Volunteer Instructors are the backbone of the Hunter Education Program in North America. Each U.S., Canada and Mexico state/province has a training and certification program that normally involves completion of a student course, background checks, and specialized training sessions. In some jurisdictions, instructors go through an apprenticeship period, and many have "Chief" or "Master" level Instructors to help conduct training and/or supervise activities at local levels.
The rewards for instructors are many. It is a chance to help make hunting safer and more enjoyable for all those who handle and transport sporting arms, or venture afield or to the range. It is a chance to promote responsible behavior, and to help people develop their own personal ethics. It is also an opportunity to promote wildlife conservation.
Many instructors teach classes as teams. There is a lot of material to cover in basic courses, and teams often teach advanced courses or species-specific clinics as well.
Service as a Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor is an adventure, allowing you to meet new people with similar hopes for the future of hunting, and to work for a good cause. Volunteers often work alongside wildlife officers and agency educators, and they get many chances to carry the hunter education message to youth groups and civic organizations.
The future of hunting depends on volunteers working to make certain hunters are safe, responsible, and knowledgeable. If you are interested in joining the ranks of volunteer instructors, contact the hunter education office for your state or province. You can find the contact information under the Directory of Administrators.
Here is but one example of passing on the heritage of hunting from the Instructors of Colorado: Colorado Needs Hunter Education Instructors!