(Courtesy WisDNR)

DNR seeks volunteer hunter education instructors

By Patrick Lynn

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) seeks enthusiastic volunteers dedicated to promoting safe, responsible, and ethical hunting practices to act as certified hunter-education instructors. Volunteer opportunities are open throughout the state.

Since its establishment in 1967, over 20,000 volunteer instructors through the program have trained and certified in excess of one million hunters across Wisconsin. These endeavors have significantly contributed to a marked reduction in hunting-related incidents.

The enduring commitment and exceptional proficiency of volunteer instructors constitute the principal factors underpinning the program’s accomplishments.

Engaging as a volunteer instructor offers a splendid avenue to give back to local communities and play a role in shaping the next generation of Wisconsin hunters.

“In my capacity as a volunteer instructor, I have the privilege of contributing to a sport that I am genuinely passionate about, by imparting safe practices to students for their own well-being, the safety of fellow hunters, and the preservation of their surroundings,” said Rick Heisler.

Heisler, who has served as a volunteer instructor for over four decades and was named the 2022 Instructor of the Year for the hunter education program, added, “Conducting these courses has become an integral aspect of my life.”

There exist two pathways to becoming a certified volunteer hunter education instructor. Enthusiastic volunteers may opt to apprentice under a sponsoring instructor for a minimum of two complete courses or attend a certification training session facilitated by a DNR Outdoor Skills Trainer.

Upon certification, volunteer instructors receive all necessary materials and equipment from the DNR to conduct a hunter education course. Instructors are only required to teach one class every three years to maintain certification, although many opt to teach more frequently.

For more information about becoming a volunteer instructor or applying, visit the DNR’s website.