MDC selects top hunter education instructors in St. Louis area

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

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 Bow Hunter HED Instructors of the year.

St. Louis Regional HED Conservation Agent Instructor of the Year
For the second year in a row, Washington County Conservation Agent Lucas McClamroch of Potosi has been awarded the distinction of Conservation Agent Hunter Education Instructor of the Year for the St. Louis Region. McClamroch also earned the title in 2013, along with the 2013 Missouri State Conservation Agent HED Instructor of the Year title.

Agent McClamroch helped teach nine HED skills sessions and was the chief instructor for five of those. He also contributed 65 classroom hours to the program and helped train 182 students in 2014. McClamroch not only teaches hunter education in his own county, but assists in other counties, including Crawford, Iron and Lincoln.

In addition, Agent McClamroch provided support for other hunting-related educational programs during the past year. These include assisting with other HED and bowhunter HED programs, and helping with the C.O.P.S. Siblings Event at the YMCA of the Ozarks in Potosi and the annual Discover Nature Girls Camp in Lincoln County.

"Agent McClamroch goes out of his way to help other instructors regardless of county or regional boundary lines," said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Conrad Mallady, who nominated McClamroch. "He travels far and works very hard to accommodate the ever-increasing demand for hunter education classes," added Mallady. "He is truly a team player, as well as an outstanding representative for the Missouri Department of Conservation."

St. Louis Regional HED MDC Staff Instructor of the Year
Jan Morris of Imperial has been named 2014 HED MDC Staff Instructor of the Year for the St. Louis region. Morris serves as program coordinator at the Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in High Ridge.

Morris served as the chief instructor for three hunter education skills sessions and two bowhunter education classes at the Henges range during 2014.

"Jan's background of teaching, his passion for hunting safety, his class structure and attention to details make Jan's classes some of the most respected hunter education classes in the St. Louis region," said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Dennis Cooke. "I routinely receive comments from participants and other staff regarding the exceptional classes that Jan offers."

Morris' commitment to hunting and shooting sports education goes beyond HED. He offers numerous classes and programs related to firearms safety, hunting, reloading, outdoor survival and others. In 2014, he offered a basic shotgun course, a youth trapshooting day camp, a dove season warm-up course, classes on field dressing deer, cold weather survival, beginning air rifle shooting, and map and compass use.

Morris is also a Level II USA shooting coach and serves as the head coach for the Team Henges competitive trap shooting team.

"Jan mentored two new instructors in 2014, and takes it upon himself to maintain a highly accountable HED Program at the Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center," said Cooke.

HED MDC Volunteer Instructor of the Year
Bill Morton of St. Charles has been selected as the HED MDC Volunteer Instructor of the Year of the St. Louis region. While Morton's efforts were primarily centered on St. Charles County, he also travelled to St. Louis and Warren counties to assist with the program.

"Mr. Morton has been a tremendous asset to the St. Louis Region Hunter Education program," said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Scott Sarantakis, who nominated Morton. "His accomplishments made him the ideal recipient of this award."

During 2014, Morton taught 40 HED skill sessions, serving as lead instructor on 38 of them, with a resulting 972 students becoming HED certified. He also taught one HED classroom portion and one bowhunter HED course.

Morton's dedication to hunting and shooting education was demonstrated in many ways beyond the HED program. He was a National Rifle Association chief range safety officer, and as such, offered range safety officer training for MDC volunteers. In addition, he volunteered 154 hours as range safety officer at the August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center. Morton was also lead instructor for the Hunter Education Day Camp held at the Busch Shooting Range. He contributed his time and effort at two Discover Nature pheasant hunting clinics in 2014.

Morton passed away on November 29, 2014, from injuries sustained in a workplace accident.

"His passion in sharing his knowledge and love for the outdoors with everyone he came across will be missed," Sarantakis said.

HED Bowhunter Education Instructor of the Year
Linda Meyer has earned the HED Bowhunter Education Instructor of the Year distinction for the St. Louis region. Her efforts have centered on Jefferson County during the past decade.

Meyer, who has been bowhunting for 15 years, was also nominated by Mallady. Although the demand for Bowhunter education is relatively small in Jefferson County, acknowledged Mallady, he said she has still managed to teach nine classes and contribute 54 hours during the time she has been teaching the program.

"Linda and her fellow instructors consistently provide that opportunity each year," said Mallady.

Meyer, who has been chief instructor in each of her classes, encourages her students to appreciate the history of the sport. In April 2006, Meyer and her husband, Dave, were certified for Level 1 and Level 2 basic archery instructor courses through the National Archery Association.

As demonstration of further commitment to hunter education, Meyer serves as one of the Jefferson County volunteer instructor coordinators. She takes on the responsibility of scheduling all of the hunter education skills and classroom sessions and bowhunter HED classes for the county. Linda also assigns and schedules a chief instructor for each class. Meyer was the chief instructor for six HED skills sessions in 2014, taught in 18 total classes and helped certify 384 students. She worked with the program a total of 97 hours in 2014.

Meyer is no stranger to HED recognition, having won both the St. Louis regional and Missouri HED Instructor of the Year awards in 2005.

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, or by calling (636) 441-4554.