The 15th annual, award winning, SCI Houston Hunter Education Class was a huge success! And Please  bear with us for a moment while brag a little about SCI Houston being named Texas Parks and Wildlife Partner of the Year for our hunter education program! Hunter Ed Chair Dan Marcasol was honored to accept this award on behalf of SCI Houston. On July 20th, over 120 students participated in the class and the average test score was 96%. The TPWD instructors did an amazing job keeping the students engaged and provided a wealth of knowledge. Thank you Clinton Narcisse, Brad Bull, Daniel Billings, Ransom Belton, David Keck and Kevin Jackson for coming out. I would also like to thank Heidi Rao with TPWD for all of her assistance.

What we would like folks to understand is, this is not just a “gun safety” class. Not only does the course cover firearm safety, which is VERY important, it also teaches the importance of conservation, ethics, game identification, laws and much more. And, the program is entirely underwritten by SCI Houston and our sponsors. The course is free of charge to all students. Not only does SCI Houston take care of all TPWD fees, we also provide breakfast, lunch and drinks free of charge! There are tons of goody bags handed out for class participation. I addition,  some lucky winners took home really cool prizes. Three of our students will be able to use the firearm safety skills they learned at the class when they are in the woods with the guns they won. One happy student won a Savage 243/ scope combo. Another was treated to a 20 gauge Mossberg shotgun. And I’m sure one little guy is going to have a blast plinkin’ with his new Rossi .22 rifle! It’s also safe to say there’s a young lady out there smiling from ear to ear with her new Fred Bear crossbow package, complete with bolts, scope and quiver from West Houston Archery! Hopefully a big buck is put on the ground this season, because one young man won a shoulder mount from Woods and Water Taxidermy. Four lucky winners received a 2 night, 2 day all inclusive, hog hunt with L and L Adventures in Wimberly Texas. And, speaking of hogs… Lost Horizons Outfitters will host a night time/ night vision hog hunt for 2! Four hunters will be going on a quail hunt in Garwood, Tx hosted by C and C Kennels. To top it off, one student will be going on a trip of a lifetime! He will be joined by 3 family members and/ or friends on a 7 day all inclusive, African safari, with Authentic African Adventures in Limpopo South Africa, which also includes one animal for each hunter!

It needs to be pointed out, the success SCI Houston has seen with our Hunter Education Program is not merely by luck. It’s been years in the making. Sure, we at SCI Houston organize the class, do the footwork, figure out all the logistics. But, if it were not for the partnerships we have created over the years, none of this would be possible. It’s all about teamwork, coming together and uniting as hunters and outdoors men and women for a common goal. There is strength in numbers. We must pull together to protect our wildlife and outdoor resources for our kids and grandkids. And it all starts with education. Teach ‘em the right way when they are young. Instill those ethics and values now, so they can be pass along those same values to generations to come.

Heartfelt appreciation goes out to all the volunteers that had a hand in making this happen. We couldn’t have pulled it off without you. A very special thank you goes out to all our sponsors and outfitters who helped make our program what it is today. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, L and L Adventures, Authentic African Adventures, Lost Horizons Outfitters, C and C Kennels, Bonfire Wings in Houston, Woods and Water Taxidermy, West Houston Archery, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Texas Hunter Education Instructors Association (THEIA). We’d also like to say thanks to Celanese Chemicals for the use of their indoor, air conditioned pavilion.

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