North Carolina’s pre-collegiate shooting sports championship set

RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 38th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament — the state championship for pre-collegiate shooting sports — on April 30 at the John F. Lentz Hunter Education Complex in Ellerbe in Richmond County.

The Wildlife Commission conducted nine regional competitions in March, with thousands of middle school and high school students participating. Sixty teams will move on to compete at the state level in rifle, shotgun and archery marksmanship, compass orienteering and a written conservation knowledge test.

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. Teams are organized within public and private schools. Home-schooled students and teams representing 4-H or FFA also can compete, provided they meet eligibility requirements.

“The state tournament showcases the ‘best of the best’ from every corner of the state,” said Carissa Shelton, the commission’s western outreach manager. “It’s a real privilege to get to work with these youth and promote hunting heritage at the same time.”

The championship represents an opportunity for competitors who advanced from district events to showcase outdoor skills learned through the Wildlife Commission’s Hunter Education Program. The competition requires a demonstration of skills taught in free hunter education classes.

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 or call 919-707-0031.

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