CHEYENNE — Of all high school state championships — football, golf, soccer, speech/debate, track and field, etc. — none are more “Wyoming” than the state hunting championships.
Wyoming’s longest running Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC), as it’s officially called, will recognize the 10th annual event to be held June 10, at the Upton Gun Club. The challenge tests youngsters in sporting clays-style trap shooting, .22, muzzleloader and archery marksmanship, wildlife identification, orienteering and hunter safety judgments.
“Upton’s challenge is designed to be a fun event for all participants — not just the winners,” said Rick Rothleutner, Wyoming YHEC coordinator. “We are excited to share the 10th anniversary with young Wyoming hunters.”
Since it started in 2008, 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 under — are eligible to advance to the international competition to be held July 23-28 in Raton, New Mexico. Wyoming youth have competed in the international since 2009, including an official team representing the Cowboy State in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
To participate, youngsters need to submit copies of their hunter education card, registration form and pay a $10 entry fee. Entry forms are available on the Game and Fish website or by e-mailing [email protected]
In recent years YHEC events have sprung up in Powell and Thermopolis. Powell is excited to host their second event at the Heart Mountain Gun Club on May 27 and 28. Thermopolis hosted their first event on May 6.
All Wyoming youth 18 and under who have passed hunter education are eligible to showcase their hunting skills, while having a lot of fun. For more info, contact Tristanna Bickford, Game and Fish hunter education coordinator at (307) 777-4542.