DNR safety instructors honored

(Released May 5, 2014)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is honoring 586 DNR safety education instructors for multiple years of volunteer instruction. DNR’s safety programs train 23,000 students each year in firearms, hunter, recreational vehicle and boat and water safety.

Harold Kick of Pine City was recognized for 50 years of service as a firearms safety instructor.

Since 1963, Kick has taught thousands of students the importance of firearms safety. His classes were so effective that they were videotaped and used by state agencies as an example of how to organize and conduct a successful firearms safety program. Kick was awarded the DNR’s Firearms Safety Education Volunteer Instructor of the Year award in 1999.

“Harold Kick and the more than 4,700 dedicated volunteer DNR safety education instructors throughout the state are committed to the future of Minnesota’s outdoor recreation heritage,” said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR hunter education program coordinator. “Minnesota’s hunters and motorized recreation enthusiasts owe them a debt of gratitude.”

Volunteer Harold Kick and Conservation Officer Eugene Wynn

Volunteer Harold Kick and Conservation Officer Eugene Wynn

The agency presents a pen and a challenge coin at five years, a crystal paperweight at 10 years, a 16 function multi-tool (men) or a Terry Redline oak-hinged wooden box (women) at 20 years, a framed and engraved print at 30 years, an engraved decree at 40 years and an engraved watch to commemorate 50 years of service.

“Volunteer instructors are the heart and soul of the hunter education program in Minnesota,” Hammer said. “The service of these dedicated men and women has made a significant difference in ensuring safe, ethical and responsible behavior while enjoying Minnesota’s outdoors. No one knows how many injuries were prevented and lives saved because of their efforts.”

The DNR is always looking for experienced people who want to pass on the tradition of outdoors safety and responsibility to the next generation. Those interested in becoming a volunteer instructor, call 800-366-8917, ext. 2504, or visit the DNR website.