FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick's 2016 Firearm Safety / Hunter Education Instructors of the Year have been chosen. Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet presented four International Hunter Education Association prints at today’s awards ceremony at the Hugh John Flemming Forestry Complex in Fredericton.

“I commend these four volunteers for their dedication to hunter education,” said Doucet. “The courses they teach have laid the foundation for generations of safe and responsible hunters in New Brunswick.”

The instructors were chosen on the recommendation of district co-ordinators for each of the four regions based on dedication, subject matter expertise and teaching ability. 

Roger DeGrace, region 1 (Bathurst), has taught about 465 students during 27 courses, including Women in the Outdoors, since earning his instructor certification in 1997.

Wayde Clifford, region 2 (Miramichi), has taught more than 3,000 students during 131 courses since earning his instructor certification in 1999.

Bryan Vesey, region 3 (Fredericton), has taught more than 1,100 students during 57 courses since earning his instructor certification in 2009.

Nathalie Michaud, region 4 (Edmundston), region 4, has taught more than 700 students during 37 courses, including bow hunting, since earning her instructor certification in 2005.

Almost 5,500 students have benefited from these instructors’ expertise and commitment to the Conservation Education Program.

New Brunswick has one of the lowest hunting accident rates in North America due in part to the work of hunter education instructors. Last year, 182 courses were offered with 4,447 students participating in the program.

Information on firearm safety and hunter education is available online.

Testing takes place at local offices of the Department of Energy and Resource Development.