Four volunteer Hunter Education instructors were recognized for their extraordinary service at the 2023 Hunter Education Conference on Jan. 28 at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park.
Instructors were selected based on merits that significantly advance Hunter Education in Nebraska through instructing safe, ethical and responsible hunting practices.
Instructors recognized were:
- John Wittwer, Lincoln, 2021 Hunter Education Instructor of the Year
- Heidi Hillhouse, Lincoln, 2022 Estella Wolfe Female Hunter Education Instructor of the Year
- John Ross, Bancroft, 2022 Master Hunter Education Instructor of the Year
- Russ Tooker, David City, 2022 Dick Turpin Hunter Education Instructor of the Year
“For more than 49 years, volunteer instructors have led Nebraska’s Hunter Education Programs, passing their skills, knowledge and expertise on to new youth and adult hunters,” said Hunter Nikolai, Hunter Education Coordinator. “Over that same time, annual hunting incidents in Nebraska have decreased by more than 80%, from more than 30 in 1978 to just five in 2022.
“Be sure to thank the volunteer hunter education instructors in your community for making hunting one of the safest outdoor recreational activities,” he said.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education Programs are led by more than 500 trained and certified volunteer instructors across the state. Information on becoming a certified volunteer Hunter Education instructor can be found at HuntSafeNebraska.org.