2014 Conference a Huge Success!

IHEA-USA is comprised of the 50 state administrators and their professional staffs, and 58,000 hunter education instructors, most of whom volunteer their services to train 670,000 students each year. The program has reduced hunting incidents by three fourths in the last 30 years and greatly improved hunter behavior, responsibility and ethics.

IHEA-USA Conference - June 2014 HIGHLIGHTS!


South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources Director, Mr. Alvin Taylor, and National Wild Turkey Federation's CEO, Mr. George Thornton, welcomed everyone and opened the ceremonies at the 2014 IHEA-USA Annual Conference.


(Left Photo) Alvin Taylor, South Carolina DNR Director, welcomed Conference attendees to Charleston -- "City of True Southern Hospitality."

(Right Photo) George Thornton, National Wild Turkey Federation CEO, welcomed participants to South Carolina and presented NWTF's new initiatives such as "Save the Habitat --Save the Hunt" and the brand new Shooting Sports Complex & Education Center being built under partnership at their SC Headquarters near Edgefield.


Host Captain John"Billy" Downer welcomed participants to the annual IHEA-USA Annual Conference & Business Meetings in Charleston, SC.  He later accepted the "Host State" Award from IHEA-USA Executive Director, Steve Hall, and Awards Chairman, John McKay (NV) at the annual IHEA-USA Awards Ceremony.  The conference was a "total blast," according to one participant and IHEA-USA wishes to thank and acknowledge the OUTSTANDING job South Carolina staff did in hosting the 2014 conference. True Southern Hospitality was showcased throughout the conference and made for a most wonderful experience by all participants. THANKS SC --you outdid yourselves!


IHEA-USA 2014-2015 Executive Board MembersBack Row: (l to r) Randy Huskey (TN) - President; Melissa Neely (NY) - Secretary; Travis Casper (NC) - Zone 4 Rep.; Larry Morrison (IN) - Zone 2 Rep.; and John Sears (IA) - Instructor Advisory Committee Rep.   Front Row: (l to r) Megan Wisecup (IA) - Vice President/Treasurer; James Reed (OR) - Zone 1 Rep.; and Josh Mackay (NH) - Zone 3 Rep.   Not Pictured: Nick Wiley (FL Exec. Dir.) - Assoc. of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Representative to the Board.  IHEA-USA Business Meeting - Hunter Education Administrators (IHEA-USA State Members) from more than 40 states were present to handle the business of the Association.


The Awards Ceremony included a selection of top volunteer instructors throughout the United States, several volunteer "Hall of Fame" recipients, partner organizations, and individual and group awards that honored achievement in the Association and throughout the United States in 2013.



(Left Photo) North Carolina's Floyd "Link" Grass (Denver, NC) was selected Federal Premium's Volunteer Instructor of the Year! Congratulations Link!   Federal Premium's News Release HERE!

(Right Photo)  Thomas Baumeister (MT) received the National Rifle Association-sponsored Professional of the Year Award for his service to IHEA-USA as a department representative that is a non-HE Administrator.  As a former administrator, Baumeister continued to stay involved nationally and, in this case, as chair of the IHEA-USA Standards & Evaluation Committee.  Presenting the award was long-time IHEA-USA partner and Youth Hunter Education Challenge/Hunter Services Manager, Bob Davis, working with the new "NRA Sports" programs.



(Left Photo) Jeffrey Post with Customer Service at Henry Repeating Arms, was on hand to accept the Industry Award from John McKay, IHEA Awards Chairman, on behalf of Anthony Imperato, Henry President & Owner, who was honored for his many years of donations and service to IHEA-USA and hunter education administrators and instructors from across North America.

(Right Photo)  Kurt Kalkomey president and co-founder of Kalkomey Enterprises and Hunter-Ed.Com accepted IHEA-USA's Innovations in Technology Award for his many years of innovation with hunter education products, manuals, Internet sites, registration and certification systems used throughout the country.


(Left Photo) Allen Basala (NC) was presented with the Volunteer Hunter Education Hall of Fame Award by Travis Casper, NC Hunter Education Administrator. Basala was honored for his work partnering with NC in every aspect of hunter education including certifications teaching many of the different programs, working on legislative issues, and serving as a Master Volunteer instructors since the 1980's.

(Right Photo) Jerry Brown (AL) was also presented with a Volunteer Hunter Education Hall of Fame Award by Marisa Futral, AL Hunter Education Administrator.  Brown was lauded for his many years of service since 1979, putting together a top-notch team (some who joined him at the ceremony), developing a hunter skills trail and even building a range on his property to enable live-firing exercises and training.


(Left Photo) The IHEA-USA Standards & Evaluation Committee was presented the "Ed Kozicky" Award by IHEA-USA President Randy Huskey (TN) for the outstanding work they put in throughout the year to revise the standards and set the stage for unity and success in national delivery and assessment.  (l to r)  Committee Members: Charles Bruckerhoff (CT); David Dodson (VA); Thomas Baumeister (MT) - Chariman; Kent Barrett (KS); Jason Kool (SD); and John McKay (NV).   Not Pictured: John Sturgis (LA); Susan Langlois (MA); and Mike Streeter (NE).  Each received a Silver Stag Custom, Limited Edition Knife along with the "Coyote" Award.

