Young shooters shine at national NRA contest
Young shooters from the Twin Tiers captured some of the top honors when teams from across the country gathered late last month for the annual NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC).
The national competition alternates between Mansfield and Raton, N.M., and teams from Chemung and Bradford counties were among the hundreds of youth who traveled to New Mexico the last week in July.
One of the best local performers was Ryan Haller, a member of the Troy-based Pennsylvania Junior Gold Team.
Haller, 15, captured first place in the junior shotgun competition, and ranked in 13th place in the standings at the national event. Haller was the overall junior champion at the state YHEC event in June.
Preparing for the national championship meant a lot of hard work, but it was worth it and also fun, Haller said.
"Mostly what our club did was a lot of practices. Three days a week we'd go down to the club and practice," Haller said. "June 18 was the state shoot in State College. All clubs from Pennsylvania shot against each other. I think that prepared a lot of kids.
"Shotgun is what I enjoy the most and that's one of my best," he said. "I was very confident because at the state, I took first overall for junior. That boosted my confidence big-time. It was a very, very fun experience."