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Release # 48-16


Darby Kreiser, of Palmyra, recognized this week as 2 millionth graduate of hunter-safety program.

Twelve-year-old Jon Kreiser, of Palmyra, would be getting his first hunting license in the coming season, so he enrolled in a Hunter-Trapper Education course to be held at the Izaak Walton League of Lebanon County in June 2015.

His kid brother, Darby Kreiser, tagged along.

Darby had hunted as part of the state’s mentored youth program since 2012, with a turkey harvest to his credit, and at 11 years old, he was eligible to take the course alongside Jon.

But little did he know that in completing Hunter-Trapper Education, he’d also make Pennsylvania hunting history.

Darby became the 2 millionth student to graduate from the Game Commission’s Hunter-Trapper Education program, which first became mandatory in 1969.

He was recognized at the Board of Game Commissioners meeting in July, where the Game Commission presented him with a framed certification card and patch; Cabela’s awarded him with a new Parker crossbow; and Kalkomey Enterprises gave him a $200 gift card to Bass Pro Shops.

The dedicated team of Hunter-Trapper Education instructors from the Izaak Walton League of Lebanon County joined in the presentation and also received a plaque.

Volunteer instructors like these are the reason the Hunter-Trapper Education program has been so successful in training new generations of hunters to be safe and responsible. And the results have been impressive. More than 38,000 students received their basic Hunter-Trapper Education certification in 2015. And 2015 also was the safest year on record for hunting in Pennsylvania, with only 23 hunting-related shooting incidents occurring statewide.

Decades ago, hundreds of incidents a year were commonplace.

Hunter-Trapper Education has played a big part in making hunting as safe as it is.

“Our Hunter-Trapper Education program is something in which every Pennsylvanian can take pride,” said Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough. “The fact it has reached 2 million people is impressive by itself, but the role it has played in making hunting in Pennsylvania continually safer is an achievement all of us can celebrate.

“Please join me in applauding the dedicated team of volunteer instructors who make it all possible, congratulating Darby Kreiser as the program’s 2 millionth graduate,” Hough said. “May all your future hunting and trapping seasons be successful.”

For Darby, the best part of graduating the course last year is the chance this year to finally get his first hunting license.

And although he’s received a little more attention than his older brother, don’t feel too bad for Jon – graduate No. 2,000,001.

His first-ever antlered deer harvest tag was filled out with ballpoint pen on the second day of the 2015 firearms season.

# # #

To become and instructor

For more information about becoming a Hunter-Trapper Education instructor, visit the Game Commission’s education page at, or call the Game Commission’s Hunter-Trapper Education Division at 717-787-7015. Instructors must be at least 18 years old, meet qualifications and pass a background investigation.

To take the course

Hunter-Trapper Education is required for all first-time license buyers in Pennsylvania. To find a Hunter-Trapper Education course near you, go to the Game Commission’s website, The Hunter-Trapper Education page can be found under the Hunt & Trap tab. Registration can be completed online. Enrollment for most courses is limited due to the size of the facility where it is taught. Questions can be directed to the Game Commission’s Hunter-Trapper Education Division at 717-787-7015.

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Re: Hunter Ed. hits 2 million....

I always got a thrill when any of my former students told me of their hunts and what they had harvested. Miss instructing but too many things on my plate these days.
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