New Mexico Hunter and Bowhunter Instructor Information

The Department of Game and Fish is always seeking individuals to become certified Hunter and Bowhunter Education Instructors to teach student classes, assist with hunter education camps and other department outreach events.

The goal of hunter and bowhunter education is to reduce hunting-related accidents and violations; promote safe, responsible, and knowledgeable hunting; and enhance hunting traditions and values. Hunter and bowhunter instructors are volunteers who devote personal time and effort to ensuring the passing on of our hunting heritage to the next generation of safe, ethical hunters.

One of the reasons that the Department’s educational programs are so successful is due to the commitment and devotion of the volunteers who support them. We recognize that each instructor provides invaluable skills and expertise. They enable the Department to provide the community with a wonderful opportunity and quality service. You can be crucial to the success and continuation of the Hunter and Bowhunter Education Programs and we appreciate you for considering joining our team!

This webpage is a resource you can locate scheduled instructor workshops, training, and pertinent information. You will also find updates that may affect you, your teaching team and your classes.

Become an Instructor

Becoming a certified hunter and/or bowhunter instructor with the Department is EASY! Just complete the following steps:

1. Complete a volunteer application & background check. Please email stormw.usrey@dgf.nm.gov to receive your application.
2. View and complete the Pre-workshop training.
3. Sign up for the next available Instructor Training Workshop (see schedule below).
4. Complete a New Mexico Hunter Education Student Course if you have not already done so.

Once you’ve completed all the above steps, you will receive the New Mexico Hunter Education Instructor certification and will then be qualified to teach or assist with classes and additional Department outreach events. Call a member of the Hunter Education staff (see below) if you have questions. Thank you for your interest in giving back!

Upcoming Instructor Workshops and Program Events

Updated 11-8-2021
(Note: If no workshops are listed, please check page in future. Calendar is updated as scheduled).

All In-person training will follow COVID safe practices and health orders issued by the Department and the State. If you have, please contact the Hunter Education Office at 505-222-4722.

Current posting reflects confirmed dates of available workshops. Any posting that has a blue hyperlink to a workshop flier will also be available for registration using your Department CIN Account (Click Here to register). A posting that does not have a hyperlink is awaiting confirmation of facilities and/or locations and is not yet available for registration. Once confirmation is received, the posting will be updated and the workshop will be open for registration.

Instructor Refresher & Reactivation Training

For instructors whose certification has lapsed and wish to teach again, this online module will provide you the necessary training to reactive your status to allow you to begin teaching and assisting with hunter education courses.

Depending on how much time has elapsed since your last hunter education activity will determine whether the refresher course and/or the reactivation course is best for you.

This online training also serves as a refresher training for active instructors and counts toward continuing education hours.

Hunter Education Camp Master Training

The Hunter Education Camp Master Program is for certified hunter and bowhunter education instructors who are searching for fun and innovative ways to teach hunter education. If you are a current instructor who has the time and desire to teach in a camp-style setting, we encourage you to go through the following online training module:

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If you have any questions, please contact the Hunter Education Coordinator, Jennifer Morgan, at 505-263-8581 or at jennifer.morgan@state.nm.us.

Important Instructor Updates

Student Class Activity Packet

To help you make your traditional hunter education classes engaging for your students, please find a Class Activity Packet below. Studies have found that the more hands-on you can make your class, the more your students will retain the information. This packet contains several hands-on activities you to use in class. If you use one of these new activities in a class, send the Hunter Education Staff a picture for the Class Engagement Challenge. We will conduct drawings each month for instructors who submit a picture entry of a new hands-on activity being implemented during a traditional class.

Re-Testing Options

This presentation explains the retesting options that are now available for instructor-led in-person classes. These re-test options are not available for the virtual classes.

Live Fire Training

It is the recommendation of the Hunter Education and Shooting Sports Programs that the following criteria be established for a safe and viable live-fire volunteer program and to enable volunteers, such as yourself, to become more involved with live-fire events, classes, and outreach initiatives offered by the Department.

This brief online training module will provide you the necessary information and updates required to allow you to teach and/or assist with Department live-fire activities sponsored by either the Hunter Education or Shooting Sports Programs. Click on the pdf below to access the training!

Spanish Hunter Education Manuals

The Hunter Education Manual is available in Spanish. Contact the Hunter Education staff if you need a copy.

