RALEIGH — Youth teams affiliated with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission emerged as junior and senior division champions at the 30th annual International Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC), a shooting and outdoors skills competition at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico.
The National Rifle Association event was held July 26-31. Teams from across the country competed in marksmanship with .22-caliber rifles and black powder rifles at knock-down targets, shotgun on a sporting clays course, and archery at 3-D game targets. Non-shooting events included orienteering, wildlife identification, hunter responsibility exam, and a hunter safety trail test.
The Forbush Raptors of Forbush High School won the senior division with a team roster consisting of Coach Chris Poplin and student competitors Colton Bullin, Jordan Dinkins, Dylan Horn, Dylan Poplin, Jordan Yale and Emry Wingler.
The Yadkin Patriots of Forbush Middle School won the junior division with a team roster consisting of Coaches Carson Hobson and Brian Poindexter, and student competitors Colton Hanes, Matthew Lineberry, Clayton Medlin, Zack Norman and Garrett Poindexter. Both schools are in Yadkin County.
“This makes back-to-back championships for Coach Carson Hobson,” said Tim Lemon, a Wildlife Commission hunter education specialist for the district that includes Yadkin County. “You have to appreciate his level of commitment to the team and all his hard work. And his hard work doesn’t begin and end with the Yadkin Patriots. He is a longtime hunting education instructor, firearms safety instructor, community volunteer and well known for taking every opportunity to engage local youth in outdoor recreation.”
Nearly 340 competitors, coaches and parents attended YHEC this year. Since its inception in 1985, YHEC has reached more than a million young men and women. For more information, go to www.ncwildlife.org/huntered.