July 22, 2024 Donate

Chelsea, Community, Washtenaw County

Lead Hunter Education Instructor at the Chelsea Rod and Gun Club is Honored

The longtime lead hunter education instructor at the Chelsea Rod and Gun Club has been honored by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).

The department announced on June 27, “Stuart Kenewell of Gregory (Livingston County) is the Michigan Department of Natural Resources 2023 Hunter Education Instructor of the Year, an honor bestowed at the June meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in Lansing.”

The MDNR said Kenewell, who was nominated by other volunteer hunter education instructors, is credited for certifying thousands of students during 38 years of volunteering, creating community programs to support hunter education and hunting, and recruiting new volunteer instructors, while positively representing hunting and outdoor recreation.

Hunter education helps the next generation of hunters learn how to enjoy safe, responsible hunting and understand the importance of wildlife management, the MDNR announcement said; adding, “The DNR-managed program teaches lifelong skills, such as firearm safety, basic first aid and how to use a map and compass, to an average of 15,000 students per year.”

“Volunteer instructors are the foundation of our recreational safety programs,” Lt. Tom Wanless, DNR recreational safety, education and enforcement supervisor, said in the announcement. “Stu is a positive mentor of those programs and is crucial in recruiting and teaching new youth and adults how to safely and respectfully enjoy the outdoors.”

Stuart Kenewell, of Gregory, poses with family and staff from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. photo courtesy of the DNR

Since becoming a volunteer hunter education instructor in 1986, the MDNR said Kenewell has served as the lead hunter education instructor at the Chelsea Rod and Gun Club for 36 years. In his role, he plans the curriculum and coordinates the logistics for spring and fall hunter education classes to incorporate modern teaching techniques and works diligently to recruit and train new and existing volunteer instructors.

“Stu is one of the most respected members of the Chelsea Rod and Gun Club and also his community,” Timothy Eiseman, who was one of several Gregory community members to nominate Kenewell, said in the announcement. “He is a positive light in all situations and talks about the ethics of hunting along with the enjoyment, respect, care and appreciation of the outdoors, and has always represented those characteristics one would look for in a true sportsman and outdoorsman.”

Kenewell‘s list of many community accomplishments includes his role in developing a public archery program and target course, which has operated for more than 30 years. He is also credited with establishing a relationship with Chelsea and Stockbridge public schools to promote hunter education within their community education programs.

In 2018, the MDNR said Kenewell was recognized by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs for his outstanding service in conservation.

Kenewell is also a member of Gregory Community Church, American Legion (Post 31), Ducks Unlimited and the National Rifle Association, and still finds time to volunteer for many other community events.

He is one of about a thousand volunteer hunter education instructors in Michigan, according to the MDNR.

“Hunter education is a rewarding program for volunteers and students,” Wanless said in the announcement. “Anyone who enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking or simply being outside will benefit from taking hunter education – the program creates not just ethical hunters, but also stewards of our natural resources, and we owe that success to dedicated volunteers like Stuart.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer recreational safety education instructor who meets the requirements is encouraged to apply. All volunteer instructors are provided with free, continued training and resources.

To register or learn more about recreational safety education programs, visit Michigan.gov/RecreationalSafety.