A report from the International Youth Hunter Education Challenge, held at The Whittington Center in New Mexico, from Lea Leggit, The WON’s intern, where she lists 7 things that will help you to compete. The 30th Annual International Youth Hunter Education Challenge is in the books and I’d say it was a success. This was my third year competing and it was one of my favorite years.
Why? There were fewer shooters than years in the past, and not only were participant numbers low but also, overall scores were lower. All 8 events provided a challenge but were a lot of fun. On the up side, it was good news to hear 18% of the participants in last year’s International YHEC were girls. This is a pretty good number and everyone is hopefully going up from there. In case you didn’t know, YHEC is a hunting competition for kids. Participants compete archery, shotgun, muzzleloader, .22, hunter responsibility, hunter safety trail, orienteering and wildlife identification. There is a possible score of 300 at each station. Entrants may enter to compete as teams, of 5 shooters, or as individuals. They will be given awards based on scores as individuals and team scores.
There were 16 states present, including Florida and even New York. The week started out beautiful with cool mornings and afternoon showers. All shooters had 4 days to complete all 8 events and most teams finished with a day to spare. This year I competed as an individual from Colorado. In some events I did some good things and others I struggled with getting the score I needed. Although I made a lot of new friends from across the country, I missed having the support and camaraderie of my team. I’m hoping the team will come with me, next year, to the International event.
Every year I learn something new just from the experience and the challenge of the program. Here are 7 things that helped me.
For information on how to get involved in the YHEC program, to find teams around you, or even create your own team you can go to http://international-yhec.nra.org/. Competing in YHEC is a great experience for kids of all ages. It’s perfect for learning safety, outdoor skills, shooting skills, making friends and not to mention it is a great way to prepare for hunting season.