St. Louis, Mo.— Missouri is a great place to hunt and the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Hunter Education Program (HED) helps make it a safe one, too. The success of the program is in large part due to the dedication and efforts of the HED instructors, including those recently announced as regional HED Instructors of the Year in St. Louis.
HED is taught throughout Missouri by more than 1,400 instructors. Each year, local MDC staff recognizes instructors whose efforts exceed their regular teaching duties. These instructors receive Regional Hunter Education of the Year awards in four categories, including Conservation Agent, MDC Staff, MDC Volunteer, and Bowhunter HED Instructors of the year.
St. Louis Regional HED Conservation Agent Instructor of the Year
For the third year in a row, Washington County Conservation Agent Lucas McClamroch of Potosi has been awarded the distinction of 2015 Conservation Agent Hunter Education Instructor of the Year for the St. Louis Region. McClamroch also earned the title in 2013 and 2014.
During 2015, Agent McClamroch helped teach seven HED skills sessions and served as chief instructor for three of those. He was instrumental in training 167 students in HED classes during the 38 hours he contributed to classroom instruction. Not only does McClamroch teach in his own county, he assists in other counties as well, including Crawford, Franklin and Lincoln.
“Agent McClamroch goes out of his way to help other instructors regardless of county or regional boundary lines. He travels far and works very hard to accommodate the ever increasing demand for Hunter Education classes,” said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Conrad Mallady.
McClamroch has been a certified Hunter Education Instructor since 2007. He started his career as a Conservation Agent in 2012 and has been very active in the Hunter Education program in the St. Louis Region.
“Agent McClamroch is truly a ‘team player’ as well as an outstanding representative for the Missouri Department of Conservation,” Mallady said.
St. Louis Regional HED MDC Staff Instructor of the Year
David Cantoni of O’Fallon has been named 2015 HED MDC Staff Instructor of the Year for the St. Louis Region. Cantoni serves as Program Coordinator at the August A. Busch Shooting Range in St. Charles.
Cantoni taught a total of 26 HED Skills Sessions in 2015 in which he served as lead instructor on six of them. These sessions resulted in 751 students becoming HED-certified. Cantoni also taught one classroom session of 38 students. He gave a total of 129 hours of service for the HED Program.
Cantoni’s dedication to hunter safety went beyond his service to the HED Program. He also taught a bowhunter education class, as well as assisted with pheasant, turkey, duck and quail hunts and hunting clinics for both women and youths. Cantoni conducted his own multi-day archery hunting day camp and provided assistance for the August A. Busch Conservation Area’s HED Day Camp.
Cantoni holds a Basic Archery Instructor certification with the National Archery in the Schools Program, as well as a number of instructor and expertise certifications with the National Rifle Association.
“David Cantoni has been a tremendous asset to the St. Louis Region Hunter Education program,” said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Scott Sarantakis.
HED MDC Volunteer Instructor of the Year
Kenneth Barrows of Barnhart has been selected as 2015’s HED MDC Volunteer Instructor of the Year for the St. Louis Region. Barrows was certified as a Missouri Hunter Education Instructor in March of 1993.
In 2015, Barrows helped teach 18 HED Skills Sessions, six of which he served as chief instructor. In addition, he contributed 104 classroom hours to the HED program and his efforts helped train 416 students in hunter education.
“Ken is an extremely articulate individual with a gift for teaching, and has a true passion for teaching hunter education in his community,” said Mallady.
In March, 2015 Barrows was invited to address a group of instructor applicants during the first Volunteer Instructor Training course in the St. Louis Region since the beginning of the new Hunter Education program in 2013. During 2015, he continued to mentor and help train new instructors as they advanced through the observation/teaching phases of the instructor training process. Barrows also helped teach a Bowhunter Education course in Jefferson County and contributed another nine hours of volunteer time, certifying 10 students.
“Due to his character, integrity and 20 plus years of experience, Kenneth Barrows has earned the respect of his fellow instructors, MDC employees and former students,” Mallady said.
HED Bowhunter Education Instructor of the Year
Bob Mallery of Wright City has earned the distinction of 2015 HED Bowhunter Education (BHE) Instructor of the Year for the St. Louis Region. He has served as a BHE instructor with MDC for 10 years.
Mallery was the lead instructor on two BHE classes during the past year, where he volunteered 32 hours and certified 35 students.
Mallery also volunteered 108 hours to Missouri’s HED Program as well, in which he was lead instructor for 13 HED Skills Sessions and HED- certified 181 students. In addition, Mallery serves as Vice President and St. Louis Director of the Missouri Hunter Education Instructor Association. He has also functioned as volunteer HED Coordinator for Warren County for the past nine years.
“Bob's accomplishments make him the ideal recipient for the MDC Volunteer BHE Instructor of the Year award for 2015,” said Sarantakis.\
Each HED Instructor winner in the St. Louis region will also be considered for the Missouri State HED Instructor of the Year awards in their respective categories.
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.
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 on MDC’s website at http://mdc.mo.gov/node/3095, or by calling (636) 441-4554.