Regional Offices > Sheridan Region > Sheridan Region News > Local hunter education instructors receive awards

Local hunter education instructors receive awards

October 31, 2022
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Sheridan -

Several Sheridan region hunter education instructors were recently honored for their dedication to the Wyoming hunter education program, including an instructor who received Instructor of the Year. 

Pat Malson of Kaycee (in photo above), was chosen as this year’s Hunter Education Instructor of the Year. Malson has taught for 10 years and offers an average of five classes per year in Kaycee and Casper. He is known for connecting with and inspiring students of all ages. 

Several other local instructors were recognized for earning at least 1,000 volunteer points in 2021. Points are accrued when an instructor assists or hosts a course and is based on the number of hours they have volunteered and the number of students they have taught. Awarded instructors are given a firearm of their choice.

Daniel Conkling of Gillette - Conkling was originally certified while living in Cheyenne then continued to teach after he and his family moved to Gillette. He works with many local businesses, including Rocky Mountain Discount Sports to borrow classroom space. Conkling’s favorite unit to teach is laws and regulations, because it is crucial for building good hunting habits. He enjoys interacting with students and seeing how excited they get about coming to hunter ed class.

Chad Aksamit of Ranchester -  Aksamit is the program director of the Tongue River Valley Community Center. He provides a school-only HE class for Tongue River Middle School students and provides classes for the communities of Dayton, Ranchester and Big Horn. Chad said his favorite unit to teach in hunter education is wildlife identification because the students have a lot of fun with that chapter. It makes him proud when his students come back to tell him about their first harvest and show their hunting photos.

James “J.D.” Gray of Gillette - Gray works with a team of hunter education instructors with the Campbell County Sheriff's Department. They offer an average of eight classes a year in Gillette. Gray loves to teach the unit on firearm basics and enjoys teaching adults that have previously had a fear of firearms. Gray’s motivation for teaching hunter education is personal. Gray said he received a wildlife violation at a young age for not having his hunter safety card while hunting in Goshen County. This past experience inspired him to want to inform the public so they can be more responsible and knowledgeable than he was at that age.

If you are interested in volunteering as a hunter education instructor, you can learn more here


- WGFD -

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