MDC Hunter Education Instructors in St. Louis Region Receive Honors

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

St. Louis, Mo. — Hunter education students in the St. Louis area can feel confident they are receiving top quality instruction as three instructors in the region for the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Hunter Education Program (HED) Instructors have recently received the state's highest honors.

HED is taught throughout Missouri by more than 1,400 instructors. Each year, MDC recognizes instructors in a number of categories whose efforts exceed their regular teaching duties. This year, top statewide honors in three of those categories went to St. Louis area instructors. The categories included Conservation Agent, MDC Staff, and MDC Volunteer HED Instructors of the year for 2013.

HED Conservation Agent Instructor of the Year

Washington County Agent Lucas McClamroch of Potosi was awarded the distinction of Missouri's 2013 State Conservation Agent Hunter Education Instructor of the Year. He has been a certified HED instructor since 2006, and a conservation agent since 2012.

According to MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Conrad Mallady, who submitted the nomination, McClamroch's award was based not only on his excellent performance as a HED instructor, but also because he has gone above and beyond in his support of the HED Program.

"Agent McClamroch has been very active from the beginning with the HED program in Washington County and the St. Louis Region," said Mallady. "He's a hard worker in all aspects of his job and provides quality programs in his district."

In 2013, McClamroch taught three HED classes in Washington County as chief instructor. He also assisted in teaching HED courses in both Crawford and St. Francois Counties. Altogether, McClamroch helped certify a total of 202 students.
Through efforts like teaching archery to participants at the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) siblings event held at the YMCA of the Ozarks in Potosi, McClamroch's support of hunter education goes beyond being a HED instructor, Mallady said.

HED MDC Staff Instructor of the Year

Bryant Hertel of Ballwin earned the 2013 Missouri State Staff Hunter Education Instructor of the Year award. Hertel serves as the Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center Supervisor of MDC's August A. Busch Shooting Range in St. Charles.

MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Scott Sarantakis submitted Hertel' s nomination, citing his outstanding contributions to the HED program. In 2013, Hertel taught 11 HED skills sessions, serving as lead instructor on nine of them, and was lead instructor on a Bow Hunter Education class as well. Altogether, Hertel was instrumental in certifying 347 students in the HED program.

Sarantakis indicated Hertel provided support for HED in a variety of other ways during 2013. These included assisting with high school HED class field trips to the range which involved 580 students, and helping with the HED summer day camp which resulted in 40 youths becoming certified in the program. Hertel also gave support for the Youth Deer Hunting Clinic for the August A. Busch and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas managed Youth Deer Hunts.

"Bryant has been an integral part of the Hunter Education Program put on by the staff and volunteers of the August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center," said Sarantakis.

HED MDC Volunteer Instructor of the Year

Brian Hayek of Ballwin was named 2013 Missouri State Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor of the Year. The award was based on nominations by fellow volunteer hunter education instructors in the St. Louis Region and is considered the highest honor for that group. Hayek has been active in the HED program since 2007.
According to MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Dennis Cooke, who collected and submitted the nominations, Hayek's award was based on his outstanding performance as an instructor in the HED Program. Hayek taught four HED classes, three as lead instructor, and six HED skills sessions, serving as lead instructor on two of those. He certified a total of 314 students in 2013 and devoted over 100 volunteer hours to the program.

Cooke also indicated that Hayek often goes well beyond simply teaching classes when supporting Missouri's HED Program. Hayek analyzes HED class test data and provides recommendations based on trends he observes, according to Cooke. He then uses this data to improve his presentations along with the presentations his team leads.

In addition, Hayek volunteers as a Range Safety Officer at MDC's Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center, and assisted with the 2013 Youth Dove Hunt at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area.

"He does an excellent job teaching Hunter Ed materials and is passionate in sharing his knowledge with those taking the classes," said Cooke of Hayek. "I feel that he is a terrific role model for the Hunter Education program."

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, or by calling (636) 441-4554.