DEEP: CE/FS Program Celebrates 20 Years

CT’s Hunter Education Program Celebrates 20 Years
Adapted from an article that appeared in the May/June 2002 issue of  Connecticut Wildlife.

Connecticut’s Conservation Education/Firearms Safety (CE/FS) Program honored its volunteer instructors on March 17 at the Annual Awards and Recognition Dinner held at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. This year’s event marked the 20th anniversary of Connecticut’s CE/FS Program, which started in 1982. Since then, a total of 93,816 students have graduated from one of the three programs, firearms, bowhunting or trapping. The volunteer instructors honored at this event have contributed some 292,063 hours in the last 20 years without compensation to educate hunters and trappers in safe and ethical techniques. 

{Award recipients at the 20th Annual CE/FS Recognition Dinner.}
Award recipients at the 20th Annual CE/FS Recognition Dinner. (Standing, l to r) Dave Kubas (CE/FS Program Coordinator), Steven Bergenty, Francis Wasylink, Mark Fowler, George Finch Jr. and Bob Kalinowski (CE/FS Program Coordinator). (Seated, l to r) Lawrence King, Phil Lavalle, President of Quaker Hill Rod and Gun Club, Inc., Will Sampson, Vice President of Algonquin Archers, and Timothy Barry.

At the dinner, the CE/FS Program also recognized two instructors from each of the firearms, bowhunting and trapping programs who have made exceptional contributions during the past year. An award of merit was given to an additional two instructors for their outstanding efforts in teaching classes in all three categories of firearms, bowhunting and trapping. Instructors chosen for these top honors were evaluated based on time devoted to CE/FS programs, including classes, workshops and promotional activities. Involvement in community service on related activities, which help to enhance the instructors’ relationship with the general public, were considered as credits in the award nominations. The instructor awards are presented on a total cumulative point system. Points are earned by leading and assisting classes, attending training sessions, giving workshops, total hours contributed to programs and other CE/FS-related activities. 

In addition, CE/FS coordinators each chose an instructor to recognize for their individual contributions to hunter education. Top honors for 2001 were given to the following instructors: 

  • Firearms: Mark Fowler, Warren Speh 
  • Bowhunting: Mark Hall, Timothy Barry 
  • Trapping: George Finch Jr., Jules Perreault 
  • Award of Merit: Lawrence King, Francis Wasylink 
  • Special Recognition: Henri Baxter, Steven Bergenty 

Special recognition for their contributions and support to Connecticut’s CE/FS Program was also given to the Quaker Hill Rod and Gun Club, Inc., and the Algonquin Archers. Instructor Marvin Curland was also recognized for over 30 years of involvement with hunter education in Connecticut. 

During calendar year 2001, 316 certified instructors donated 13,543 hours without compensation to conduct 171 courses for 4,443 students enrolled in basic firearms, bowhunting and trapping programs. The Wildlife Division is proud of the hundreds of instructors who donate their time and expertise to educating Connecticut’s sportsmen to be safe and responsible hunters. Connecticut’s program continues to be recognized as one of the best in the nation, thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

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