In addition to soccer and track and field, another Wyoming state championship will soon take place: the annual Wyoming state hunting championship (also known as the Youth Hunter Education Challenge).

The 2013 challenge will be held June 8 at the Upton Gun Club. Young hunters need not qualify in a regional or district tournament to compete. All Wyoming youth 18 and younger who have passed hunter education are eligible to showcase their hunting skills.

The challenge tests youngsters in sporting clays-style trap shooting; .22, muzzleloader and archery marksmanship; wildlife identification; orienteering; and hunter safety judgments.

“The challenge is designed to be a fun event for all participants – not just the winners,” said Jim Dawson, Game and Fish’s hunter education coordinator. “Every year there’s more young Wyoming hunters participating.”

This is the sixth year the challenge has been hosted by the Upton Gun Club and officially sanctioned by the National Rifle Association. Participants in both age categories (15-18 and 14 and younger) are eligible to advance to the international competition July 21-26 at the National Rifle Association’s Whittington Center near Raton, N.M. Several Wyoming youngsters have competed in the international competition since 2009.

In addition to the department and the gun club, the challenge is sponsored by the Wyoming Friends of the NRA, Cabela’s, and a variety of Wyoming businesses. All participants receive a prize.

To participate, youngsters must submit copies of their hunter education card, birth certificate, photo, and a $10 entry fee. Entry forms are available on the Game and Fish website or at Game and Fish offices.

“The members of the Upton Gun Club do yeoman’s work making this a fun, memorable event to the youngsters involved,” Dawson added.

Logo courtesy Wyoming Game and Fish Department

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