on Apr 12, 2013 08:43 AM • Views 6182

The Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament is April 27. Photo by Melissa McGaw/NCWRC

Media Contact: Geoff Cantrell

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 12, 2013) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 35th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament — the state championship for pre-collegiate shooting sports — on April 27 at the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe in Richmond County.

Teams and individuals will compete in rifle, shotgun and archery marksmanship, map-and-compass orienteering, and a written wildlife knowledge test.

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. Teams are organized within public and private schools. Home-schooled students and teams representing 4-H or FFA also can compete, provided they meet eligibility requirements.

“Besides outstanding competition, this event is such a showcase for youth and their involvement in conservation,” said Travis Casper, the state hunter education coordinator. “Between the participants and spectators, there is typically upwards of 3,000 people in attendance from every corner of the state.”

The Wildlife Commission conducted nine regional competitions in March, with hundreds of middle school and high school students participating, and 54 teams advancing to the state championship.

Large attendance is expected again for this year's tournament.
Photo by Geoff Cantrell/NCWRC

The championship represents an opportunity for competitors who advanced from district events to showcase outdoor skills learned through the Commission’s Hunter Education Program. The competition requires a demonstration of skills taught in free hunter education classes.

While competing in the tournament 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 on hunter education, the Home From The Hunt™ safety campaign, educational opportunities and events, youth programs offered by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, go online to www.ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0031.