RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 14, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has set the schedule for the annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournaments for 2011, with expectations for increased participation in the popular shooting sports events.
Nine district-level competitions will be held in March, with hundreds of middle school and high school students taking part. Winning teams will advance to a state championship tournament in April.
- District 1 March 26 at Eastern 4-H Center in Columbia.
- District 2 March 12 at New Hanover Law Enforcement Range in Castle Hayne.
- District 3 March 12 at Rose Hill Farms near Nashville.
- District 4 March 22 at the Coharrie Shooting Range near Clinton.
- District 5 March 26 at the Alamance Wildlife Club near Graham.
- District 6 March 19 at Camp John J. Barnhardt in New London.
- District 7 March 19 at Hunting Creek Preserve in Harmony.
- District 8 March 19 at Catawba Valley Wildlife Club in Hickory.
- District 9 March 19 at Polk County Gun Club near Columbus.
The Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournaments are an incentive component of North Carolina’s Hunter Education Program, provided as an opportunity to showcase outdoor skills and demonstrate safety, with events in rifle, shotgun and archery marksmanship, as well as an orienteering challenge and a wildlife knowledge test. Teams are organized within public and private schools, while home-schooled students and teams representing organizations such as 4-H or FFA also can compete, provided they meet eligibility requirements.
Competition is conducted on senior (high school) and junior (middle and elementary schools) divisional levels, with overall team and overall individual awards based on aggregate scores in all events.
“There have been some new teams formed and many established teams have added members and coaches,” said Travis Casper, the assistant hunter education programs coordinator for North Carolina. “Across the state, we are seeing more involvement.”
This year’s tournaments will stress the importance of sportsmanship and camaraderie among competitors, as an aspect of conservation ethics and responsibility.
For more information on free hunter education courses, the Home From The Hunt safety campaign or youth programs offered by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, call (919) 707-0031 or click here.