Kansas City to host International Hunter Education Association conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Leading experts on safe and skillful hunting will gather in Kansas City May 29 through June 2 for the annual conference of the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA). The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is cohosting the conference.

About 300 attendees are expected at conference at the Intercontinental Kansas City at the Plaza hotel. Guest speakers will include MDC Director Bob Ziehmer, Chairman of the Missouri Conservation Commission Don Johnson, and national leaders in the hunter education field.

Hunter education helps keep the shooting sports safe and ethical. Instruction involves the safe use of firearms or archery equipment, hunting skills and compliance with hunting regulations.

Many states require completion of a hunter education course before permits to hunt wild game can be obtained. In Missouri, anyone born after Jan. 1, 1967, must pass a hunter safety course or purchase an Apprentice Hunter Authorization before they can obtain a permit. MDC offers hunter education courses taught by staff and volunteer instructors, many who are IHEA members.

Attendees at the IHEA conference will hear presentations by national speakers such as Bill Creighton, President and CEO of the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports. Donny Adair of Oregon, president of the African American Hunting Association, will lead a seminar on diversity. Many other speakers and workshops will be offered, and attendees can visit vendor and exhibitor booths.

The event will include a field day on Friday, June 1, at the MDC Lake City Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center near Independence. A field day highlight will be an appearance by shotgun wizard Tom Knapp, “The Shooting Star,” an exhibition shooter who has achieved three world records for hitting hand-thrown clay targets.

Knapp will also put on a shooting demonstration that is open to the general public from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 2, at the Lake City Shooting Range, 28505 E. Truman Road. The event is free.

Information about the IHEA Conference is available at http://www.ihea.com/index.php.

Information about the MDC hunter education program is available at http://1.usa.gov/Jn5s4A.

MEDIA NOTE: Media coverage of this event is welcome, including the performance by Tom Knapp, noted exhibition shooter. No conference registration is needed for media to cover a speaker or event. Check at the conference registration table for MDC assistance.

Key Messages: 
Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.