Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey rumor mill bears watching; alerting impacting family members

You can take it to the bank that rumors and false alarms will surely follow natural disasters faster than a tornado, be more powerful than a magnitude 8 earthquake, and sink deeper than flood waters.

Hurricane Harvey is no different. Here is the response from the U.S. Coast Guard and FEMA on rumors spreading through the Houston area. Anyone with family there should alert their relations to be on the alert for scams and rumors.

Hurricane Harvey rumor control

Posted by LaDonna Davis, Thursday, August 31, 2017
There are a lot of rumors floating around the internet in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Unfortunately, there are also many scams out there trying to take advantage of  people’s good will during this massive flood event. FEMA has put together a rumor control website to fact check many of the rumors and keep the public informed of what’s true, what’s false and how to tell the difference.

Rumor: There are reports of a flyer titled FEMA Field Inspectors needed ASAP and states
Earn $4-5K per week call (214) 284-XXXX between the hours of 9:00am – 11:00am up to August 31, 2017.
This report is TRUE. (August 29/Updated 8/30).
FEMA is hiring field inspectors under a pre-existing contract to assist with surge capacity of field inspections.

Rumor: There are reports stating FEMA is looking to employ 1,000 people offering to pay $2,000/week for 90 days and the phone number to call is 888-776-XXXX.
This report is FALSE. (August 29/Updated 8/30)
Learn more about official FEMA job opportunities to help with the response and review a list of trusted non-profit organizations who are active in disaster response.

Rumor: There are reports of people impersonating Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
special agents in Texas.
This report is TRUE. (August 29).
Real Homeland Security Investigations officials wear badges labeled “special agent,” which members of the public can ask to see and verify. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)also wear badges labeled with ERO Officer. They also carry credentials with their name and organization. Members of the public who receive such visitors should ask to see these properly labeled badges, and their credentials.
In addition, these officers and special agents would be conducting hurricane relief operations with other local law enforcement agencies. Also note that during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts,
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not conducting immigration enforcement operations in the affected area.
To report suspicious activity or individuals you believe are impersonating ICE officials, members of the public should immediately contact ICE toll free at 866-347-2423.

Rumor: There are rumors undocumented immigrants cannot go to a shelter because they will be reported to ICE or CBP.
This rumor is FALSE. (August 27)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have stated that they are not conducting immigration enforcement at relief sites such as shelters or food banks. In the rare instance where local law enforcement informs ICE of a serious criminal alien at a relief site that presents a public safety threat, ICE will make a determination on a case-by-case basis about the appropriate enforcement actions.
More information is available at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) joint statement. The Federal Government strongly encourages all persons to follow the guidance of local officials and seek shelter regardless of their immigration status.
Most shelters are managed by local communities, the Red Cross, and other voluntary agencies. American Red Cross’ humanitarian mission is to feed, shelter, and provide other forms of support without regard to race, religion, or citizenship status.
The Red Cross will not ask people to show any form of identification in order to stay in their shelters. In order to receive some Red Cross services, such as meeting with a caseworker to facilitate disaster recovery, they will need to verify a person’s pre-disaster address. For people who don’t have government-issued identification, the Red Cross can usually do this through alternative means, such as a copy of a utility bill.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Coast Guard remains on the front line in Harvey search and rescue operations

While Ohio has not directly sent anyone yet to the Houston area the U.S. Coast Guard
has been very busy there, working with local, state and other federal governmental
agencies as well as such civilian assets as the “Cajun Navy” to offer aid and perform rescue operations.

This is the latest from the Coast Guard:

The Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams rescued more than 940 people in the
greater Houston Metro Area, Wednesday.
"We are assessing the needs of the community around-the-clock and strategically placing
our punt teams in the best place to assist,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephanie Tindall,
marine science technician at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston. “We have been working
closely with partnered agencies to ensure an effective and efficient response effort." 
The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to create
a sustainable response force. 
Currently, there are 33 Coast Guard helicopters and nine Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams,
with 12 shallow-draft vessels, capable of operating in flooded urban areas.
Coast Guard has rescued more than 4,500 people and more than 113 pets.

