In This Issue:
This past weekend at the Texas Master Naturalist’s 17th Annual Conference near Montgomery, I presented on a growing trend that bodes well for hunting and conservation. It is called by many names — organic meat, sustainability, “foodie”, adult-onset and/or Locavore movement.
More and more non-hunting adults are interested in becoming Locavores, a term coined in 2005 by Jessica Prentice, a local foods advocate in CA. Locavores seek a ‘natural’ meats/protein source to go with their other organic foods and vegetables — primarily for dietary and sustainable living reasons, but also to avoid genetically/chemically altered food products. Essentially, suburbanites and urbanites are trying to find ways to go back 200 years to ranch and farm lifestyles — those that lived directly “off the land” without the modern conveniences, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. Of course, this includes hunting, fishing and the gathering of wild, natural foods — practices that have existed since early man. Those of us that hunt and fish as a ‘way of life’ today, and especially hunter and angler education instructors, will be sought to give “how to hunt” seminars and workshops. The new Hunting 101 Program, to be officially launched in 2017, should include Wild Game Processing 101 and Wild Game Cooking 101 as part of YOUR offerings as hunter education instructors/partners. Based on this past weekend’s pilot presentations, these topics will be very popular to targeted, adult audiences that do not consider themselves as hunters, per se.
I say, “WELCOME LOCAVORES!” Either learn to hunt or get to know a hunter — those are the two main ways to obtain wild game meat — a healthier protein food choice!
Happy, SAFE hunting, fishing & gathering!
Steve Hall, HE Coordinator
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Nathan Pettigrew, Odessa,received one of six annual Davidson’s/Gallery of Guns “Champions of Hunter Education” Instructor Awards (Ruger American Rifle) as published in the IHEA-USA Hunting & Shooting Sports Instructor Journal. In his nomination, W TX Hunter Education Specialist, Randy Spradlin, noted, ” Nathan has certified more than 1300 students, serves as a board member for the Texas Hunter Education Instructor’s Association (THEIA), is a huntmaster and regional coordinator for the Texas Youth Hunting Program (TYHP), and teaches in an alternative education program in Ector County ISD. He also is a bow hunter education (2007) and Area Chief Instructor (2015).”
Spradlin added, “Youth hunts hold a special place in Nathan’s heart. Not only does he see kids on a daily basis in the classroom, but he also sees them after school at the House of the Sycamore Tree. Here, troubled youth and adults gain skills necessary to cope and survive in the world today. Founded by him and his wife, Micah, the House is described as ‘The best place in the Permian Basin that offers individuals with disabilities and at-risk (challenged) youth a place to live life.’ As a result of his work with troubled youth, he also created a “Photographic Hunt”, which is now part of TYHP.”
Elmer “Duke” Walton, Porter, also received a Champions of Hunter Education Instructor Award (in his case, a Rossi Model M-92) as nominated and presented by Heidi Rao, SE TX Hunter Education Specialist. In her nomination, Rao noted, “Duke has served as a HE instructor since 1988 and Area Chief (1994). He was the Texas point-of-contact for the NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge(YHEC) for many years where he traveled across Texas successfully recruiting youth, instructors, and working with facilities and shooting ranges to host local, regional, and state competitions. He served two terms as President of THEIA, and continued to advise the organization after his terms ended. He started a partnership with SCI-Houston and the Houston Safari Club (HSC), to offer a “Super” hunter education course each year, for over 10 years, to upwards of 200 students per course. He recruited other hunter education instructors to teach in a round-robin rotation for the students whose fees and lunches are sponsored by SCI and HSC. There are now two courses held each year because of this successful partnership.
During his tenure he also:
- Certified 1,773 HE students and 78 new instructors
- Taught 43 instructor workshops on behalf of hunter education staff
- Attended 125 instructor workshops
- Attended seven (7) IHEA-USA Conferences
- Assisted in Hosting San Antonio IHEA-USA Conference (2013)
- Led five (5) Women’s Hunts
- Mentored on over twenty (20) adult/youth hunts
- Received the TX Hall of Fame award (2006)
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PHOTO by M. Bickerstaff:
A youngster takes aim during the archery portion of YHEC held in Mansfield, October 8th.
Once again, Area Chiefs David and Jeanette Hammonds, Ft. Worth, spearheaded another successful TX Youth Hunter Education Challenge in North Texas for 56 youngsters from throughout Texas. N. TX Hunter Education Specialist, Monica Bickerstaff, and her husband, “LD” were on hand to assist the Hammonds and a slew of HE instructors from North Texas and beyond. A more comprehensive photo story and article will be included in the next Target Talk quarterly publication, but HE Program staff wanted to thank the Hammonds for hosting a Texas event for those desiring to compete nationally in NRA’s YHEC event. More information about upcoming Texas opportunities and contacts also will be included in the article. THANKS to all those that traveled to enjoy the events at YHEC!
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Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow
– By Denise Harmel-Garza, TX AgriLife Extension Hunter Education Partner
Wildlife Restoration has provided over $14 billion dollars toward wildlife management /restoration, research, education and conservation of mammals and birds. Conservationists, politicians, and firearm makers came together to implement the Wildlife Restoration Act, a model of user pay/’everyone’ benefits program. In 1937, Senator Key Pittman of Nevada and Representative Willis Robertson of Virginia sponsored the bill in congress, thus some people refer to Wildlife Restoration as the Pittman-Robertson Act or P-R for short.
Currently there are two bills introduced in Congress that wish to amend the Wildlife Restoration Act
H. R. 5650 Recovering America’s Wildlife Act seeks to add more funds to Wildlife Restoration through existing federal funds accumulated from a tax on energy production. These funds would help “Species of Greatest Conservation Needs” as determined by State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP).
S. 2690 – Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act of 2016 would like to remove existing parts of the Wildlife Restoration Act that prohibit funds from being used for “public relations”. It would extend funding to promote recreational shooting and recruitment of shooters and hunters.
For more information and to follow these bills you can go to https://www.congress.gov/ (Note: If you follow these bills, emails will be sent outlining changes being made as they occur.)
If you would like more information and a Wildlife Restoration Power Point to use in your class, contact Denise Harmel-Garza at email@example.com.
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TESTING PHASE BEGUN
Texas hunter education instructors and staff were introduced to the new Online Registration System (ORS) this week and last (three training sessions) to learn how to log in, create teaching locations/new courses, monitor courses for students signing up, submitting coursework and payments and ordering supplies –all online. No more snail mail.
The testers that volunteered will be “playing around” with the new system and submitting “BUG” reports describing any questions, recommendations or issues faced by the instructors. The student registration process was noted as fairly intuitive, especially with today’s technologically savvy generations. It features what types and where courses are located (within whatever mile range requested), Google-generated directions/map and customized notes from the instructor such as what to bring to class, special directions and accessibility notes.
The reporting fields include student an instructor-generated data, incentive point totals, and a host of other data important to both instructors and to the program (e.g. for federal reporting requirements).
As we roll the system out, I have no doubt that it will be the best system of its kind in the country. But I am also quite aware that change –any change –can be a painstaking process. THANKS for your patience!
Steve Hall — on behalf of Hunter Education Program Administrative Staff (formerly “Kathy’s Korner”)
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