Salina man garners award for exceptional volunteer servicePRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) Hunter Education Section has announced that Shannon Clarkson, Salina, has been selected the 2011 Kansas Hunter Education Instructor of the Year. Clarkson joined the volunteer hunter education instructor ranks in 1994, adding bowhunter education certification in 1997.
Wishing to better his skills in instructing young students in the technical details of shotgun shooting, Clarkson has taken the National Rifle Association (NRA) Shotgun Training Course. In addition, he holds certifications as an NRA range safety officer and a muzzleloader instructor, as well as training as a National Bowhunter Education Foundation tree stand safety instructor.
Dubbed by Salisbury as “Mister Hunter Ed of Salina,” Clarkson routinely coordinates hunter education classes in and around the city. He has embraced use of KDWPT’s instructor intranet portal for ordering supplies and submitting student rosters for the classes he organizes.
“Shannon encourages and tutors his fellow instructors to do everything he does,” Salisbury added. “He is the prime recruiter of new instructors in this area, assisting with new instructor orientation workshops in Salina and surrounding counties.”
Clarkson has been an active member of the Kansas Hunter Education Instructor Association (KHEIA) for many years and is the association’s sitting president. The KHEIA is instrumental in securing locations for instructor workshops, staffing the registration table at the statewide instructor academy (held once every three years), and purchasing pellet gun ranges made available for use by all instructors in their programs.
In addition to his involvement in hunter education, Clarkson is deeply involved in community activities, including school events with his sons and with the local kennel club with Spark, his Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever. Clarkson is a Cub Scout master and an assistant Webelos den leader in a Salina Cub Scout Pack. He serves on a new committee attempting to develop a public shooting range in Saline County and instructs conceal carry classes in Salina.
For his efforts, Clarkson will receive a collector Henry Golden Boy .22 caliber lever action rifle and a Browning model 322571 knife, made available through the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA), commemorating the 60th Anniversary of hunter education in North America. The set will be presented at the KHEIA Annual Meeting in June.
Also nominated were Marshall Rhea, Oakley; Greg Babcock, Lincoln; Tom Van Hoecke, Olathe; Bill Van Deventer, Wichita; and Michael Corby, Haysville. Each nominee will receive a pewter Order of the Buffalo pin and Certificate of Appreciation.
“Our thanks to each of these great instructors for contributing to the on-going success of the Kansas Hunter Education Program,” said Monica Bickerstaff, KDWPT assistant hunter education coordinator and bowhunter education coordinator.