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 1 st Place in the Senior Division, while the
“Ozark Youth Shooting Team” from Benton County won 1 st place in the Junior 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 course 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 10 hour Hunter Education class are developed in a year around youth outdoors
training program. Now in its 22 nd year in Arkansas there are over 25 counties/teams that are involved
with YHEC.

In July, 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 years
National YHEC competition will be sponsored by the Arkansas Friends of NRA, 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 Arms.

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 Muzzle
Loader Course. In 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 10 to 18 that have an interest in shooting, hunting and the
outdoors. For more information about YHEC contact Gary Jobe, State Director

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