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Instructors honored at FWP Region 7 Hunter, Bowhunter Education workshop

Education - Region 7

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Attendees at the 2018 Region 7 annual Hunter Ed & Bow Ed Instructor Workshop.

2018 Region 7 Hunter Ed & Bowhunter Ed Instructor Workshop

Hunter and Bowhunter Education volunteer instructors in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 7 were honored Saturday for their service during the annual spring instructor workshop at Sleep Inn in Miles City. 

The instructors heard education program updates from Outdoor Skills & Safety Supervisor Wayde Cooperider of Helena, as well as an update on Chronic Wasting Disease from Bob Gibson, Region 5 information and education manager of Billings. Instructors also heard about different techniques to help engage students in the classroom.

Charles Osborn of Glendive was named the 2017 Instructor of the Year for Region 7. Osborn teaches Hunter Ed and Bowhunter Ed, serving in Hunter Ed since 1995. He began teaching in Ennis, Mont., and served as county chief for several years. He recruited help from other communities and agencies such as search and rescue to help with classes.

Osborn retired from Ennis and moved to the Sidney area, where he joined a new group of instructors. He brought with him his vast knowledge of the outdoors, hunting and fishing. Larry Christensen, fellow instructor and nominator, noted Osborn’s extensive knowledge of search and rescue principles, his innovative methods, and his easy-going way of getting his point across to all students.

“They understand what he is explaining, and he will take the time to go the extra mile if someone does not understand,” Christensen writes.

Osborn spends extra time helping handicapped students with their shooting skills. He lives in Glendive and offers classes there, along with driving 100 miles to help with classes in Sidney.

When the Sidney area was short on Bowhunter Education instructors two years ago, Osborn volunteered to help there as well. Throughout his many years, he has taught about 70 classes and more than 1,800 students.

Larry Christensen of Sidney also was recognized for receiving the 2016 Instructor of the Year award, which was presented at the statewide Hunter/Bowhunter Education workshop in Helena last June.

Ron Thomas of Hysham was honored for giving 40 years of service to the program – 38 as county chief. Gary Huber of Terry also reached the 40-year mark for Hunter Ed but was not in attendance.

Several other instructors received awards for years of service:

30 Years-Stephen Downs of Jordan, Hunter Ed

25 Years-Aaron Arthur of Miles City, Hunter Ed; Randy Buck of Baker, Hunter Ed; and Ed (Bud) Powell of Ekalaka, who teaches both Hunter and Bowhunter Ed

20 Years-Kyle Vennes of Plevna, Hunter Ed

15 Years-Mike Anderson of Forsyth, Hunter Ed; John Blain of Broadus, Hunter Ed; Larry Christensen of Sidney, Hunter Ed, Bowhunter Ed; Travis Gamble of Hysham, Hunter Ed; and Eric Miller of Jordan, Hunter Ed

10 Years-Dean Allen of Lame Deer, Hunter Ed; Michael Myers of Colstrip, Hunter Ed; Mikenna O’Donnell of Baker, Hunter Ed; and James Miller of Savage, Hunter Ed

5 Years-Jeremy Fowler of Terry, Hunter Ed; and James Miller of Savage, Bowhunter Ed

All service award winners received a plaque, and Charles Osborn’s name was added to the Instructor of the Year plaque that hangs in Miles City’s Region 7 office.

Challenge coins for service above and beyond also were awarded to Ed Joiner of Lame Deer, Hunter Ed; Larry Christensen of Sidney, Hunter and Bowhunter Ed; and Trent Hansen of Glendive, Hunter and Bowhunter Ed.

The volunteer instructors are the backbone of the state’s Hunter and Bowhunter Education programs, and FWP is always searching for people willing to join the ranks. For information on how to become an instructor, please contact Marla Prell at 234-0926 or email or visit to learn more or apply.