State DNR seeking hunter safety instructors

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The state Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteer hunter safety instructors who are Hmong.

Kou Xiong (shaang) is the department's Southeast Asian Liaison. He's responsible for translating materials and education efforts tailored to Wisconsin residents who are from southeast Asia.

Besides hunting safety, Xiong also teaches Hmong hunters about contamination risks of eating the fish they catch.

The state issued about 14 thousand hunting licenses to Hmong residents in 2003. And the state is home to about 46 thousand Hmong residents.

Last year, Xiong was able to find two Hmong volunteers to teach hunter safety courses in Wausau. But he couldn't find anyone for the other 13 communities with large Hmong population.

And this year, he hasn't been able to find any Hmong volunteer to help with hunter education.

Ker Vang is the executive director of the Hmong Association of Green Bay.

He says having Hmong hunter safety instructors could help Hmong hunters overcome the language barrier. He says having an instructor with the same cultural perspective as the students also helps.