ST. CHARLES Mo — The success of Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Hunter Education Program (HED) would be impossible without the help of hundreds of volunteer instructors throughout the state. And from among those, one St. Louis-area instructor recently received MDC's HED top honor.
Floyd Bohler of Ferguson was named 2011 Missouri State Hunter Education Instructor of the Year on March 8 at the Conservation Commission meeting held at MDC's St. Louis Regional Office on the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles.
The award was based on nominations by fellow volunteer hunter education instructors in the St. Louis Region and is considered the highest honor for MDC HED instructors. Bohler, who has volunteered with the HED program for 16 years, was presented with a plaque and framed art by Commissioners and MDC Director Robert Ziehmer.
According to MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Scott Sarantakis, who collected and submitted the nominations, Bohler’s award was based on outstanding performance as an instructor in the HED Program. Bohler taught 22 traditional HED classes, seven online classes, and one Bow Hunter Education class. He certified a total of 1,011 students in 2011.
Bohler has acted as volunteer HED Coordinator for St. Charles County for the past two years, and is also the chief HED instructor for St. Charles Community College.
Bohler also coordinated field days for the online HED classes for both St. Louis and St. Charles Counties, as well as assisted in nine HED high school class field trips to the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, and with the weeklong HED summer camp also held on the area.
In addition to his work with MDC’s HED Program, Bohler serves as secretary to the Board of Directors for the Missouri Gun and Quail Club, has served 461 hours in 2011 as a volunteer at the MDC shooting range located on the Busch Area, and volunteers for various projects at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ferguson.
All hunters born on or after January 1, 1967, and who are 16 years of age or older, are required to take and pass a hunter education course or purchase an Apprentice Hunter Authorization before buying a permit. There is an 11-year old age minimum requirement to take the Missouri HED Class. Participants receive a minimum of 10 hours of classroom training plus additional time for testing, practical exercises, videos and other classroom discussion usually taught in two or three sessions. Classes typically require 12-16 total hours to complete.
The HED Program can serve as a refresher for veteran hunters as well. It is also open to anyone who enjoys the outdoors and has an interest in conservation. More information about the program can be found at www.mdc.mo.gov or by calling (636) 441-4554.