Nebraska Celebrates 50 Years of Hunter Education: A Legacy of Safety and Outdoor Tradition

Thayne Muthler

On March 18, Governor Jim Pillen officially recognized that in the year 2024 it will be fifty years since Hunter Education began in Nebraska.

The governor signed the proclamation at the Nebraska Capitol in a ceremony. Tim McCoy, the Director of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, attended along with current and former coordinators and teachers from our programs.

Nebraska Celebrates 50 Years of Hunter Education: A Legacy of Safety and Outdoor Tradition

Credit belongs to Nebraska Game and Parks and also many volunteers who worked hard for 50 years, serving people of Nebraska," McCoy spoke. "We value our volunteer teachers greatly; they assist new hunters in maintaining the solid tradition of outdoor activities in Nebraska.

More than five thousand volunteer instructors are involved in extending Nebraska's hunter education from indoor classrooms to the natural settings outside. They play a role in providing lessons at events related to 4-H shooting sports, bow and arrow projects, and activities for hunting that happen during outdoor fairs. The volunteers help with education programs about nature in schools and many different activities that take place in the state parks of Nebraska, including the nearby regions.

The Hunter Education program began in Nebraska in the year 1974, and after that, Bowhunter Education was introduced in 1994. Since starting, more than 200,000 students have taken part. Information from the commission shows that, beginning at that time, occurrences with hunters have gone down by more than 80%.

Our volunteers serve as guides for many individuals, greeting and encouraging children and adults alike to engage in hunting and shooting sports. They instruct on safe behavior and responsible actions in nature," McCoy said. "We have a strong feeling of pride about the last 50 years, our history of safety procedures, as well as appreciation for all employees and volunteers who helped us along the way; we look forward to further advocating for secure hunting activities together with recreational shooting for many more years ahead.

Hunter Education contributes to the economic advantage of one billion dollars annually that Nebraska receives from hunting and shooting pursuits.