Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament

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

It is because of our commitment to safety and well-being that we regret to inform you that all remaining 2020 Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournaments (testing days and tournament days) are being postponed.  This is based in response to Governor Roy Cooper declaring a state of emergency to strengthen our state’s response to the novel coronavirus (covid-19), the NC Wildlife Resources Commission has been working diligently to identify all activities that promote a higher than normal risk of assisting with the transmission of the virus. Although a part of our mission is to provide programs and opportunities for wildlife-associated recreation, we care deeply about the safety and well-being of our staff and the people and communities that we serve.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation with input from various state and national sources to identify and schedule alternative dates for the YHEST program to take place. A tentative time period could be early summer, however dates and locations have not been secured or solidified at this time. We will notify each of you by mid-April with an update of the YHEST program and any information to assist you with your planning.


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


2020 YHEST District Competition Dates:

District 1: March 28, Eastern 4-H Center - 100 N Clover Way, Columbia Postponed

District 2: March 14, New Hanover Law Enforcement Officer Range - 5301 Holly Shelter Rd., Castle Hayne Postponed

District 3: March 21, Rose Hill Farm - 3851 Rose Hill Lane, Nashville Postponed

District 4: March 21, Camp Freedom - 7366 Sherrill Baggett Rd., Falcon Postponed

District 5: March 7, Chatham County Wildlife Club -Wildlife Rd., Bear Creek 

District 6: March 28, Camp Barnhardt - 44184 Cannon Rd., New London Postponed

District 7: March 14, Hunting Creek Shooting Preserve - 300 N. Meadow Rd., Harmony Postponed

District 8: March 21, Catawba Valley Wildlife Club - 2705 Lynn Mountain Rd., Vale Postponed

District 9: March 21, Polk Co. Wildlife Club, Polk County -1243 Little Mountain Rd., Columbus Postponed 


Contact List:

District 1: Chase Luker

District 2: Lee Scripture

District 3: BB Gillen

District 4: Kevin Crabtree

District 5: Casey Williams

District 6: CP White

District 7: Josh Jernigan

District 8: Wes Blair

District 9: Mark Ray

State Tournament

2020 State Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament

Saturday, April 25 at DeWitt's Sporting Clays at 443 Jimmy Carriker Rd. in Ellerby, N.C.   Postponed

Maximum of 60 teams.

1st and 2nd place teams from each district.

2019 Statewide Final Standings (Senior)

2019 Statewide Final Standings (Junior)

Contact: Carissa Daniels

National Tournament

In years past, 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.

No national championship has been scheduled for 2019. The top three North Carolina teams in each division are eligible to compete in the Eastern Regional YHEC Tournament held in Breesport, N.Y. in July.


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 2020 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.