Long-time conservation agent wins hunter education honor

News from the region
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LEBANON, Mo. – Walt Hutton’s hunter education efforts in 2015 showed that a quarter-century of conservation work has not slowed him down.

Each year, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recognizes hunter education instructors whose efforts exceed regular teaching duties. Hutton, who lives in Lebanon and has been Laclede County’s agent for all but two of his 27 years with MDC, has been named the 2015 Hunter Education Conservation Agent Instructor of the Year. He was recognized for his achievement by MDC on July 12 in Jefferson City.

This past year, in addition to helping to coordinate classes for other instructors, Hutton personally taught eight classes and certified 222 students. Hutton also did 16 radio segments promoting hunter education classes in Laclede County and wrote eight newspaper articles promoting classes in the county. He also made contacts with individuals in the county to make arrangements for teaching sites.

“Through selfless service and dedication, Walt continues to make a positive impact on other people’s lives and on the communities he serves,” said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Greg Collier, who helps coordinate hunter education in MDC’s 17-county Southwest Region. “The results of his efforts are citizens and communities with a greater awareness of conservation, wildlife management and a greater appreciation for safe and ethical hunting.”

Missouri’s hunter education program is administrated by MDC and taught state-wide by more than 1,400 instructors. With the exception of exemptions listed in the Wildlife Code of Missouri, all hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967 must complete an approved hunter-education program to buy a firearms hunting permit.