The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 40th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament — the state championship for pre-collegiate shooting sports — on April 29 at the John F. Lentz Hunter Education Complex in Ellerbe in Richmond County.
The Wildlife Commission conducted nine district competitions in March (which serve as qualifiers for the state competition) with more than 4,000 middle and high school students participating. Sixty-one teams will move on to compete at the state level in rifle, shotgun and archery marksmanship, compass orienteering and a hunter responsibility exam. Overall results for the junior and senior divisions can be found here.
Competition is conducted on senior (high school) and junior (middle and elementary schools) divisional levels, with overall team and individual awards based on aggregate scores in all events. This year saw 324 teams participating from 191 public and private schools, homeschool associations and 4-H clubs.
“We’ve got kids coming from every corner of the state to compete this year,” said Carissa Shelton, the Commission’s western outreach manager. “It’s a real pleasure watching these kids hone their skills and promote North Carolina’s hunting heritage. They are truly the future of shooting sports.”
The championship represents an opportunity for competitors who advanced from district events to showcase shooting and outdoor skills as well as knowledge learned through the Commission’s Hunter Education Program.
While the competition is for students 18 years and younger, the Wildlife Commission offers free hunter education courses and advanced hunter education on a regular schedule for all ages. For more information, go to www.ncwildlife.org/huntered or call 919-707-0031.