Event held March 2-4; required of instructors every three years

More than 180 certified Kansas hunter education instructors attended the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks' (KDWP) annual Hunter Education Instructor Academy March 2-4 at Rock Springs 4-H Camp, south of Junction City. The academy -- required every three years for KDWP-certified hunter education instructors -- featured speakers, seminars, hands-on training, and an opportunity to interact with instructors from across the state. Four two-hour seminars were included in the event.

Tim Lawhern, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hunter safety administrator, gave the keynote address on Friday evening and helped conduct seminars throughout the weekend.

“Tim just does a super job with audiences both large and small,” said Wayne Doyle, statewide coordinator for KDWP’s Hunter Education Program. “His extensive experience in various areas of wildlife management, education, and law enforcement provide perspective no matter what topic comes up in a large group of people who have dedicated much of their lives to the same topics. And his natural ease in front of small groups creates great rapport with hunter education instructors in the classroom.”

All day Saturday, as well as Sunday morning, was devoted to required seminars. Dave Oakes, owner of Achievers Training in St. Augustine, Fla., gave a seminar on time management. An entrepreneur who has started and sold four separate companies in North and South Carolina, Oakes does presentations nationally for more than 80 groups per year. He is a recognized expert on some of the most popular business topics, including time management, customer service, and team building.

The second seminar was entitled "Tips and Techniques." Lawhern opened the session by asking the class for their favorite teaching tips. These were written down and compiled for later distribution to participants. This was followed by tips and demonstrations on use of KDWP's Laser Shot computerized simulated hunting systems, conducted by master instructors Ed Augustine, Junction City, and Dennis Vincent, Leavenworth.
Bryan Tamietti, of Oquirrh Productions, and master instructor Larry McAdow, Halstead, conducted a training seminar on classroom audio/visual tools. The seminar featured Oquirrh's HE Tools, an interactive computer program that uses a projector and a laptop computer to take students through portions of a hunter education course or the entire course, depending on the instructor's preferences. Using animation reinforced by the written word, HE Tools helps the instructor demonstrate various concepts easily and effectively.

The fourth seminar covered wilderness emergency medicine and was conducted by Carl Weis, of Wilderness Medicine Outfitters in Elizabeth, Colo. Weis gave the class tips on dealing with emergencies ranging from anaphylactic shock to broken limbs and severe bleeding. The class was introduced to a number of different tools to deal with these emergencies, as well as how to use them.
Saturday afternoon was rounded off with team competition on the Laser Shot systems and a pellet gun range, with prizes presented to the winners. On Saturday evening, participants were treated to a buffalo dinner and awards presentation. Five hunter education instructors of the year were honored at this time. Dozens of door prizes were raffled off throughout the weekend.

Next winter, certified hunter education instructors who missed this event should check the KDWP website for information on the 2008 Kansas Hunter Education Academy or phone 620-672-5911 for more information.