Young hunters can test their field skills, acumen

Young people will have the chance to compete for a spot on the Washington State Youth Hunter Education Challenge Team April 18.

Recognized as the most comprehensive youth hunting program anywhere in North America, the challenge is the National Rifle Association’s “graduate studies” program in outdoor skills and safety training for young hunters, said Bill Montgomery, one of the event organizers.

Participants in the challenge will take part in eight events. There are four skill events: .22LR, sporting clays shotgun, black powder and archery. There also are four knowledge events: orienteering, wildlife identification, a hunter safety trail and a hunter safety exam.

The top five scorers will be chosen to represent the state at the national competition held in Raton, New Mexico July 26-31. They will compete with more than 400 youths from 27 states.

This event is conducted by hunter education instructors certified by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The NRA-sponsored event is open for youth up to 18 years of age. Equipment is available to borrow or participants can bring their own.

Registration will open at 7:30 a.m. and the event will start at 8 a.m. It will be held at Paul Bunyan Rifle and Sportsman’s Club, 17902 Meridian E., Puyallup.

For more information, contact Montgomery at hei7226@yahoo.com or 253-377-7436, Brian Peters at hei7042@gmail.com or 360-693-6062.

Additional information on the event can be found at yhec.nra.org.