By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Coast Guard's diversion to Houston not hampering its role on Great Lakes

Driving a stake into Hurricane Harvey’s heart has proven problematic with the storm expected to spread misery into Ohio – just in time for the Labor Day weekend.

And thus also for the start of Ohio’s early Canada goose-only hunting season, which opens September 2nd; Saturday.

Certainly a missed goose season opener pales in comparison to what the Houston area is undergoing right and what the bayou country of lowland Louisiana will encounter over the next couple of days.

As it stands, only two of Texas’s six ports are open: Brownsville and Port Arthur. Closed still are Galveston, Freeport, Houston, Corpus Christi, and Victoria, reports the U.S. Coast Guard. In Coast Guard parlance, these ports are under what the agency calls “Zulu Status.”

The Guard has been pulling assets from all over to help in the search and rescue as well as recovery efforts in Houston and the surrounding area – an area larger than some New England states.

Responders have encountered an overwhelming need for evacuations and
search and rescue operations. The response to Harvey is drawing upon Coast Guard assets
throughout the United States,” said the Guard’s Ninth District (Great Lakes Region)
headquarters in Cleveland.
In the Great Lakes, this will mean that some seasonally operated units will
suspend their operations at least one week earlier than anticipated.”
In terms of Coast Guard assets diverted to the Houston area, the service reports
that more than 2,000 of its personal are working there along with 20 helicopters
and one airplane (about one-tenth of the service’s aviation fleet), and 20 marine vessels.
Since beginning its assistance in the Houston area, Coast Guard personnel have affected
more than 3,200 rescues of people and more than 110 rescues of pets, the service reports.
Even with a large contingent in the Houston area the service remains
“fully capable of responding to emergencies throughout the Great Lakes,”
said Coast Guard Captain Tim Wendt, chief of response for the Ninth District.
That capability was demonstrated Tuesday when the Coast Guard
joined forces with its Canadian counterpart in a search and rescue operation off Cleveland.
This duel duty came about when a pleasure boat with two anglers aboard was reported overdue.
During the search, a Canadian helicopter located the capsized boat with one of the anglers
clinging to the vessel. The victim was successfully retrieved but the other angler
remains missing and is presumed to have drowned.

Monday, August 28, 2017

UPDATED August 30 - Ohio-based hurricane help assets now in Houston; more on the way

With the Hurricane Harvey remnants still ravaging southeast Texas and specifically the Houston area, Ohio is some fashion will almost certainly have a role in assisting during the emergency.

In fact, that role’s throttle has all ready been engaged and is expected to pick up tempo shortly.

Assets associated with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Ninth District – which covers the entire Great Lakes region and is headquartered in Cleveland – were within the past few days deployed to the Houston area.

FEMA/federally activated Ohio Task Force 1 is now in Texas though the state has not yet sent any assets through a multi-agency compact and as explained August 30th by an Ohio Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman.

Ohio Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Kelly Blackwell said Ohio and Texas are part of a national/state emergency management compact that provides assistance as needed. This compact is activated through electronic communications as a requesting state puts out a request for specific aid.

“And it’s expected that we’ll be asked to provide specialized staffing such as those in communication,” Blackwell said also.

Similarly, even a Geauga County-based no-kill animal shelter anticipates a rippling effect of caring for abandoned dogs and cats; all related to the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

“We’ve sent two Dolphin helicopter from Wisconsin and four air-boats – including one from our Station Marblehead that is typically used for ice rescue operations on Lake Erie,” said Petty Officer Brian McCrum, spokesman for the Coast Guard’s Ninth District Office.

McCrumm said the Ninth District has also deployed about 40 of its personnel to the Houston area of which about one-quarter coming from the Cleveland area.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Department spokesman Matt Eiselstein, said his agency will work with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency on any request. He added that the last time the agency sent teams out-of-state to assist in rescue and recovery operations was in 2008 for Hurricane Ike.

