Edwardsville resident Steven Taylor receives 2009 statewide award
PRATT -- The Advisory Committee to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Hunter Education Program has named Steven Taylor, Edwardsville, the 2009 Hunter Education Instructor of the Year. An active instructor for 27 years, Taylor has organized and taught in classes in the Kansas City area, is the director of live-fire activities at the Wyandotte County Lake annual Hunter Education Clinic, and coordinates all classes held at the Tri-County Gun Club. Taylor is also active in marksmanship training for 4-H youth shooting programs.

"Steve is an outstanding instructor who can reach all age and educational levels in his classes," says Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) statewide Hunter Education Program coordinator Wayne Doyle. "He also an serves on the local Ducks Unlimited Committee and is active in Pheasants Forever, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Friends of NRA. He serves as a board member of the Kansas Hunter Education Instructor Association as well as the department's Hunter Education Advisory Committee."

In addition to Taylor's award, exceptional instructors in KDWP's five regions were named Regional Instructors of the Year. These instructors are listed below, along with Doyle's comments on each.

Region 1 (northwest Kansas)

Larry Stones, Kirwin -- "Larry is very dedicated to the outdoor education of youth in his area. As a natural resource officer, he spends a great deal of time and energy on hunter, furharvester, and bowhunter education events. He is a superb instructor dedicated to instilling a love of the outdoors to the citizens of Kansas."

Region 2 (northeast Kansas)
Dennis Vincent, Leavenworth -- "Dennis earns this award for his extremely effective presentations to youth. He uses the Laser-Shot Hunting Simulators and live-fire shotgun training classes to instill a positive image of hunters and hunting to students as well as the general public."

Region 3 (southwest Kansas)
Joseph Vogel, Dodge City -- "Joe has been very active in the Dodge City area in hunter education classes, particularly in the area of live-fire training and field exercises. His desire to teach young people is apparent in his involvement with 4-H shooting programs and Big Brothers Big Sisters shooting events."

Region 4 (southcentral Kansas)
Evan Yoder, Peabody -- "Evan's hunter education teaching experience in the Hillsboro Middle School predates KDWP's Hunter Education In the Schools programs. His program is very popular with students, who get a great deal of hands-on experience with conservation and wildlife identification, as well as safety training."

Region 5 (southeast Kansas)
Charles Beckman, Mound City -- "Charlie started hunter education in Jayhawk Linn School in Mound City. As a member of KDWP's Advisory Committee on Hunter Education In Schools, he helped to design the current program. He is an outstanding teacher whose positive impact on students is immeasurable."

Taylor will receive a Henry Big Boy .45 caliber rifle with his award, and the regional honorees will each receive Henry Golden Boy .22 caliber rifles.