teaching materials related to ‘Teaching Hunting Ethics’.  I will keep you updated on articles, lesson plans and any other resources that are produced for hunter education programs/instructors.

The topic has always been near-and-dear to my heart. I am a firm believer that hunter education impacts the character (SOUL) of the hunter and, ultimately, a (positive) image for hunters/hunting. By ‘teaching ethics” we pave a brighter path for our way of life.

Steve Hall, HE Coordinator

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KATHY’S RETIRING — Send in Your Well Wishes!

Kathy and Keith

Kathy Powell’s last physical day on the job will be October 19th.  Please get in your well wishes this week, for a memoir/book from hunter education professionals and instructors that have had the pleasure of working with her these past 23+ years. At some time in the future, we’ll be sure to bring her back to a conference or workshop so that you will get to personally let her know what she meant to the Texas Hunter Education program for more than two decades.

As stated in the last TT Brief, Kathy set a high bar for customer service in hunter education — a true LEGACY — and will be hugely missed by the program, TPWD, fellow staff members, Texas hunters and, of course, YOU — the Texas Hunter Education Instructor!  She plans to travel with her husband, Keith, and/or spend more time with their two daughters, Raelynn and Danielle, and their five (5) grandchildren.

Once again, Kathy, CONGRATULATIONS and SAFE JOURNEY AHEAD!

Please send emails to steve.hall@tpwd.texas.gov or mail your notes/cards Attn: Steve Hall/ at Texas Parks & Wildlife, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX 78744

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Teaching Hunter Ethics

ethics2

Hunter Ethics have been ‘taught’ using one of the four following methods  — used within instructor in-service workshops since the 1980’s. These methods are worthwhile if used in classroom and/or field courses; however, in an online capacity, they must be tweaked or even Tweeted ® or You-Tubed ® to be reach the radars of many of today’s learners.

  • Open Discussion – Asking ‘open-ended’ questions and facilitating discussions towards positive hunter behaviors and image.
  • ‘Trigger’ Videos – showing the wrong action — breaking for discussion — then showing the ‘right way’ to perform the same action.
  • Dilemmas – Presenting learner with 3-4 options for the correct course of action when facing safe, legal and ethical decision-making scenarios; then discussing the most appropriate course of action.
  • Brainstorming, Processing & Feedback – Brainstorming a topic of inappropriate behaviors by hunters/shooters for 5 minutes.  Using post-it notes, paraphrase answers and run them up to a blank board; then write: 1. other hunters/shooters, 2. non-hunters/shooters; 3. landowners; 4. resource; and 5. oneself, on a line above the scattered notes. Have learners rearrange the inappropriate actions underneath the category of WHO THE ACTION MOST OFFENDS. Discussion and feedback ensue.

Social Media puts a whole new twist on “Teaching Ethics”. Social media sites represent PRIMARY means of communication, especially for the Millenials/Gen Xers and, indirectly, their parents (Boomers).  As a culture, we are currently engrossed in information sharing, at WARP speed!  It is tough to tell what is true or factual from what is false or totally biased information.  Open communication, even at some dinner tables, is someone hiding behind his or her texts, tweets or Facebook ® accounts and posts.  Social media do have roles in shaping positive ethics, but they have to be specific strategies outside of the traditional hunter education program experience or the comfort zone of instructors and agencies.

Building TRUST, no matter thru online or open discussions, seems to be one of the keys to shaping a person’s moral fabric.  And trust-building takes exposure and experience to honest, healthy and positive influences.  Becoming a ‘pied piper’ for hunter education within a community, a hunt mentor, or a trusted source of online blogging/vlogging are ways to build trust in followers to the hunter education mission or message.

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IHEA

Nationwide Search for New IHEA-USA Exec. Dir.

Denver, CO (October 6, 2016) – The International Hunter Education Association United States of America (IHEA-USA) is conducting a nationwide search for a new Executive Director. Applications are being accepted now through November 15, 2016.

The Executive Director is responsible for the overall leadership, strategic direction, day to day operation/oversight and economic well-being of IHEA-USA, an internationally recognized conservation and education organization specifically focused on supporting and enhancing hunter education.

The IHEA-USA office is currently located in Denver, Colorado; the successful applicant has option to telecommute.

Interested applicants may view and/or print a copy of this announcement at www.ihea-usa.org. Applicants must send an electronic cover letter and resume with salary history to the IHEA-USA Board President, Megan Wisecup, at Megan.Wisecup@dnr.iowa.gov. All applications will be kept strictly confidential. Applicants selected to participate in the interview process will be asked to provide references at that time.

Interviews are tentatively scheduled for late November/early December. It is desired the successful applicant be available to begin employment on or about January 3, 2017.

Download Recruitment Announcement

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Kathy’s Korner – “One Heck of a Ride!”

Kathy P

From last week….a message from Kathy whose last day is October 19th –but who officially retires at the end of October.

“To this day I am still excited and amazed about my job and all of you who volunteer.  I think each of you is so super special for doing what you do, so selfless and dedicated. I truly could not have done my job if it were not for all of you making it so easy for me.  I cannot express the love and admiration I have for each of you.  You are all truly AMAZING!!

Thank you for letting me into your world and taking me under your wing.  After 23 years, my journey at TPWD has ended but there is another adventure out there waiting for me!

With a deep, heartfelt “THANK YOU” and a fond farewell, but never goodbye!!!

Appreciation, admiration and HUGS to all!!

This has been one heck of a ride!!!!!”

Kathryn ‘Kathy’ Powell

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TPWD Resources

Hunter Education Overview | Instructor Resources | Student Resources 
Operation Game Thief | Texas Game Warden Association

Other Hunter Ed Resources

International Hunter Education Association | NRA Programs & Services 
NSSF Hunting & Ranges | Texas Hunter Education Instructor Association