Training Tips and Continuing Education

Weblinks to articles and videos that may assist instructors in keeping up with new trends and techniques in hunting and shooting will be posted here frequently. If you take time to review any of these videos, please contact the Hunter Education Staff and let them know the date(s) you reviewed the material, which training modules you viewed and how much time it took you to complete the training(s). This time counts toward your instructor Continuing Education credits to achieve Senior/Master Instructor benchmarks and to be eligible for additional instructor incentives.

Training Links

Instructors must view at least 30 minutes of the below online training segments to receive Continuing Education credits to achieve Senior/Master Instructor benchmarks and to be eligible for additional instructor incentives. If you review any of these online segments, please contact a member of the Hunter Education staff and let them know the date you reviewed the material, how much time it took and which segments you viewed to receive credit.

Hunters Connect – offered by the International Hunter Education Association -USA (IHEA-USA) is here to help anyone further their continuation in hunting and to become a more confident hunter education instructor. Regardless of experience, content is provided to help anyone become more confident.

Understanding Your Optics: RANGEFINDERS – This video explains what you need to know about rangefinders and how to find the best one for you. It also explains what line of sight means when it comes to true ballistic range.

Get Ready for Turkey Season: Tukey Hunting Tips – NSSF Sportscast – Veteran Turkey Hunter and author of “Secrets of the Turkey Pros,” Glenn Sapir of the National Shooting Sports Foundation shares his go-to gear for a turkey hunt. (NSSF Video-5:32)

Pattern Your Turkey Shotgun: Hunting Tip – While turkeys are typically shot when standing still, keep in mind that the bird’s head/neck area represents a small target, especially out at forty yards. The key to patterning your turkey shotgun is to be sure you have an adequate pattern density at typical turkey hunting ranges. Watch this video on patterning your turkey gun and then head out to the range to be sure your choke/load combination is on target. (NSSF Video – 5:04)

Rifle Maintenance – Cleaning the Bolt – In this shooting tip, Jeremy Winters address how to clean the bolt on a bolt action rifle. (Gunwerks Video- 4:44)

FREE Online Trapper Education – The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies developed a free online trapper education course that state agencies and other organizations can use to train and certify trappers. The online course covers all of the AFWA-approved national standards and learning objectives for trapping in North America. The site also features Best Management Practices for trapping 20 species of furbearers.

Intro. to Range Safety and Etiquette – For many that first trip to the shooting range can be intimidating. This short video is a great introduction to firearms safety rules and etiquette at the indoor range and for experienced shooters a great reminder. Remember, firearms safety depends on you. (NSSF Video – 8:48)

Shooting Positions in the Field – NSSF Shooting Sportscast For those times when the prone position is not an option, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner discusses alternate shooting positions to make sure you are as stable as possible. (NSSF Video – 7:14)

Shooting at Angles: Rifle Shooting Technique – NSSF Shooting Sportscast – When shooting at angles gravity affects your bullet differently. Learn from NSSF’s Ryan Cleckner how to apply an angle to correctly compensate for bullet drop when shooting either uphill or down. (NSSF video)

Treestand Safety Video – This video addresses the universal safety requirements instituted by the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association and the National Bowhunters Education Foundation, as well as updated information about self-rescue, tower stands, and safety tethers. (Approx. 27 minutes)

How to Shoot Trap – NSSF Shooting Sportscast. OSP Shooting School’s Gil Ash explains how he approaches each station on a trap field. By knowing the proper hold points and focal points for each station you can greatly improve trap shooting. This tutorial also offers tips that can make you more successful at any shotgun sport or while afield. (NSSF Video – 13:51)

Big Game: What Happens Between Shot and Down -Big game that drops instantly to a shot is cause for concern, as Wayne van Zwoll explains in this eye-opening article. (Gun Digest Article)

Understanding Gun Fit – NSSF Sportscast Gil Ash of OSP Shooting Schools explains what the three key measurements gun fitters consider when properly fitting a shotgun. Does your shogun fit? Find out how you can tell. (NSSF Video – 4:55)

Dove Hunting Tips – NSSF Sportscast – Join NSSF’s Doug Painter on the Dove field for a few pointers that will help ensure your success this season. (NSSF Video – 3:24)

Dog Training Tips: Using the Correct Correction – Wingshooting – USA Host Scott Linden shares a tip about dog training. Watch and learn when the right correction is no correction at all. (NSSF Video – 2:09)

Dog Training Tips: Change it up to Avoid Training Scars – Wingshooting USA TV host Scott Linden shares some sage advice for dog trainers. Change it up and keep it fresh to keep your dog sharp. (NSSF Video – 1:49)

Updates

November HE Update

With only a couple of months until the new year and the 2022 hunter education “busy season”, we encourage you to reach out to the facilities that you use for classes. Some instructors have informed us that the facilities they use are requiring new forms or have different usage rules now. For those of you who primarily hold your classes in the early spring, it would be a good idea to check with the facility.

