Kilwein: Heart and soul is in hunter educationFor Dickinson’s Dale Kilwein, the last 35 years of teaching hunter education has flown by.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
For Dickinson’s Dale Kilwein, the last 35 years of teaching hunter education has flown by.
However, Kilwein hasn’t wasted any time gathering information from the last 35 years.
The hard work Kilwein has put forth hasn’t gone unnoticed either, adding another accolade to his wall. Kilwein received the Hunter Education Award from the North Dakota Wildlife Federation.
“I’m in my third generation of students,” Kilwein said with a smile. “I got into for safety, teaching the kids safety.”
Good friend and long-time fellow hunter educator Larry Thompson of Dickinson said he’s the go-to man.
“He’s active not only here, but on a statewide basis,” Thompson said. “He’s just go, go, go all the time for hunter education.”
Kilwein said what has made his job easier is the support from the Dickinson community.
A true testament to Kilwein’s statement was five years ago when all of his teaching firearms were stolen from B&K Electric in Dickinson. Nearly two months later he was able to replace all the teaching firearms with donations from local businesses. He started with 46 teaching firearms and the number has grown to 64.
He also received funds to purchase a camouflage trailer to house his 182 props for hunter education classes. None of the firearms or ammunition is kept in the trailer that sits outside of Dan’s Body Shop in Dickinson.
“The Dickinson support has been a blessing,” Kilwein said. “The community is what has put this together. I’m just a person that just behind it and spearheading it, but it takes someone to do that too.”
Kilwein keeps a binder full of 30-plus years of information he’s kept to better inform hunters. He has 16 volunteer instructors.
“I have 30 years of teaching tidbits that I’ve picked up at different workshops across the state,” Kilwein said.
Kilwein has also won the North Dakota Hunter Education Instructor of the Year award in 1996 and the Presidential Award of Honor from the North Dakota Hunters Educators Association in 2010.
Kilwein said he keeps in constant contact with Thompson, who received the North Dakota Hunter Education Instructor of the Year award in 2011, at least three to four times a week.
“He’s so dedicated, so sincere about it,” Thompson said. “He does a wonderful job of teaching and supervising.”
“Larry is like my right and left hand man,” Kilwein said. “My parents have passed and Larry is like my dad. He’s a just a special person.”
With the year 2013 just underway, Kilwein has the dates and time for spring hunter education classes taking place at the National Guard Armory in Dickinson. Classes start for kids on Feb. 21, 26 and 28 and also March 5, 7, 12, 14 and 19 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Classes for adults begin Feb. 25 and March 18 at 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Registration is available at gf.nd.gov.
“I sleep at night thinking up quizzes for hunter education classes,” Kilwein said with a smile. “But it’s fun. It’s not a challenge.”