on Feb 24, 2014 04:27 PM • Views 6636

It is the 36th year for these statewide pre-collegiate shooting sports events.

Media Contact: Geoff Cantrell

RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 24, 2014) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has set the schedule for the 2014 Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournaments, marking the 36th year for the popular statewide pre-collegiate shooting sports events.

The Commission will conduct nine district-level competitions in March, with hundreds of middle school and high school students taking part. There are segments in rifle, shotgun and archery marksmanship, as well as an orienteering challenge and a wildlife quiz.

The 2014 schedule:

  • March 1, Chatham Wildlife Club near Bear Creek, Chatham County (District 5)
  • March 8, New Hanover County Law Enforcement Officers Association Range in Castle Hayne, New Hanover County (District 2)
  • March 8, Rose Hill Farms near Nashville, Nash County (District 3)
  • March 15, Camp John J. Barnhardt in New London, Stanly County (District 6)
  • March 15, Catawba Valley Wildlife Club near Vale, Catawba County (District 8)
  • March 15, Polk County Gun Club near Columbus, Polk County (District 9
  • March 22, Hunting Creek Preserve in Harmony, Iredell County (District 7)
  • March 25, Coharie Shooting Range near Clinton, Sampson County (District 4)
  • March 29, Eastern 4-H Center in Columbia, Tyrell County (District 1)

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, while home-schooled students and teams representing organizations such as 4-H or FFA also can compete, provided they meet eligibility requirements. Winning teams will advance to the state championship tournament, which will be held at the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe on April 26.

“The tournaments are demonstrations of skills covered through instruction by the Hunter Education Program,” said Travis Casper, state hunter education coordinator. “The competitors reflect the values of conservation and sportsmanship. There’s another value, too. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, target shooting-related spending contributed $459,373,038 to the state’s economy and supported 4,460 jobs last year. For some of our competitors, this will be a lifelong commitment.”

While the Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournaments are for students 18 years old and younger, the Wildlife Commission offers free hunter education courses and advanced hunter education on a regular schedule throughout the state for all ages. 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.