North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament

4,000 Youth, Nine District Tournaments, One State Championship

North Carolina’s Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament (YHEST) is a statewide competition for middle and high-school-age youth. Participants compete in multiple events including shotgun, archery, rifle, orienteering and a written hunting skills exam.

District Tournaments


2018 YHEST District Competition Dates:

District 1: March 24, Eastern 4-H Center - 100 N Clover Way, Columbia

District 2: March 17, New Hanover Law Enforcement Officer Range - 5301 Holly Shelter Rd., Castle Hayne

District 3: March 17, Rose Hill Farm - 3851 Rose Hill Lane, Nashville

District 4: March 17, Camp Freedom - 7366 Sherrill Baggett Rd., Falcon

District 5: March 3, Chatham County Wildlife Club -Wildlife Rd., Bear Creek

District 6: March 17, Lentz Hunter Education Complex - 2030 Gibson Mill Rd., Ellerbe

District 7: March 17, Hunting Creek Shooting Preserve - 300 N. Meadow Rd., Harmony

District 8: March 24, Catawba Valley Wildlife Club - 2705 Lynn Mountain Rd., Vale

District 9: March 24, Polk Co. Wildlife Club, Polk County -1243 Little Mountain Rd., Columbus 


Contact List:

District 1: Chase Luker

District 2: Lee Scripture

District 3: Hilton Best

District 4: Kevin Crabtree

District 5: Josh Jernigan

District 6: CP White

District 7: Carissa Shelton

District 8: Wes Blair

District 9: Mark Ray

State Tournament

2017 State Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament RESULTS


2018 State Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament

Saturday, April 28 at the Lentz Hunter Education Complex - 2030 Gibson Mill Rd., Ellerbe

Maximum of 60 teams.

1st and 2nd place teams from each district.

Remaining teams are filled by a numeric draw from across the state.


Contact: Chet Clark

National Tournament

Any group or individual that competes in a district tournament is eligible to compete in the National Rifle Association’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge, a national youth hunter education skills tournament.

This year’s championship occurs July 23–28, 2017 at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico.


Find this years results at

Rules and Mission


Provide hunter education graduates an opportunity to go beyond the basics by developing their knowledge and skills in all areas of the hunting experience, which will result in a safer and more responsible sportsman.


  1. Promote the Hunter Education Program in North Carolina school system.
  2. Promote the safe sport of hunting and shooting.
  3. Provide a platform of rules to ensure maximum participation and fairness of competition.


The Hunter Education Tournament is presented for student/team competitions in shotgun, archery, small bore rifle and hunter skills. The purpose of the tournament is:

  • To partner with NC public schools, private schools and homeschool associations and provide Hunter Education to their students.
  • To promote public awareness of the Hunter Education Program in North Carolina.
  • To offer the young people of our state a positive experience in all disciplines of the shooting sport.
  • To help youth across the state experience and learn a variety of legal hunting methods, focusing on efficiency, operation and effectiveness. This can enable the student to evaluate the safest, most comfortable and effective equipment that can be used to hunt and/or target shoot.



Download 2018 N.C. YHEST Official Rules (PDF)

Media Gallery


YHEST Coaches Survey Results

North Carolina Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament Coaches Survey


The information gathered from this survey will be used to guide decision making processes beginning with the 2019 WRC Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament season. As new rules and events are proposed this information will be taken into account along with any new information gained as new technology and methods become available to enhance our program and continue to keep it engaging and enjoyable for all involved.



Youth Hunter Education News

Ryan Kennemur

Youth Deer Hunting Opportunity Offered in Craven County on Dec. 9

COOL SPRINGS, N.C. (OCT. 10, 2017) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering a youth-only deer hunting opportunity on Dec.9 at Weyerhaeuser-Cool Springs Environmental Education Center in Craven County.

The permit-only hunt is limited to 10 youth, ages 12 through 17, on a first-come-first-served basis. Permits must be purchased no later than Nov. 20 and cost $5 per youth hunter. Permits can be purchased at any wildlife service agent location, online or by phone at 888-248-6834, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Youth hunters must hold a hunter education certification to participate in this permit hunt. Hunters ages 16 and 17 must possess the appropriate valid hunting and privilege licenses. During the hunt, all youth, regardless of age, must be accompanied by a licensed adult. The accompanying adult will not be allowed to hunt and does not need a permit.

Both the adult and youth must attend a mandatory orientation session on Dec. 2 at the Weyerhaeuser-Cool Spring Environmental Education Center in order to hunt the following weekend. Registration for orientation begins at 8:30 a.m., and the program occurs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Each young hunter will be provided guidance and assistance throughout the hunt,” said BB Gillen, the outdoor skills coordinator for the commission. “It’s a safe and fun time for the kids. Plus, they have a great chance of harvesting a deer.”

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Media Contact:

Ryan Kennemur

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