The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) named John Little of Palm Bay the 2017 Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year at its June Commission meeting in Sarasota. The award recognizes a volunteer who significantly advances the cause of safe hunting through extraordinary service in training and education.
Little has been volunteering to teach the state’s hunter safety course since 2003. He received Area Coordinator of the Year in 2016, in his home county of Brevard. During 2017, Little scheduled 14 classes and certified 116 students.
“John does a great job of cross-training the members of his teaching team and combines traditional and skills day classes, offering students a choice,” said Will Burnett, FWC’s northeast regional hunter safety coordinator. “Students walk away from John’s class with a new respect and appreciation for safe firearms handling and ethical hunting.”
In addition to teaching the FWC’s hunter safety course, Little is a nationally-certified instructor, youth-group counselor, and teaches basic firearms handling and safety at a local gun club.
Because Little received the award, he is now in the running and representing Florida for the national title International Hunter Education Association’s Instructor of the Year.
“It’s volunteers like John Little that unselfishly give of their time, talent and treasure who are making a big impact on building safe, responsible, knowledgeable shooters and hunters,” said Bill Cline, FWC’s section leader for hunter safety and public shooting ranges.
Anyone interested in learning how to become a volunteer hunter safety instructor can go to MyFWC.com/HunterSafety and select “Volunteer.”
Successful completion of a hunter safety course is required for anyone born after May 31, 1975, who wishes to obtain a Florida hunting license to hunt unsupervised. For more information, visit MyFWC.com/HunterSafety.