The S.C. Department of Natural Resources expanded its youth shooting sports program by hosting its first Youth Skeet Open and Youth Trap Open championships recently at the National Wild Turkey Federation's Palmetto Shooting Complex in Edgefield.

The matches got underway on Friday, Feb. 12 with the Youth Trap Open. The Youth Skeet Open followed on Saturday, Feb. 13. With one hundred shooters in each championship match from varsity and junior varsity school and club shooting teams from around the state, youth shotgunners competed under the careful supervision of S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) law enforcement officers to ensure the safety of competitors and spectators.

After a full day of shooting, the scores were tallied and trophies awarded for the first, second and third place school teams and club teams. Individual high scoring shooters also received trophies for their accomplishments. Scholarships totaling $14,000 for the two days were provided by the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund.

"The success of our scholastic clay target sports program is due to the dedication of coaches and parents who are willing to spend time with their kids," said Capt. Billy Downer, head of the DNR's Hunter Education program. "We believe the focus and discipline required to be successful in shooting sports spills over into the classroom and makes these youth better students."

To participate in either the Youth Trap Open or the Youth Skeet Open, shooters must qualify in an earlier 50-shot qualifier event.

The second annual Youth Sporting Clay Open championship event, scheduled for March 5, also will be held at the Palmetto Shooting Complex in Edgefield. 

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources expanded its youth shooting sports program by hosting its first Youth Skeet Open and Youth Trap Open championships recently at the National Wild Turkey Federation's Palmetto Shooting Complex in Edgefield.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources expanded its youth shooting sports program by hosting its first Youth Skeet Open and Youth Trap Open championships recently at the National Wild Turkey Federation's Palmetto Shooting Complex in Edgefield.

In the Youth Trap Open Event, the winners were:

First Place, $1,500 each

Graduating Senior Male - Chase Wells, Walhalla High School, score 91Graduating Senior Female – Rebecca Bamberg, Orangeburg, score 76

Second Place, $1,000 each

Graduating Senior Male – Dakota Bryson, West Oak High, score 82Graduating Senior Female – Michaela Hurst, Clemson 4-H, score 76

Third Place, $500 each

Graduating Senior Male – Tucker King, Mid Carolina, score 81Graduating Senior Female – Haley Rushing, Rocky Knoll, score 72

In the Youth Skeet Open, the winners were: 

First Place, $1,500 each

Graduating Senior Male – Tucker King, Mid Carolina, score 91Graduating Senior Female – Samantha Langford, Richland Creek, score 87

Second Place, $1,000 each

Graduating Senior Male – Riley Nordin, Palmetto Punishers, score 89Graduating Senior Female – Rebecca Bamberg, Orangeburg Prep, score 82

Third Place, $500 each

Graduating Senior Male – Chase Abraham, Pinewood Prep, score 87Graduating Senior Female – Michaela Hurst, Clemson 4-H, score 80