Youth Hunter Education Challenge State Championship

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Youth Hunter Education Challenge State Championship

On July 12, 2020 in Events, News


One of the most comprehensive youth shooting programs in Arkansas is the Arkansas Youth
Hunter Education Challenge. This year the State Championship Match was held June 7-8-9 at the
C. A. Vines 4-H Center near Little Rock and was attended by over 500 competitors, coaches,
volunteers, and attendees. YHEC is a youth based shooting, hunting, and outdoor “challenge”
competition where youth compete in 4 shooting and 4 non-shooting outdoor events. After all the
shots were fired and the scores totaled, the “Guns and Roses” Team From Faulkner County won 1st
Place in the Senior Division. While the “Ozark Youth Shooting Team” from Benton County won lst
place in the ]unior Division.

The Youth Hunter Education Challenge which is referred to as YHEC is best described as
“Advanced Hunter Education”. YHEC takes the basic hunter education ooune which is taught and
required in all states and transitions it into a program where youth are taught how to shoot a .22
rifle, shotgun, muzzle loader and bow. Youth are also taught outdoors skills such as how to use a
compass and map. wildlife identification. gun and outdoor safety. state hunting rules. first aid, and
survival skills. All the subjects that are taught in a l0~hour Hunter Education class are developed
in a year around youth outdoors training program. Now in its 22″“ year in Arkansas there are over
25 countiesfteams that are involved with YHEC.

In ]uly, the top 6 teams will advance to the National YHEC Championship in Mansfield PA. Youth
from all over the United States will attend and compete for top YHEC Honors. Last year. Arkansas
lead the competition with the top scoring Junior and Senior Individual competitors in the nation.
Brothers Nick Myers and Zach Myers from Cleburne County won the Overall junior and Senior
Divisions, respectfully. Arkansas also won over a dozen other individual and team awards. The
teams attending this year’s National YHEC competition will be sponsored by the Arkansas Friends
of NRA, Arkansas Chapter-Safari Club International, Arkansas Gun and Cartridge Collectors
Club, Arkansas Rifle and Pistol Association, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Other YHEC
sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors, Federal Ammunition, and Henry Repeating

According to YHEC State Director Gary Jobe, “Many youth learn to shoot and compete with just
a shotgun or bow or rifle and they become very good at it. At YHEC the youth compete in eight
events. They shoot a .22 Rifle Course, A Shotgun Sporting Clays Course, a 3-D Archery Course,
and a Muzle Loader Course. ln addition to these shooting events they must study to compete in
a Compass and Orienteering Course, a Wildlife Identification Course, Shoot/Don’t Shoot Safety
Course, and take a Hunter Responsibility Exam. To do all these events, and do them well, these
young competitors must be very dedicated. It is one thing to shoot a shotgun well, but quite
something else to be able to shoot and do all eight events well. These are Arkansas’s best of the
best young shooters.”

YHEC is open to all boys and girls ages l0 to 18 that have an interest in shooting, hunting and the