The schedule has been set for the 38th Annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournaments by the NCWRC, with nine district-level competitions throughout the month of March. Thousands of middle school and high school students will compete in the popular pre-collegiate shooting sports competitions.

The events will include rifle, shotgun, and archery marksmanship competitions, along with an orienteering challenge and a wildlife exam.

The competitions will be split into a high school division and a middle school/elementary school division. Overall scores will determine individual winners as well as team champions. The winning teams will move on to the state championship, which will be held in Ellerbe at the Millstone 4-H Center on Apr. 30.

Public and private schools, home-schooled students, and teams representing organizations like 4-H or FFA are all welcome to compete, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

The competitions will be held on four dates at 9 different locations, as follows:

Mar. 5, Chatham Wildlife Club, Chatham County (District 5)

Mar. 12, Eastern 4-H Center, Tyrell County (District 1)

Mar. 12, New Hanover County Law Enforcement Officers Association Range, New Hanover County (District 2)

Mar. 12, Hunting Creek Preserve, Iredell County (District 7)

Mar. 15, Coharie Shooting Range, Sampson County (District 4)

Mar. 19, Rose Hill Farms, Nash County (District 3)

Mar. 19, Lentz Hunter Education Complex, Ellerbe (District 6)

Mar. 19, Catawba Valley Wildlife Club, Catawba County (District 8)

Mar. 19, Polk County Gun Club, Polk County (District 9)

Tim Lemon, state shooting sports coordinator for the NCWRC, said these events show a lot of dedication by students, parents, and coaches alike.

“This type of competition requires discipline and focus. These young folks have that and more, and we wish them all the best of luck. We’d also like to thank them, along with their parents, coaches, and schools for their support and involvement in hunter education and shooting sports,” he said.