Pierz’s Hebler named firearms safety instructor of the year [UPDATED]Published 9:40am Tuesday, September 3, 2013 Updated 11:42am Tuesday, September 3, 2013
It’s the little things that do make a difference to Gary Hebler of Pierz, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) 2012 volunteer firearms instructor of the year. Hebler received the award at the recent Game Fair.
A certified instructor in the small Morrison County community of Harding since 1987, Hebler remembers a bare-bones operation at the start that now features four lasershot guns, eight .22 rifles, a trap thrower, professional looking shirts and hats for instructors and more.
“In the beginning you had to bring your own guns, but local clubs and organizations stepped up over the years since they realized hunting in the area is a family activity they wanted to support,” he said.
Today 30-40 kids and adults are DNR firearms safety certified each year, many from the surrounding area.
Hebler has recruited a least a dozen instructors over the years and is proud of the fact that three females are among the dedicated group.