The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division recently selected Col. Jack Bradford of Augusta as the 2008 Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor of the Year. This award is presented annually in recognition of an instructor who displays outstanding volunteer efforts in educating sportsmen and women on wildlife conservation and the importance of safety while hunting.
“Each year, countless hours are spent in an effort to select one Hunter Education Instructor that stands out above the rest – Jack Bradford possesses these high standards and is well-deserved of this prestigious award,” says WRD Capt. James Bell, State Hunter Education Coordinator. “His reputation of being a thorough instructor and his dedication and passion to the topic is well-known.”
Retired Army Col. Jack Bradford, who primarily serves the Hunter Education program in the Augusta-Richmond County area, has been an active instructor for 16 years. Bradford is the Georgia Hunter Education Association Deputy District Director for east central Georgia and coordinates all hunter education classes in Richmond County. In 2008 he was lead instructor for 11 classes and attended all other classes in case assistance was required. He also makes himself available for assistance with other classes outside of his region and volunteers countless hours in other activities, including Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and the Fort Gordon Sportsman’s Club. He also supports the WEE CAN SKI program, who provide water-skiing opportunities to disable children.
Some of Col. Bradford’s most innovative ideas include building models of all types of tree stands in small scale (for use in the classroom), created a homework study sample exam for student use and searching and using additional videos and literature to enhance the program. According to regional law enforcement staff, one of the most valuable contributions is his ability to coordinate all class supply needs and ensuring that paperwork relative to the classes is filed in an efficient manner.
“Col. Bradford shows his passion for the subject by providing class participants with an outstanding educational experience,” says Capt. Thomas Barnard, who nominated Bradford. “His dedication, professionalism and organizational skills are what makes him tops for our area – in fact, he has been nominated for top instructor in east central Georgia three times - and now, he is getting that same type of recognition statewide.”
The selection of the Hunter Education Instructor of the Year begins at the region level. Each of the seven WRD Law Enforcement Regions picks the outstanding instructor in their area and sends them to Capt. Bell. The applications are then submitted to the Hunter Safety Committee. This committee is made up of WRD personnel from Game Management, Fisheries Management and Law Enforcement who are knowledgeable in working with volunteers and about hunter safety education. The committee then makes the final selection.
For more information on the Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor of the Year or hunter education classes, call the WRD Conservation Education Office at (770) 918-6414. For more information on GHEA, visit their website at http://gheanet.homestead.com/AboutGHEA.html .
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