Dan Zadra of Gunnison is a lifelong hunter who believes in paying it forward. He was recently named Southwest Region Hunter Education Instructor of the Year for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. He works as a wildlife technician for CPW in the Gunnison Basin.
Nominated for the award by other hunter education instructors, Zadra was recognized for his dedication to teaching adults and kids in the area the right way to hunt and the safe way to hunt.
"Dan is a tireless teacher who has helped hundreds of people get started hunting in Colorado," said J Wenum, area wildlife manager for CPW in Gunnison. "Most importantly, when people come out of Dan's class, they know the importance of safety while hunting."
Zadra started teaching hunter education classes in 2000. He teaches eight classes every year, and was instrumental in starting a special class for Western State Colorado University students.
"Teaching the classes is addicting," Zadra said. "I'm always running into people who tell me how much they enjoyed my classes and how it's helped them."
While Zadra has been an employee of CPW since 1990, his teaching is done as a volunteer. When teaching, Zadra says, he especially likes to talk about the realities of hunting.
"I always do whatever I can to dispel the myths that come out of those hunting shows on TV," Zadra said.
Zadra has lived in Gunnison since 1983 and he graduated from Western State with a degree in geology.
Thanks to the efforts of state Rep. Millie Hamner, House District 61, Colorado State University plans to re-open the Rogers Mesa research site.
The facility was taken out of operation in 2011, due to budget cuts throughout the CSU system.