News Releases

Paul Averill named Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year

News Release

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Media contact: Tony Young, 850-488-7867

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its meeting June 19 in Fort Myers named Paul Averill of Pensacola its 2013 “Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year,” an award given to the volunteer who significantly advances the cause of safe hunting through extraordinary service in training and education.

Since 2002, Averill has volunteered teaching the state’s hunter safety course, which is required of anyone born after May 31, 1975, who wishes to obtain a Florida hunting license to hunt unsupervised. He acts as hunter safety area coordinator for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. During the 2013-14 year, Averill organized and taught 16 hunter safety classes, certifying a total of 490 students.

Averill has previously won the Northwest Region’s Area Coordinator of the Year Award. He played a key role in the development of the Klondike Archery Park in Pensacola. He is also a National Rifle Association instructor and range safety officer at a large private shooting range that is open daily to the public.

Over the years, Averill has recruited several new hunter safety instructors, and he promotes the program at every opportunity in the greater Pensacola area through his work with local shooting ranges, gun clubs and sporting goods stores.

“He makes sure every kid has the opportunity to take a hunter safety class, and that’s probably his greatest asset to the program,” FWC’s Northwest Regional Hunter Safety coordinator Will Burnett said. “Paul will go the extra mile to get a kid certified and continue the heritage of hunting in Florida.”

Because Averill received the award, he is now in the running and representing Florida for the national title “Federal Ammunition Hunter Education Instructor of the Year.”

Anyone interested in learning how to become a volunteer hunter safety instructor can go to and select “Volunteer.”

FWC Facts:
Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 operating a vessel powered by 10 hp or more must pass an approved boater safety course and carry a photo ID & FWC-issued boating safety card.

Learn More at AskFWC