RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 44th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament state championship on April 30 at the John F. Lentz Hunter Education Complex in Ellerbe. The competition is conducted on senior (high school) and junior (middle and elementary schools) divisional levels, with overall team and individual awards based on aggregate scores in all events.
The Wildlife Commission conducted nine district competitions in March, which served as the qualifiers for the state competition, with more than 3,500 middle and high school students participating. This year saw 300 teams participating from 193 public and private schools, homeschool associations and 4-H clubs. District competition results are available on the agency’s website.
Sixty teams (34 from the senior division, 26 from the junior division and 14 individuals) will compete at the state level in rifle, shotgun and archery marksmanship, orienteering and a hunter responsibility exam.
The championship represents an opportunity for competitors who advanced from district events to showcase shooting and outdoor skills as well as knowledge learned through the Wildlife Commission’s Hunter Education Program.
“It has been two years since our last in-person tournament due to the pandemic, and our coaches and participants has come out this past season ready to compete,” said Carissa Daniels, outreach manager for the Wildlife Commission. “Teams have spent hours practicing safe shooting sports and hunter education. We are all looking forward to seeing them shine at the state tournament.”
While the competition 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, go to ncwildlife.org/huntered or call 919-707-0031.