Jackson man receives top Conservation honors

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Thomas L. and Ruth Ann Dickerson are congratulated by Missouri Conservation Commissioner William F. “Chip” McGeehan at the Jan. 29 Missouri Department of Conservation Commissioners meeting where Tom was recognized as the 2009 Bowhunter Education Volunteer Instructor of the Year.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Missouri's Conservation Commission recognized Jackson resident Thomas L. Dickerson as Missouri's 2009 Bowhunter Education Volunteer Instructor of the Year at its regular meeting Thursday. This is the first time this award has been made since the adoption of the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Bowhunter Education program.

DeeDee Dockins, an MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist and Hunter Education Coordinator for Missouri's southeast region described Dickerson as a walking encyclopedia of bow hunting techniques and equipment.

"Tom is one of only two Master Bowhunter Instructors in his region and a primary trainer for bowhunter education instructors seeking advanced training, creating bowhunter scenarios, including blood trails and distance estimation for existing instructors," Dockins said.

As a bowhunter education volunteer instructor, Dickerson teaches through experiences and techniques that bring the information to life for the students. According to Dockins, he continually seeks out new bowhunter education instructors and travels around the country to volunteer his time representing Missouri bowhunters.

When asked why he devotes so much time and effort to educating others about bowhunting, Dickerson said it was an easy choice to support the traditions of a sport he loves after he was blessed with an early retirement.

"It's important to pass on [bow hunting] to the next generation and I love teaching kids and adults; introducing them to hunting with a bow," Dickerson said. The award was just an added bonus.

"I'm excited and pleased, but it [the award] was unexpected," he said. "It's just something I enjoy doing."

Dickerson's volunteer activities include the Woods event for mentally and physically disabled, Bowhunter Rendezvous, Cape Girardeau Jakes Day, MoNASP State Tournament, Friend of the NRA events, Missouri Deaf Camp, Hand Camp of Shriner's Hospital, and United Bowhunter's of Missouri Festival and Rendezvous.

Dickerson's is the Past Affiliate Director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri and current Chairman of the Archery Committee, a current member on the board of directors (and Past President) for the United Bowhunters of Missouri, and is a representative for Missouri on the North American Bowhunting Coalition and traveled to Denver to be part of a coalition meeting. He is also an active member of his community through his church and Knights of Columbus and Friends of the NRA.

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