The web Browser you are currently using is unsupported, and some features of this site may not work as intended. Please update to a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge to experience all features Michigan.gov has to offer.
DNR honors Clinton County volunteer as hunter education instructor of the year
August 02, 2023
Doug Hastings, of Bath, is the Michigan Department of Natural Resources 2022 Hunter Education Instructor of the Year, an honor bestowed at the July meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in Lansing.
Last year, Hastings instructed 700 students.
Hunter education teaches the next generation of hunters how to enjoy safe, responsible hunting and understand the importance of wildlife management. The DNR-managed program teaches lifelong skills, such as firearm safety, basic first aid and how to use a map and compass, to an average of 15,000 Michigan students per year.
“Doug is dedicated and passionate and ensures each student receives quality instruction,” said Lt. Tom Wanless, DNR recreational safety, education and enforcement supervisor. “He goes above and beyond to coordinate last-minute classes to ensure a waiting list of eager students can hunt on opening day, and that there are no delays receiving their safety certificate.”
Hastings has been a volunteer hunter education instructor for 12 years, and a bow education instructor since 2005. He incorporates new, creative techniques into his lessons to keep students engaged in learning.
“Volunteers like Doug are integral for passing down the longtime heritage of safe and ethical hunting to the next generation of hunters, and to also help recruit new volunteer instructors,” Wanless said. “Doug never turns down an opportunity to volunteer, makes himself available to fill in for other instructors and is very willing to mentor new instructors.”
Hastings is one of about a thousand volunteer hunter education instructors in Michigan.
“Hunter education is a rewarding program for volunteers and students,” Wanless said. “Anyone who enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking or simply being outside will benefit from taking hunter education – the program creates more than just ethical hunters, but also stewards of our natural resources, and we owe that success to dedicated volunteers like Doug.”
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer recreational safety education instructor and meets the requirements is encouraged to apply. All volunteer instructors are provided with free, continued training and resources.
To register or learn more about recreational safety education programs, visit Michigan.gov/RecreationalSafety.
Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows.
Hastings: Doug Hastings, of Bath, was honored as the Michigan Department of Natural Resources 2022 Hunter Education Instructor of the Year at the July meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in Lansing. Hastings is shown with DNR staff who manage the hunter safety and education program. Pictured, left to right: Sgt. Cary Foster, Lt. Tom Wanless, Cpl. Ken Lowell, Doug Hastings, Chief Dave Shaw, Acting DNR Director Shannon Lott and Erica Moore, recreational safety education program coordinator.