Yet even weeks and months after Hurricane Harvey has disappeared the storm will leave a footprint that will require Ohio intervention, though of a rather unusual nature.

Geauga County-based Rescue Village – a component of the Geauga County Humane Society and a no-kill all-animals shelter – expects that in coming days it will take on dogs and cats that will need adopting.

However, these canines and kitties will less likely come directly from the Houston area but more likely arriving from shelters in neighboring communities. That’s because the dogs and cats living in those shelters have all ready been passed over for adoption but room will be necessary to accommodate an almost guaranteed influx of pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey, said DeeDee Bondra, Rescue Village’s volunteer coordinator.

“It will be a lot easier to reunite a displaced pet with its owner if the dog or cat is close by instead of it being taken to Northeast Ohio,” Bondra said.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Don't be blown away by fake Hurricane Harvey relief pitches

Ohio’s Attorney General says give to Hurricane Harvey relief but do so intelligently.

This from the state’s state’s top lawman on the subject:

Attorney General DeWine Offers Charitable Giving Tips Following Hurricane Harvey, Texas Flooding

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today offered advice to help Ohioans make wise charitable contributions and avoid scams following the catastrophic flooding in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey.
We encourage people to be generous in helping those affected by the devastating floods in Texas,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We also encourage people to make sure their donations go to legitimate causes, not scammers.  A little bit of research can go a long way to avoid being taken advantage of when helping those in need.”

Tips for making charitable donations after a natural disaster: 
  • Carefully review donation requests. Do some research to make sure your donation will be used as intended. After a natural disaster or national tragedy, some sham charities pop up to take advantage of people’s generosity. Don’t assume that charity recommendations on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites have been vetted. The first donation request you find may not be the best. 
  • Evaluate charities using resources such as the Ohio Attorney General’s Office (or the offices of other state attorneys general), IRS Select Check, Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and GuideStar. 
  • Beware of “look-alike” websites or accounts. Be skeptical of charities or groups with names that sound similar to well-known organizations. They may be intended to confuse donors. If you receive a message from an organization asking for a donation, confirm that the request truly is from the organization, and not an impostor, by contacting the organization directly or visiting its website. 
  • Be careful when giving to newly formed charities. Some charities that are formed shortly after a natural disaster or tragedy have good intentions but lack the experience to properly handle donors’ contributions. Established charities are more likely to have experience to respond following a tragedy and to have a track record that you can review.  
  • Check out crowdfunding campaigns before donating. If you want to make a contribution using a crowdfunding or peer-to-peer fundraising site, find out how your donation will be used before donating. Try to determine which campaigns are legitimate and supported by those close to the tragedy, and which haven’t been vetted. (Some people ask for donations claiming to help victims but ultimately keep the money for themselves.) Also consider how much of your donation will go to the website itself or whether you will be charged any fees for making the donation. Find out how the website will use your personal information. Be wary of sites that don’t provide a privacy policy.
  • Review claims carefully. Some groups sell merchandise online and claim that “100 percent of the proceeds” will benefit a specific charitable purpose, but this claim does not necessarily mean 100 percent of the sales price will go toward the cause. Contact the organization to ask how much of each purchase will support the cause. If the organization cannot give you an answer, consider donating another way.
  • Contact a charity before raising money on its behalf. If you want to set up a fundraiser for a particular charity, contact the organization in advance and determine how you can properly collect donations. 
Signs of a potential charity scam include:
  • High-pressure tactics.
  • No details about how your donation will be used.
  • Refusal to provide written information about the charity.
  • Organizations with names that sound similar to other better-known organizations.
  • Requests for donations made payable to a person instead of a charity.
  • Offers to pick up donations immediately versus in the mail or online.
Those who suspect a charity scam or questionable charitable activity should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office investigates and takes enforcement action against charitable fraud.
By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Coast Guard has proven itself an exceptionally important first-responder allies during Hurricane Harvey’s landfall along the Texas Gulf Course.

This is a summary of the Coastie’s activities that includes the notation that it helped save the lives of 20 people – and one dog. Can’t forget the dog.