(Right Photo) Brian Thurston, President of Focus Group, Inc., and Leaha Wirth, National Sales Manager, were presented the "Executive Director's Award" by IHEA-USA's Steve Hall, for their continual hard work publishing both the quarterly Hunter & Shooting Sports Education Journal and the annual Hunter's Handbook and for coordinating and sponsoring the IHEA-USA Heritage Hunt for three (3) lucky hunter education students and their parents/guardians and two (2) lucky instructors also drawn for the hunt.


(Left Photo) Bill Balda (KY), received a "Board Member Award" from IHEA-USA President, Randy Huskey (TN), honoring his years of service to the executive board of the Association. 

(Middle PhotoEva Shockey, daughter of Jim Shockey, celebrity hosts of Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures recounted hosting the annual "Dream Hunt" that takes hunter education students on "hunts of a lifetime." Students were selected randomly in a drawing conducted and sponsored annually by Fresh Air Educators (http://www.huntercourse.com) and received an all-expense-paid trip with Eva and her dad (previous hunts).  This past year's hunt featured a girl hunter education student and her instructor from MN -- " a real treat.." according to Ms. Shockey, "...to host these outstanding young women in a traditionally male activity."  Shockey relived their memorable hunt saying, "They shot their first turkeys and we all had a fantastic time!"  Giggling, she concluded, "I can wait until next year when we get to host more lucky winners!"

(Right PhotoPaulette Lubke, IHEA-USA Office Manager, once again organized and served as registration chair for the conference, but found some time to join former administrator Rod Slings with Hunter and Shooting Related Consultants, LLC, on a Boone Plantation Hay Ride to tour the historic site.  "Paulette is brains of IHEA-USA!" said IHEA Executive Director, Steve Hall, later, as he presented her with "yellow roses" at the annual IHEA-USA business meeting. 


(Left Photo)  United States Fish and Wildlife Service staff, who coordinate hunter education and target range grant projects in their regions, were on hand to address the many questions and issues States have in administration of their programs. Regional staff did take a time out to join other conference goers at an evening hosted by SC Dept. of Natural Resources at Boone Plantation Historic site.

(Middle Photo) SC Dept. of Natural Resources staff put on quite a feed, a "Lowcountry Shrimp Boil," at the Boone Plantation.

(Right Photo) Vendors, sponsors and partners were on hand for the conference -- and hosted meals and provided sponsorships to ensure  conference success.  IHEA-USA would like to THANK the many sponsors of this year's event!

SILVER SPONSORS ($10,000+) - National Wild Turkey Federation

BRONZE SPONSORS ($5,000 - $9,999) -Federal Premium Ammunition; Harry Hampton Fund; Kalkomey Enterprises (hunter-ed.com); Likhulu Safari; National Rifle Association; National Shooting Sports Foundation

BOONE PLANTATION TOUR & DINNER - Kalkomey Enterprises (hunter-ed.com)

MEAL/HOSPITALITY SUITE SPONSORS  - Dave Oakes Seminars; Federal Premium Ammunition; Fresh Air Educators (HUNTERcourse.com); Hunter Ed Course (HunterEdCourse.com); Kalkomey Enterprises (Hunter-Ed.com), National Archery in Schools Program; National Rifle Association

BIG HORN SHEEP SPONSORS ($2,500 - $4,999) - Outdoor Tracking Systems

BEAR ($1,000 - $2,499) - Be a Safe Hunter (beasafehunter.org); Council to Advance Hunting & the Shooting Sports; Fresh Air Educators (HUNTERcourse.com); Hunter Ed Course (HunterEdCourse.com); Lasershot; National Archery in Schools Program; North American Crossbow Federation; Promatic; Outdoor Edge; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Whitetails Unlimited

ELK ($500 - $999) - Ammo Camo; Bass Pro Shops; Cabela's; Cartridge Comparison Guide; Conservation Leaders For Tomorrow; Crosman Corp.; National Bowhunter Education Foundation; Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; TMS Outdoors

THANKS to the Many AUCTION DONORS including the companies above, PLUS the following:

3Point; Albert Crowley & Mark Banard; Alpen Optics, Atsko/Sno-seal; Birchwood-Casey; Black River Marine; Browning; Buck Bomb; Buck Knives; Chamber View LLS; Clinton House; Crimson Trace; Daisy; Deadeye Supply; E-Strike Systems; Eagle Claw; Gander Mountain; Haydel's Game Calls; Hi Viz; Hunter's Specialties; Izaak Walton League of America; La Crosse; Leatherman; Lowcountry Field of Dreams; M7 Business Systems; Midway USA; Mossberg; Ruger; Sellmark; Shoot Where You Look; Silver Stag; Sportsman's Warehouse of Columbia; Sun Optics; Temple Fork Outfitters; ThermaCELL; White Flyer Targets; Winchester; Woody's Pawn Shop.

STATE Fish and Wildlife Agency MEMBERS

International Hunter Education Association

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