As a result of the Governor’s public health directive related to COVID-19, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s Hunter Education Program has canceled all Instructor Training Workshops and in-person student courses at this time. The Department will resume offering workshops and courses in the future as we are able.

The entire staff at the Department thanks you for your patience at this time.

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. Submit the Volunteer Application and Background Check.
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 05-13-2020
(Note: If no workshops are listed, please check page in future. Calendar is updated as scheduled).

Instructor-led Workshops and Trainings have been temporarily postponed, however, we are now offering limited virtual and online Instructor Workshop and Training opportunities. If you have questions on our virtual training platforms, please contact the Hunter Education Office at 505-222-4722.

2020 Dates Workshop/Event Location
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.

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:

Camp Master Online Training Module

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.

Student Class Activity Packet 1-2020

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.

Instructor Refresher And Reactivation Training

Re-Testing Options

Recently an email was sent to all active instructors regarding the implementation of students re-testing options for our instructor-led courses. If you did not receive the email please click on the following presentation.

Retesting

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!

Live Fire Instructor 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.

Public Speaking without Fear and Anxiety – by Dave Oakes. This two-hour online training follows a workbook (see pdf download below) and will show you how to overcome the greatest obstacle in any communication situation: nervousness. In addition, the training will help you with planning your course presentations, controlling the teaching environment and the psychology of great delivery.

Public Speaking Without Fear and Anxiety

This training counts toward your recommended continuing education hours. Upon completion of this seminar, please contact a member of the Hunter Education staff to receive credit.

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

Updated 03-25-2020

March Instructor Update
We have entered unparalleled times. Since the inception of hunter education in New Mexico, I don’t think the Department has ever canceled courses in such a fashion. To that end, all instructor-led courses, instructor workshops, camps, and events have been suspended through April 30; and may extend beyond that date as we gather more information from both our Department and the Governor.

It’s important to adapt and overcome. And we have! We temporarily rolled-back the eligible age to take hunter education online to 10, we continue to remind families to take advantage of the Mentored-Youth Hunting Program, and online educational content is being uploaded to the Department’s website and Facebook page regularly to keep home-bound folks engaged. Check out the top of the main Game and Fish web site http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/ and the Online Options tab on the Hunter Education page http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/education/hunter-education/ to share the variety of online educational services to your friends and family.

We are also adapting to teleworking. If you have any questions or need to reach out to us we encourage you first to contact us through email first. We also have the ability to check our voicemails or you can call us on our cell phones: Jennifer (505) 263-8581 and Megan (505) 670-8196. Rose will soon have a cell phone and we will share that number as soon as it’s available.

This too shall pass. Stay healthy & safe.

New Exam
With the recent implementation of our new student exam, the missed exam questions were tallied from exam answer sheets that were submitted to the HE Office to evaluate how our students are responding to our new curriculum. Here are the findings. Questions 9, 14, 25, 44, 46, 47 and 49 were the most frequently missed questions with 49 being the most missed.

After reviewing these questions, there is a simple fix to help students better understand the concepts to help them earn the correct answer. Of course, all of the answers to these questions can be found in the manual, however, as instructors, we can provide more clarity and build on the concepts the students read from the book during our class time. Now is a perfect time for us to review these questions and devise fun and creative ways to incorporate information to cover these concepts by staying within timelines. One example is during the blood-trailing exercise. After they find their animal you can then cover that your animal has expired and the first thing a safe hunter will do is to unload their firearm before tagging and field dressing. These simple verbal comments will help emphasize concepts students read in their manuals and help prepare them for the exam and more importantly, what to do afield.

We appreciate your feedback regarding the new exam and curriculum. We are glad to hear it has helped make your class time more streamlined and that you are finding your students better understand the material when they come to class. Keep sending us your comments, positive or negative, regarding your experiences with the new exam and manual.

Instructor Audit
We are starting an instructor audit and we are asking that all instructors go in and check that their Department customer (CIN) accounts are up-to-date with their current address, email, and phone number. The hunter education staff uses the information in the CIN system to get your contact information when we need to send out correspondence.

Workshops
We are hopeful that we will soon be able to reschedule the Instructor Training Workshops that were canceled for the months of March and April. As we gather more information you will be notified. The Las Cruces Instructor Workshop should be looked at as tentative. We are working on some online training modules to better assist instructors with classroom dynamics and teaching styles.

How Are We Doing?
Thank you, instructors, who submitted your Class Critiques to the Hunter Education Office over the past few months. It’s always great to hear what our students are saying about our instructor-led courses. Not only are the praises great to hear, it’s important that we also listen and consider the ways we can improve. This ensures our classrooms are quality, educational experiences for our hunters. Here are a few comments, with the student’s age, we’d like to share with you.
As you read through the student comments, we encourage all instructors to improve upon the things that you can. We are currently evaluating our video content and are looking into options to make it more relevant to today’s student learning needs and instructor class delivery methods. Keep up the great, engaging efforts!

Why did you take the class?
“To learn gun safety. We have lots of guns at home.” 12
“Because I want to provide meat for my family so that we can all eat.” 9
“YHEC and 4-H.” 8
“So I can be a safe, responsible hunter.” 10
“Thankfully that’s an easy answer. I love wildlife and I want to be a game warden.” 12
“Friends took the class.” 7
“My Grandpa wanted me to take it, so we found a class online.” 14
“To hunt with my family.” 10
“To get certification to hunt out of state.” 43
“To be a safe hunter.” 10

How did you hear about the class?
“From school.” 12
“Online.” 10
“NMDGF flyer/publications.” Adult
“My family.” 9
“Facebook.” 10
“I took it myself when I was a kid and found it very beneficial.” 34
“Internet.” 8

What part did you enjoy the most?
“The live shooting.” 12
“Learning when to shoot and not shoot.” 13
“Making friends.” 9
“Outside activities.” 10
“The hands-on hunting test.” 10
“Blood trail.” 8
“The instructors were absolutely awesome! Very interactive, insightful, patient.” 41
“The pellet trailer!!” 11
“Shot placement with red dot gun.” 11
“Watching my son learn safety.” 42
“Watching the instructor make fire with a potato chip!” 12

What did you like least?
“Patience with people who have never held a firearm.” 9
“Old videos.” 11
“Too many videos and sitting.” 12
“When the boy died in the film.” 12

What could be improved?
“Have all instructors know and teach the same thing. I got a question wrong because one instructor gave me false directions.” 14
“No patience from an instructor.” Unknown age.
“More hands-on.” 12
“Get us more active.” 13
“NMDGF officers be more friendly-approachable during class.” Adult.
“More action types.” 11
“Less slideshow.” 12
“Maybe have a Game Warden so kids can see and meet them.” 10
“Lighter firearms.” 34

Other comments:
“Thank you for teaching me about hunting. I would recommend for new hunters. It can get boring at times but it is really important to take this class and I’m glad I took it!!!” 12
“This class was great, at the end, we even got a blaze orange vest!” 10.
“I really enjoyed this class and couldn’t have learned more in another class 😊.” 10
“Alternate lecture, video, and field exercises to keep kids engaged.” 60
“Don’t read off the PowerPoint. You lose your audience.” 30
“This was better than the online course.” 14
“Great thanks to all instructors.” 11
“Thank you for giving us the knowledge to hunt safe and a lifetime of good memories.” 11
“My son enjoyed both days and was excited to come back for the second day.” Parent
“The instructors were nice and patient.” 8

Hunter Education Staff

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