Update 1: Coast Guard responds to Hurricane Harvey response 
HOUSTON  — The Coast Guard continues response efforts for Hurricane Harvey’s impact
on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, Saturday.
Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews rescued in total 20 people and a dog
after they received reports from watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi
Saturday morning and afternoon.

For more information, please visit our newsroom at
Our Coast Guard members prepare on a daily basis for anything that may come their way,” said
Capt. Kevin Oditt, incident commander, incident command post Houston-Galveston.
Anytime the Coast guard is not conducting a mission, they are training. They are professionals.”
Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston and Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi
captains of the port have set port condition zulu for the ports of Houston, Texas City, Galveston,
Freeport and Corpus Christi except for Port Brownsville, which reopened Saturday morning.
For more information about port condition zulu for Sector Houston-Galveston,
please visit,
We are preparing to open ports once the storm has passed or weather conditions permit,”
said Oditt. The wind conditions and sea state determines port conditions.”
Three Coast Guard Western River Flood Punt teams, who use shallow-draft vessels
that are capable of responding in flooded urban areas, have arrived at
Sector Houston-Galveston and three are en route to the Sector.
Coast Guard assets deployed to Houston include:
  • Three 29-foot response boat-small from Coast Guard Station Houston
  • Three 29-foot response boat-small from Coast Guard Station Lake Jackson
  • Two 29-foot response boat-small and five 45-foot response boat-medium
  • from Coast Guard Station Galveston
  • An 87-foot patrol boat from Coast Guard Sector Louisiana
  • Six MH-65 Dolphin helicopters assigned to Coast Guard Air Station Houston
  • One MH-65 Dolphin helicopters assigned to Coast Guard Lake Jackson
The Coast Guard reminds the public of these important safety messages:
Stay off the water. The Coast Guard search and rescue capabilities degrade
as storm condition strengthen. This means help could be delayed.
Evacuate as necessary. If mandatory evacuations are set for an area,
the public should evacuate without delay.
Secure belongings. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas.
Trailerable boats should be pulled from the water. Be sure to secure loose items.
Stay clear of beaches.
Stay informed. Information can be obtained through local television, radio, Internet,
and VHF radio channel 16.
For the most up-to-date weather information, visit 
For imagery and video of Hurricane Harvey response, please visi
For frequent updates, please visit Twitter and Facebook at and

HOUSTON – The Coast Guard is responding to a report of seven people
in distress at their residence near Aransas Pass, Texas, Saturday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a report at 7 p.m.
of seven people, one of which is reportedly on oxygen and had run out,
in need of assistance.

Watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Aviation Training Center
MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew to assist the individuals.

“In situations like this, the Coast Guard remains flexible in these dynamic environments
and are able to rescue people on sea and land if the need arises,”
said Capt. Tony Hahn, commander, Sector Corpus Christi

By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Friday, August 25, 2017

Coast Guard prepping for Hurricane Harvey, issues maritime restrictions

On the front lines of natural disasters that impact military, commercial and recreational marine-related activities, the U.S. Coast Guard is girding its loins - so to speak - in preparation of Hurricane Harvey, set to soon make landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Harvey is a Category Three storm and is the most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S. in more than a decade. Besides packing winds of 115 to 125 miles per hour, Harvey is also expected to dump water in excess of 40 inches in some locations.

This is the Coast Guard’s official announcement on the hurricane:

