Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament

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


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

2024 District Tournament Schedule


District 1: Due to weather concerns, the date has been changed from March 23 to March 24, Eastern 4-H Center, Columbia.

District 2: Due to weather concerns, the date has been changed from March 9 to March 10, New Hanover Law Enforcement Officer Range, Castle Hayne.. PLEASE REMEMBER DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME STARTS ON SUNDAY, MARCH 10TH. SPRING FORWARD 1 hour!! We will still open the gates at 5 am on SUNDAY, safety check at 5:30, and start shooting at 7 am.

District 3: March 16, Rose Hill Sporting Clays and Hunt Reserve, Nashville

District 4: March 16, Falcon Community Range, Falcon

District 5: March 2, Chatham County Wildlife Club, Bear Creek

District 6: March 23, Lentz Hunter Education Complex, Ellerbe

District 7: March 2, Hunting Creek Shooting Preserve, Harmony

District 8: March 16, Catawba Valley Wildlife Club, Vale

District 9: March 16, Polk County Gun Club, Columbus


Contact List:

District 1: Chase Luker

District 2: Becky Savage 910-241-9420

District 3: Carissa Daniels 336-455-0292

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

2024 State Tournament Team Totals:

For more information, 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.

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.

Teams from North Carolina may complete in one of the two events offered for the National Tournament.

  • July 24-29 in Bentonville, Arkansas
  • July 31-August 4 in Versailles, Indiana

NC teams planning on participating at the national level must notify Carissa Daniels no later than June 15th.

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 2024 N.C. YHEST Official Rules (PDF)

Media Gallery

2021 State Tournament