on Apr 08, 2014 02:26 PM • Views 3192

An archery competitor at last year's tournament.

Media Contact: Geoff Cantrell

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 8, 2014) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 36th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament — the state championship for pre-collegiate shooting sports — on April 26 at the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe in Richmond County.

The Wildlife Commission conducted nine regional competitions in March, with hundreds of middle school and high school students participating. Fifty-four teams involving more than 550 students advanced to the state championship of the conservation-based tournament, competing in rifle, shotgun and archery marksmanship, map-and-compass orienteering, and a written conservation 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.

“This event is a showcase and typically hosts upwards of 3,000 people from every corner of the state,” said Travis Casper, the state hunter education coordinator. “We have to acknowledge and thank the schools that recognize the value of conservation and participation in outdoor recreation. Just by competing in this tournament is a mark of success.”

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, events and youth programs offered by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, go online to www.ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0031.