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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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4-H Agent Wins Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year Award

LAS CRUCES -- Lee Watts, of New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service, was recently named the 1995 Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department.

Watts, the Eddy County program director and 4-H agent in Carlsbad, conducts hunter safety education programs for 4-H and other youth. He received a gold watch from the International Organization for the Conservation of Wildlife and a framed print depicting a rural hunter education class from the department's Hunter Education Association.

Each state selects its own Instructor of the Year. There are approximately 700 instructors in New Mexico's hunter education program.

"We selected Watts based on his activity and the unique manner in how he presents himself to the kids," said Tom Zapatka, hunter education coordinator with the game and fish department. "He devotes his whole day to the children."

Zapatka recalls the first hunter education special hunt, in 1994, for children with disabilities. Watts chaperoned a hearing- impaired child from his area and personally guided him on the hunt.

Watts was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents in 1990.