Youth Hunter Education Challenge

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Youth Hunter Education Challenge

On September 20, 2016 in Events, News

Recently over 30 youth from across Arkansas attended the 31st Annual Youth Hunter hosted by the National Rifle Association in Mansfield, PA.  The Arkansas youth were among over 360 youth from across the nation attending this year’s competition.  Teams from Benton, Union, Faulkner and Izard Counties attended the 5 day shooting and hunting completion.

Described by many as one of the “Best Kept Secrets” in youth shooting programs, YHEC teaches young boys and girls shooting and hunting techniques.  Youth are taught the safe, ethical and responsible way to shoot, hunt and enjoy the outdoors.  The program which is open to boys and girls ages 10 to 187, teaches how to shoot and safely handle a rifle, shotgun, muzzle loader and bow.  Youth are also taught many outdoor skills such as hunter safety, how to use a compass, wildlife identification, first aid and survival.  Once a year the State and National YHEC Championships are held to test a youth’s shooting, hunting, and outdoor skills and abilities.

The Safari Club International Chapter in Arkansas sponsored the Senior Ozark Youth Shooting Team from Benton County.  Team members included Austin Abercrombie, Blake Parsley, Dustin Morris, Hogan Bowen and Matthew Harris.  Arkansas YHEC is very proud of the support received by SCI.  SCI has been sponsoring teams to attend the National YHEC Event for over 10 years.  The Support encourages youth and their teams to compete to practice and train harder to win a sponsorship to the National Competition.

Arkansas is very proud of the following Top Teams and Individuals that represented the state at the NRA National Championship.

In the Shooting Competition, Benton County’s “Ozark Youth Shooting Team” had 2 teams that placed in the Rifle Division. OYST Junior Team #1 placed 2nd in the rifle division. Team members included Cadyn Meredith, Courtney Stephens, Hayden Bowen, Hunter Stover and Spencer Bittle.  OYST Junior Team #2 placed 3rd in the Rifle Division.  Those team members include Annie Downum, Emily Holly, Faith Fritch, Morgan Puryear and Ryan Lane.

Faulkner County Senior Team “Banded Mallards” placed 3rd in the Shotgun Division.  Team members included Alee Ohide, Ali Verkler, Clay Kellett, Landon Casey and Tommy Newsom.

In Individual Competition, Benton County OYST Junior Team members Ryan Lake of Siloam Springs and Emily Holly of Bella Vista finished 5th and 9th respectfully in the Rifle Division.  In Archery, W.T. Morehead of Izard County “Ridge Runners” finished 4th place in the Senior Division.  In Muzzle Loader Division, Juniors Gracie Reed from El Dorado, Union County Team finished 5th, while Julie Newsom from Conway, Faulkner County team finished 6th.

In “Hunter Responsibility Events”, Thomas Crawford from El Dorado representing the Union County Team was 5th in the Junior Division Wildlife Identification.  Senior Alec Ohlede from Conway, representing the Falkner County team finished 8th on Hunter Safety Trail.

Also W.T. Morehead from Izard County finished 2nd in the Senior Division of the “Cherokee Run”, an event that tests the ability to hit a variety of targets using primitive weapons such as guns, long bows, spears, knives, tomahawks and sling shots.

Teams to the National Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Arkansas are sponsored by:

Friends of NRA
Safari Club International
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

YHEC programs for 2016-2017 are forming now.  If you have a boy or girl that would like to be involved with YHEC in Arkansas or you would like to support the YHEC program, contact Gary Jobe at