The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last Wednesday named Donald Sellers of Okeechobee its 2011 “Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year” at its June meeting in Palm Beach Gardens.
Each year, the FWC gives this award to the volunteer who significantly advances the cause of safe hunting through extraordinary service in training and education.
Sellers has been helping with hunter safety courses since 2001. In 2011, Sellers was the chief instructor for 23 courses in Okeechobee, Glades and Hendry counties. He also assisted with additional courses in Martin, St. Lucie and Hendry counties. Last year he certified nearly 600 students, and during the last two years he recruited 13 new instructors.
“Don is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about hunting and hunter safety, and he enjoys sharing this knowledge with others,” said Diane Eggeman, director of the FWC’s Division of Hunting and Game Management. “He is one of the strongest advocates you could have for passing along the hunting tradition to the next generation.”
Throughout his life, Sellers has been recognized by a variety of organizations. Some of his awards include the Lifetime Service to Agriculture Award from Okeechobee County Farm/City Committee, the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service Award for years of support to the Extension Program and an award from the Florida Lettuce Mosaic Committee for his outstanding leadership. He also served as chairman of the Lettuce Advisory Committee for 22 years.
Anyone interested in learning how to become a volunteer hunter safety instructor can go to MyFWC.com/HunterSafety. A link to a statewide schedule of hunter safety classes is also available on there.
The state’s hunter safety course is required of anyone born after May 31, 1975, who wishes to obtain a Florida hunting license.