New Volunteer Patches and Vests

As you know over the last several years the department has been working on expanding and combining all of the volunteer programs for the department under one main canopy. As part of this process, we now have a new volunteer patch that will be used by all department volunteers. To start this transition, we need to hear from you. We understand that some of you have been instructors for a while and your vest is starting to show some wear. We do have vests with the new patch or for those of you that don’t want or need a new vest, we have the patches by themselves. Please send an email to megan.otero@state.nm.us indicating if you would like a new vest or a new patch. Please send your request by November 30. Starting in December we will mail out the vests and patches. All volunteers will need to have the new patch on their vest at their next department event.

Master/ Senior Instructor Recognitions

In the past, the Hunter Education program has had a master and senior recognition for instructors. These recognitions were earned through the instructor completing certain requirements. Over the last several years these recognition tiers have been overlooked. The requirements for these recognitions in the past included events and workshops we no longer have. Starting January 1, the requirements for these recognitions will be as follows below. To keep track we ask that as you complete these requirements other than classes please let us know so that we can enter them into your instructor profile in our database.

*** Instructor must be current on class hours and workshop hours ***

Master Recognition

  • minimum of five years continuous active certified status
  • teach or assist with a minimum of 20 classes
  • serve as lead instructor for a minimum of five classes
  • live fire certified
  • assist with one YHEC (Youth Hunter Education Challenge)
  • complete a bowhunter education course
  • assist with two hunter education camps
  • assist with at least one department-sponsored public outreach event

Senior Recognition

  • minimum of three years continuous active certified status
  • teach or assist a minimum of 10 classes
  • lead instructor for at least one class
  • become live-fire certified
  • assist with one hunter education camp

ChildSafe Training & COVID Acknowledgment – Mandatory

An email was sent out on Friday, October 8th detailing what needs to be done to host an in-person course. The first and biggest step is ALL Volunteer Instructors are required to complete the ChildSafe training. A HE/BH course will not be scheduled if the lead instructor does not have a certificate on file with us for completing the training. The rest of the team must have this completed before the first day of a scheduled course to be able to assist.

a. If you need to complete this training, please go to https://childsafe.thoughtindustries.com/redeem/nmgf. You will create an account. You will then be redirected to your “Learners Dashboard” where access to the course will be displayed. The course is titled “New Mexico Dept of Game & Fish Working with Youth”. Click on the Start Class link. Once you complete the training you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion which you must email to Interim Volunteer Program Coordinator, Storm Usrey, at stormw.usrey@dgf.nm.gov to receive credit. Please email the certificate electronically as an attachment.

Please also remember that all Volunteer Instructors must sign a COVID Acknowledgement form and submit it to the Hunter Education Office at dgf-he@state.nm.us before they can return to the classroom. This form only needs to be submitted once.

Please know we are here to support you through these new processes and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us. All forms and waivers referenced in this update can be found on the instructor page under the forms tab at, http://wildlife.dgf.nm.gov/education/hunter-education/hunter-education-instructor/.

Ladies Social Hour

The last Ladies’ Social Hour of the year is scheduled for November 16, 2021, at 5:30 p.m.

Every time we go afield we learn something new. Watching wildlife or working a new stream we pick up on different things. Our tool bag is always growing and we are taking time to share the little things that we learned.

If you haven’t made it afield recently, what is your favorite tip, trick, or hack? Come prepared to share your tools, big or small we want to hear them all.

Register in advance for the November webinar.

Instructor Training Workshops- In Person

Two in-person training workshops have been scheduled. Please see below for dates and times-

Date: December 4, 2021, from 8am-6pm
Where: Albuquerque Game and Fish office

Date: December 4, 2021, from 8 am-6 pm
Where: Roswell Game and Fish office

For more information on the workshops go to the instructor page, http://wildlife.dgf.nm.gov/education/hunter-education/hunter-education-instructor/.

Hunter Education Staff

Coordinator – Jennifer Morgan 505-222-4722 jennifer.morgan@state.nm.us
Assistant Coordinator – Stephanie Walton-Flipczak 505-222-4733 Stephanie.Walton@state.nm.us
Office Administrator – Roselyn Washington 505-222-4731 roselyn.washintgon@state.nm.us
Instructor Line Same 800 number none