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard continues preparations for response efforts for
Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, Friday.
Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston and Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi
captains of the port have set port condition zulu for the ports of Houston,
Texas City, Galveston, Freeport and Corpus Christi.
Under port condition zulu for Sector Houston-Galveston: 
  • Vessels and barges are prohibited from transiting the safety zone without
  • the approval of the captain of the port.  If transiting is required,
  • contact the Vessel Traffic Service at 281-464-4837.
  • All cargo and bunkering operations must cease.
  • A radio watch must be maintained on VHF-FM channels 16, 21A, 11, 12.
  • All ports, hatches, portholes and other openings shall be closed and secured.
  • Sufficient crew must be onboard to tend mooring lines and control
  • the vessel in the event of an emergency and
  • at least two anchors must be ready for letting go.
  • Vessels and barges anchored at Anchorage Areas Alpha, Bravo, or Charlie
  • were required to depart anchorage areas prior to 10 a.m. Friday. 
Coast Guard Western River Flood Punt teams, who use shallow-draft vessels
that are capable of responding in flooded urban areas, are en route to three
staging areas in Texas and Louisiana.
The Coast Guard reminds the public of these important safety messages:
  • Stay off the water. The Coast Guard search and rescue capabilities degrade
  • as storm condition strengthen. This means help could be delayed.
  • Evacuate as necessary. If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public
  • should evacuate without delay.
  • Secure belongings. Owners of large boats are urged to move
  • their vessels to inland marinas. Trailerable boats should be pulled from the water.
  • Be sure to secure loose items.
  • Stay clear of beaches.
  • Stay informed. Information can be obtained through
  • local television, radio, Internet, and
  • VHF radio channel 16.

By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

UPDATED RE MIXON'S REAPPOINTMENT/ODNR's Director more chump than champ

Government must be a transparent garment which tightly clings to the peoples’ body.” - German dramatist Karl Georg Buchner

Even the best of magicians might be impressed with the illusions being offered up by the Kasich Administration as tooled to fine detail by Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director James Zehringer.

At virtually every turn Zerhringer and his cadre of acolytes have systematically disassembled the department, reducing some units to husks of their former selves and obliterating morale.

Similarly, Zerhringer has failed in his duty to appoint and work with advisory, consulting and over-seeing boards, commissions and councils.

At the same time Zehringer appears to have attached the Natural Resources Department’s star to a largely unknown and unseen (roughly) 40-person “ad hoc” committee. This group has long operated under the radar without government oversight and away from public view.

Indeed, a look at the email list of the ad hoc committee’s members demonstrates very little in the way of hunting- or fishing-associated group representation. Just the opposite, with representation by forest, farming, agricultural and other interests all gathering themselves together from time-to-time though no one outside of the body knows when that time-to-time shows up on the calendar. Or even where or why.

No question, Zehringer and his politically appointed staff have made a mess of things. But like the emperor strutting confidently through his kingdom, Zehringer believes that his new clothes are admired by his subjects. Of course, they are not.

All of this is happening even while Zehringer has failed to appoint a single person to a five-member panel charged by the Ohio General Assembly several years ago to provide scientific advice on how to operate the state’s natural areas and preserves. No one has ever been appointed and no council has ever met.

Zehringer’s back-benching placement of other legally established advisory boards does not end there, either. An advisory group that was tossed a life jacket at the final moment by the Ohio General Assembly is the remnants of the once noteworthy and effective advisory Waterways Safety Council. At last report the five-person council is really just a trifecta board that exists somewhere within the refried Division of Parks and Watercraft.

Of course the greatest plum that Zehringer and his people covet is the Division of Wildlife. In this bailiwick of more than passing interest to hunters, anglers and trappers, Zehringer also has demonstrated a knack for ignoring history and protocol.

On January 31st the valued contributions of Ohio Wildlife Council members Charlie Frank  ended when his term expired, though Dr. Larry Mixon was just reappointed. Typically, individuals to this eight-member council (which is legislatively mandated to review and approve proposed fish and game laws) are either quickly reappointed or shortly thereafter, replaced.

To date, however, Zehringer has done neither; perhaps signaling and sealing the reappointment or replacement fate of Wildlife Council members Tom Vorisek and Eric Hirzel. Their terms expire January 31st 2018 and their future with the council is very possibly a non-starter.

Nor can it be lost regarding the way Zehringer has turned the Wildlife Division into a farm team for the agency’s sibling entities. Over the summer a seemingly and almost unceasing display of shuffling highly qualified Wildlife Division staffers to other Departmental entities occurred. Without – importantly – even bothering to ask the employees if they wanted the transfers.

In effect, Zehringer ordered his version of the French Foreign Legion’s unofficial slogan “march or die.” Either the expected transferring man or woman went along with the switch or else be shown the nearest exit and the address of the nearest unemployment office.

