RALEIGH — More than 3,500 students will compete in the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s 45th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournaments (YHEST) in March. Events will include shotgun, archery, rifle, orienteering and a written hunting skills exam.
The 2023 schedule by state wildlife district is:
District 1: March 25, Eastern 4-H Center, Columbia
District 2: March 11, New Hanover Law Enforcement Officer Range, Castle Hayne
District 3: March 18, Rose Hill Sporting Clays and Hunt Reserve, Nashville
District 4: March 18, Falcon Community Range, Falcon
District 5: March 4, Chatham County Wildlife Club, Bear Creek
District 6: March 25, Lentz Hunter Education Complex, Ellerbe
District 7: March 4, Hunting Creek Shooting Preserve, Harmony
District 8: March 18, Catawba Valley Wildlife Club, Vale
District 9: March 18, Polk County Gun Club, Columbus
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. Home-schooled students and teams representing 4-H or FFA can also compete, provided they meet eligibility requirements. Sixty teams will move on to compete at the state tournament on April 29 at the Lentz Hunter Education Complex in Ellerbe. For more information about the Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament, go to ncwildlife.org/YHEST.
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.