Brown lands in IHEA Hall of FamePublished 9:16am Thursday, June 12, 2014
By Fletcher Scott
Special to the Outlook
On June 3, Jerry Brown, former teacher and longtime hunter education volunteer, received the highest honor that can be given to instructors.
He was inducted into the International Hunter Education Association’s Hall of Fame in Charleston, S.C.
Brown started teaching hunter education as part of his classroom instruction while teaching Vocational Agriculture in Milltown, Ala. Eventually, Brown taught hunter education in Tallapoosa County.
“Sometime around 1993, Charles Reams, who was a Tallapoosa County game warden, organized a group of volunteers to teach Hunter Ed in Tallapoosa County,” Brown said. “For several years, our first classes were taught at Russell Hospital. Soon we outgrew the classrooms. Some time in the late ‘90s, we moved out of the hospital and taught at the Area Vocational Center. Currently, we do all of our classroom instruction at the community center in Hackneyville.”
During his time in Hackneyville, Brown helped to improve the lessons offered by constructing a firing range that was designed to help students learn to handle guns and improve accuracy. Brown also noted that Tallapoosa County was one of the first Hunter Ed courses in the state that included live fire.
“I decided we needed a firing range for live fire practice. I realized it was a very important component of the Hunter Ed curriculum but nobody incorporated it as part of their course,” he said. “I built shooting bays with dirt berms so we could offer this type of instruction. Using live fire activities, we can not only observe students shooting, but also watch how they handle firearms.”
Brown credited his success as an educator, as well as his hall of fame induction, to fellow volunteers who have worked with him through the years. Without their help, he added, none of this would have come to fruition.
“Those folks have been instrumental in making all of this happen for the students of Tallapoosa County and surrounding counties,” Brown said. “I owe a big thank you for all the hours of hard work, preparation and dedication (my wife) Genelle and our instructors have put in. I wouldn’t have received this award had it not been for them.”
Brown has taught more than 2,000 students in his hunter education courses. Brown, with the assistance of some 20 certified instructors, runs each student through the gamut of everything a hunter needs to know when he or she is spending a day in the outdoors.
“We teach in the classroom on Saturday with powerpoint presentations and demonstrations that include game laws, survival, tree stand safety and first aid,” Brown said. “The following day at my place, we teach live fire activities which include rifle fire (.22 cal), shotgun, muzzle loading and archery. We also set up a blood trailing and compass course for our students. Many of our volunteers were former students that came back to help pass on the legacy to their children. This is how it should be.”