BOISE — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game Magic Valley region recently held a volunteer recognition dinner to honor and thank hunter education instructors and reservist volunteers.
In 2018, these dedicated volunteers taught 43 hunter and bowhunter classes, plus 16 field day classes to the next generation of hunters. Reservists in 2018 provided 1,174 volunteer hours that directly benefited Idaho’s fish and wildlife resources.
The Instructor of the Year award was presented to two individuals who have generously given their time to teach hunter education courses:
- Howard McCuistion of Jerome, who began teaching hunter education in 1985, was recognized for teaching more than 76 classes. Upon receiving his award, McCuistion noted that he has a passion for teaching future hunters how to safely and ethically hunt.
- Ed Hartman of Twin Falls was also recognized as Instructor of the Year. He became a hunter education instructor in 2015 and has taught or assisted in 35 classes over the last three years. “I am committed to ensuring that our Idaho hunting heritage continues by teaching new hunters to be safe and responsible when in the field,” Hartman said in a statement.
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Each year, several residents of the Magic Valley volunteer for many different projects. These projects not only benefit the region’s fish and wildlife but also area hunters, anglers and trappers. The Magic Valley region’s Reservist of the Year award was given to Chris Foster of Twin Falls. He has been a reservist since 2015 and has contributed countless hours of service to the department with habitat improvement projects and assisting with the “Take Me Fishing” trailer.
A lifetime achievement award was given to Gene Wright of Burley who has actively volunteered for Fish and Game for more than 28 years. He has worked on a wide range of habitat improvement projects, taught hunter education classes, assisted with the Take Me Fishing Trailer and monitored big game across the region.