Teams across the state are gearing up for one of New Mexico’s most challenging competitions. The annual State Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC), June 1-2 at the National Rifle Association’s Whittington Center in Raton, tests individual and team skills in wildlife identification, orienteering, hunter safety and responsibility, archery, shotgun, light rifle and muzzleloading.
“These kids are the future of conservation in the state of New Mexico,” says Jennifer Morgan, Hunter Education coordinator for the Department of Game and Fish. “These are New Mexico’s future hunters, anglers and conservationists.”
Nearly 200 participants will compete in junior and senior team and individual divisions. The top teams and individuals in each division qualify for the International Youth Hunter Education Challenge in July.
“Participants wishing to compete in the national event must attend a state event like the one in New Mexico,” says Rick Andes, state coordinator for the challenge. “Last year, we even had a team from Pagosa, Colorado, attend our event.”
Not all states have a state-level competition. Participants can attend a competition in another state if they wish to qualify for Nationals. The state competition in New Mexico usually is host to a few contestants from southern Colorado because it is closer than their state competition.
To learn more about this event, contact the event coordinator, Rick Andes, at (575) 799-7285 or (575) 762-4864.
Logo courtesy New Mexico Department of Game & Fish