This is a professional development workshop for agency and organization employees who have been selected by a CLfT identified liaison. Selected individuals must have met a set of selection criteria that includes but is not limited to the following:
Never had a hunting license
Willing to commit to a 40+ hour instructional program that includes long days in both classroom and outdoor exercise settings.
You will be staying at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, in Mansfield, GA. All meals are provided.
Please bring the following, important items:
- comfortable, warm, outdoor field clothing--not too bulky
- cap or headband;
- waterproof hiking or field boots
- rain gear
The outdoor field exercises will be conducted even if it is cold, raining or snowing, so come prepared for those possibilities. We recommend that you check the Mansfield, GA area weather prior to arrival.
The 6,400-acre Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, offers a variety of activities and programs. This beautiful area is centrally located in the state in a beautiful wooded setting near Mansfield, Georgia, making it easily accessible from Atlanta, Athens and Macon.
Mansfield, Ga. 30055
Rusty was with DNR for 20 years having served most recently as the manager of the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, Georgia. He served in numerous other capacities, including Assistant Chief of Game Management, State Coordinator of Project WILD, and Chief of the DNR Mountain Search and Rescue Team. Before his career with DNR, Rusty worked for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service for nearly nine years.
Rusty has served as a CLfT instructor since 2012. He has assists with classes mostly at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Georgia; but also teaches at Max McGraw in Illinois and at facilities in Colorado and Idaho.
Rusty holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and a Master of Science in Wildlife Biology, both from the University of Georgia. He is active in his local community, having previously volunteered as a fire fighter and first responder for his county EMS. Rusty has traveled to over 75 countries while on mission trips and remains active in his local church. He is married to his wife Sue, has three daughters, and is a proud grandfather.
He has attended the Tom Brown Tracker School, learned to make primitive longbows with John McPherson, is an avid hand loader of ammunition and has spent time as a primitive rendezvous/fur trade era, muzzle loader competitor. Taking the hunt to a deeper level of satisfaction, which includes butchering and caring for ones harvested game, is a year round pursuit.
As an Endowment member of the NRA, he has instructor ratings in pistol and shotgun. After retirement from UPS, he has started Vermont Advanced Shooting Sports (V.A.S.S.), a post hunter education school, to facilitate the new shooter with limited mentoring opportunity.
Michael and his wife, Molly Cook, live on 38 acres in the Northeast Kingdom in Brighton, VT. They spend their time managing their land to sustain wildlife, hunting, fishing, shooting and enjoying the gifts that nature provides. Wild game meat in the freezer is their preferred diet.
I have taught participants at Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow workshops since shortly after its inception, and try to bring my broad background and eclectic interests to the program.
My role in Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow is to teach and educate our participants to the best of my ability about wildlife conservation in our country. Every single workshop is a treat and I look forward to next season.