The Arizona Hunter Education program recently graduated 31 sportsmen and women in yet another awesome class.
This was the first class conducted under the supervision of new Region III Chief Instructor Jim Rich, and everyone gave Rich kudos.
The class was held at the Mohave Sportsman Club's 7 Mile Hill Range over two weekends, and the total amount of instruction amounted to 35 hours, not including homework.
This very intensive class teaches what it takes to be a lawful, safe and ethical sportsman or woman.
Because the Kingman Hunter Education team recently had a number of veteran instructors retire, this class was going to be a challenge for Rich.
Rich needed instructors for this class and field day, and the pleas to the Hunter Education staff in Phoenix and Region III Supervisor Tom Finley were quickly answered.
For the first time that I can remember, and I've been teaching these classes for over 15 years, there were a number of Game and Fish officers and staff who participated in and taught portions of the class. Some officers even participated in the field day exercises.
The officers included Lainie Antolik, Ben Selby, Tim Shurtliff, Luke Apfel, Brandon Carley and Hunter Ed staff member Andy Megaw, who is from Phoenix.
Other hunter education instructors involved with this class included Rich, Don Martin, Jay Chan, Page McDonald, Robert Rodriguez, Annette Bravo, Ken and Cristi McReynolds, Harley Harman, and Bob and Deanna Shaw.
In each of these classes, four students are nominated as honor graduates based on input from the instructors. They're entered into a drawing for an all-expenses-paid pheasant hunt at the High Desert Hunt Club near Mayer.
The nominees were Kaylee Moore, Hallie Powell, Boyce Privetts and Audey Yarbrough. The top honor graduate, as selected by the hunter ed staff, was 12-year-old Hallie Powell. She and her father, Brian, who also took the class, will be going on an all-night fishing trip on Lake Mead courtesy of Striper Hunters.
Other students who do well in the class and have no disciplinary issues are entered into a Good Student Award drawing for another slot on that fishing trip. The winner was Nicholas Taflan, who was an outstanding student in the class.
But it didn't end there.
Page McDonald felt that every student who excelled on their final test should also get a fishing trip. Since she has connections with the owner of Striper Hunters (me), it was decided that those under 18 years old who scored 100 percent on their test would also get a trip. Boyce Privetts and Max Jantzen and a parent/guardian also are going fishing this summer with Striper Hunters.
Every young graduate of the class received some kind of award to recognize their hard work. Three of the graduates received a pair of new 10 X 50 binoculars, courtesy of the Mohave Arms Collectors Association.
I should note that this group is a huge supporter of hunter education, and for several years now has donated binoculars to the graduates.
Rich will be organizing more classes for those who want to learn about hunter education. Those classes include an online class for residents and non-residents, plus a supplemental class for nonresidents.
The next two weekend resident classes will probably be held during the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August. Signups will start on July 1 and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Only 40 students can be signed up due to space restrictions at the MSC clubhouse.
If you have any questions about the Hunter Education program in Mohave County, contact Rich at (928) 444-3397.