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Wyoming introduces hunter education endorsement for teachers

Joint efforts have resulted in a new license endorsement for teachers interested in teaching hunter education in Wyoming classrooms. (Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

by Breanna Ball, Wyoming Game and Fish Department

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Joint efforts by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Professional Teaching Standards Board have resulted in a new license endorsement for teachers interested in teaching hunter education in Wyoming classrooms. 

“The Professional Teaching Standards Board is pleased to partner with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in offering hunter education as an endorsement that teachers can add to their licenses,” said Brendan O’Connor, PTSB executive director. “Hunting, fishing and natural resource conservation is embedded in Wyoming’s culture. Providing this opportunity allows qualified teachers to teach these foundations to students across the state during the school year so they will become good stewards of the state’s bounty.” 

The hunter education teaching license endorsement is the final step in a three-year, joint effort by the Wyoming State Board of Education and State Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide hunter education in schools as recommended by the Firearm and Hunter Education Joint Resolution.  

The endorsement allows educators who have been approved by their school administration to teach students hunter education. Hunter education classes can be offered during class hours or in after-school programs, allowing students to receive their hunter education certification. Endorsed teachers are certified by Game and Fish to instruct hunter education and must comply with Wyoming regulations. 

“Bringing hunter education into schools is about more than just teaching students how to hunt. It is about instilling a conservation ethic in our students, teaching wildlife identification, fostering recognition and application of wilderness and firearm safety in and out of the field, and cultivating a legacy of responsible conservationists for generations to come,” said Nish Goicolea, Game and Fish chief of education and communications. “This endorsement would not have been possible without the collaboration of multiple state agencies and a shared vision of what conservation education should look like in Wyoming.” 

Teachers interested in earning an endorsement in hunter education must meet and maintain Game and Fish hunter education instructor certification requirements and submit the proper documentation to PTSB. 

Becoming a hunter education instructor is not limited to teachers — anyone who would like to teach hunter education in their communities can become a volunteer instructor