The Outdoor Youth Challenge continues to be one of the most popular attractions at West Virginia’s Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day.  The event is scheduled for September 22 and 23 at Stonewall Resort State Park in Lewis County.

“Over the past several years, the event’s planning committee has made a number of positive and innovative changes to create more hands-on opportunities for youngsters and their families to actively participate in hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor-related recreational opportunities,” according to Frank Jezioro, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.  “For many of our children and young adults, this may be the only time they will have the opportunity to participate in such activities.”

Last year was another exceptional weekend for the National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration. During the two-day weekend, more than 12,000 people came through the gate of the resort and more than 1,050 youths signed up to participate in the events that make up the Outdoor Youth Challenge.

“DNR thanks the officials at Consol Energy, Inc. who, for the third straight year, have generously donated $10,000 to promote and enhance the events associated with the Outdoor Youth Challenge,” said Jezioro.

How the Outdoor Youth Challenge Works

The Outdoor Youth Challenge will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.  All youth 6 to 18 years of age can participate in approximately 24 activities.  After completing a free on-site registration, they will be given a color-coded registration card with a map showing locations of the Youth Challenge activities.

Some of the 24 activities include wildlife identification, fish identification, trapping, casting for accuracy, wildlife jeopardy, touch a snake, archery, boating, fishing, deer skinning, tree stand safety, bow fishing and .22 rifles.

The event is divided into a non-competitive category and a competitive category.

The first category is for youth between 6 and 18 years of age who would like to participate in the Outdoor Youth Challenge activities just for the fun and thrill of completing them.

A second category is for youth between 11-14 and 15-18 years of age who wish to compete in the scored activities:  casting for accuracy, archery, .22 rifle, muzzleloader and shotgun-skeet shooting. A numerical score from the five scored events will be recorded on the registration card.

Each youth must complete at least 10 events to be eligible for prize drawings.  Youth participating in the competitive category also must complete at least five unscored events in addition to the scored events to be eligible for prize drawings.  Upon completion of each event, the youth’s registration card will be validated by the official overseeing that event.

This year, the grand prizes include two lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, one to be given away each day.  For youths who compete in the five scored competitive events, a Junior Conservation Camp Scholarship (junior group ages 11-14) and a state Conservation Camp Scholarship (senior group ages 15-18) will be awarded each day.  Many other quality prizes dealing with hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities also will be given away each day.

For more information concerning the Outdoor Youth Challenge or the National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration, contact your nearest West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) District Office or visit the DNR’s Web page at www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/nathuntfish.shtm.

Logo courtesy West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

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