Of course, in the case of former Wildlife Division chief Ray Petering his options were pared down to none: His unceremonious exodus came unexpectedly (for him, anyway) when he walked into Zehringer’s office just one day after the July 4th holiday.

Petering was then ousted, his replacement all ready named, present and accounted for in the bodily form of Mike Miller.

All in spite of Zehringer pretty much saying not all that long before that Petering was in essence going to be the Wildlife Division’s Moses that would lead the agency into the promised land of solvency and efficiency.

And so we are here and the there remains one very large and looming question-mark. The Natural Resources Department’s permanent residents are punch-drunk. They are unsure of what eventually will become not only of the department but just as vital for them, their jobs.

Alas, that uncertainty is made even more manifest by Zehringer’s orders to keep the blinds closed and post the doors with “no solicitation” signs against the public from inquiring just what the heck is happening behind the fence-moat at Fountain Square.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ohio's new hunter education course flunks some instructors' appraisal

After 15 years the Ohio Division of Wildlife has made major modifications to its hunter education classroom instructional material, upgrading the reading and comprehension level from a Fifth-Grade level to a Sixth-Grade level.

In the process the agency also has lowered the ante in order to pass the exam following 10 to 12 hours of instruction. Enrolled students must now correctly answer 75 percent of the test’s 100-question format. Previously, the number was 80 correct answers out of 100 questions.

But since implementing the new curriculum the Wildlife Division has seen a spike in the rate of student failure since the new study material began being used in March; as high as 40-percent in one southeastern Ohio class setting.

However, the Wildlife Division’s hunter-trapping education coordinator Matt Ortman says this rate will fall as both instructors and students become more familiar with the new material, assembled by the product’s only vendor, Texas-based Kalkomey Enterprises.

The state graduates between 16,000 and 17,000 hunter education students annually. These students are taught by the Wildlife Division’s all-volunteer corps of hunter education instructors which numbers in the neighborhood of 1,500 individuals.

Even so, only one-third of this instructor cadre has yet to undergo any sort of boot-camp refresher in order to fully understand and successfully teach the new curriculum.

Yet that instructor educational re-arming number will increase as the peak hunter education training season gets underway. This time period runs roughly between September 1st and the start of Ohio’s firearms deer-hunting season when about 80-percent of all students take the course, Ortman says.

Which still does not sit well with some of Ohio’s hunter education instructors. Among them is “Ohio Outdoor News” contributor Larry Moore of Jamestown, Ohio.

Moore has also been a volunteer Ohio hunter education instructor for 35 years and now teaches between 50 and 60 students annually.

For Moore the Wildlife Division’s roll-out of the new curriculum has proven anything but smooth and efficient. Not by a long shot, says Moore, who is frustrated that the lack of consulting with and request for input from instructors is a far cry from previous curriculum updates.

This has been the most disappointing effort on the part of the Ohio Division of Wildlife I have ever seen,” Moore said, not mincing any words. “Ford sold a lot of Pintos but it still was not a good automobile. Same here with the launch of this new curriculum.”

In an August 9th electronic exchange with the state’s certified hunter education instructors, Ortman noted that the Wildlife Division “...also be offering additional training in September and October in order to maintain your certification.”

We will be sending out additional information on this soon,” Ortman said. “We are also working on a revision to the test. All answer sheets and answer keys will remain the same.”

Then, too, said Ortman in a later telephone conversation, that it “was time to do something different,” noting that some hunter instructors were chiming in that the previous training materials had “become out-dated.”

Ortman later explained as well how the agency had conducted about 15 instructor training sessions across the state from March through early May but only that 563 volunteer teachers attended, making it more difficult to see that the revamped course is being adequately taught.

This is part of the reason why, Ortman says, mandatory training will be required at some point in order for a person to be either certified or re-certified as a hunter education instructor.

Hopefully by the end of October we’ll have all of our instructors trained,” Ortman said also. “It’s been tough for all of us.”

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn