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Hunter Education Become a Volunteer Instructor

If you are interested in the future of hunting, in improving sportsmanship and safety in the field, or teaching an appreciation for the vast hunting resources in Montana, THEN WE NEED YOU to join us and “Pass it On!”

 

The heart of Montana’s hunter and bowhunter education programs is the corps of dedicated volunteer instructors. They stand as examples of how each hunter should demonstrate ethics, behavior and responsibility to themselves, landowners, other hunters and the resource.

These instructors choose to honor Montana’s hunting heritage and “Pass it On” by sharing their skills, experiences and their love of hunting and Montana’s vast resources with those new to hunting and the outdoor adventure.

Why Volunteer?

Certainly, no one signed up to be a volunteer for the pay, the evenings or weekends off, and never missing a family activity, or thought, “Hey, if I volunteer hundreds of hours for the next thirty years I will get a free gun.” We are here because of the passion we have for our safety and education programs, the commitment to Montana’s Hunting Heritage, and teaching generations of youth about Safety (gun), Responsibility, Respect, and Ethics.

For many, there is no greater reward than seeing a former student running toward them with a look of admiration while enthusiastically exclaiming their name then asking whether they remember them; only to be cutoff before answering by the excited story of the deer, elk, or antelope they got this year or last. Then there are those who have been around long enough that parents, and, in some cases, grandparents, approach and introduce their son, daughter, or grandchild and reminisce of when “you taught them hunter safety.”

Requirements to Become a Volunteer Instructor

  • Submission of the Hunter/Bowhunter Instructor Application Form (see below).

  • Have completed a hunter and/or bowhunter education course.

  • Adult instructors must be at least 18-years-old.

  • Junior instructors must be at least 14-years-old.

  • Successfully pass a background investigation. (Juniors are not subject to the background.) Typically, results take 3-4 weeks to be returned, at which time you will be notified in writing of your results by our Helena office.

  • Verification that the applicant has reviewed the Hunter & Bowhunter Education Program Policy and Procedures Manual.

  • Completion of an online training course designed for new instructors. This course typically takes 3-5 hours and can be completed incrementally at your own pace. The online course is intended as a method to establish a base of knowledge upon which you can build your instructional skills. Each Instructor will develop a personal teaching style, and we encourage you to do so, while incorporating the skills and methods learned from the online training.

  • Applicants have one year to complete the online training; however, we recommend that you complete this course as soon as possible after receiving your initial acceptance letter.

  • Team-teach with another instructor for at least 5 hours.

  • Once certified and in order to remain so, an instructor must teach, or assist in, at least one class during any consecutive two-year time period.

  • Attend the annual spring workshop held in your area.

Instructor Benefits

  • The lives of the students and parents that you touch

  • Teaching generations of youth about safety [gun], responsibility, respect, and ethics

  • Passing on Montana’s hunting heritage

  • Subscription to Montana Outdoors magazine

  • Scheduled awards based on years of service:

  • The Challenge Coin Program

 

Years of Service

Award

5

Plaque

10

Plaque & Engraved Knife

15

Plaque

20

Plaque & Belt buckle

25

Plaque

30

Plaque & $500 toward the purchase of a firearm.

35

Plaque

40

Plaque & Coat

45

Plaque & Filson vest

50

Plaque, cap, name on regional Hall of Fame plaque & $500

55

Plaque & Shirt

60

Plaque & To be determined

FWP's Program Responsibility

  • Establish and administer the hunter and bowhunter education programs in accordance with the law.

  • Recruit, train and administer a cadre of volunteer instructors to teach the education programs.

  • Maintain databases of instructors and successful participants.

  • Monitor and evaluate instructor performance.

  • Provide appropriate instructional materials and teaching aids.

  • Provide a clear statement of FWP policies, procedures and standards.

  • Conduct in-service workshops and publish a newsletter to keep instructors informed.

  • Report program performance to state and federal authorities.

  • Compile information on hunting accidents and use it to refine curricula.

  • Consider constructive input from instructors on program improvements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apply

Contact

  • Shelly Anderson — (406) 444-9948 or by email
  • Wayde Cooperider — (406) 444-9947 or by email