Our series of reports from NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) Program Coordinator Susan Hill continues this week with a look at an event for homeschoolers in Oklahoma. Despite heavy rains, the group enjoyed their first YHEC event and look forward to holding another one this year. Thanks for the report and photos, Susan!
The Altus, Oklahoma YHEC event was held on October 8th, 2011 at the home of one of the families from the Altus CHESO homeschool group. Their 80-acre farm was a great place to set up the Hunter Safety Trail and ranges for both Rifle and Archery. Rachael Bender served as the Coordinator for the event and recruited 18 volunteers and 30 participants.
Carey Pribil and Lindell Newman with the Oklahoma State YHEC program volunteered to help and drove more than three hours to bring a trailer of YHEC equipment to the event. Greg Sexton, a Game Warden from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and Conservation came to the event and helped run the Hunter Safety Trail.
The area had only seen two inches of rain since December of 2010, but the weekend's forcast called for six to eight inches of rain. We were able to start the event and begin the Rifle and Archery events before the rain moved in, but the Rifle event finally got rained out. During a break in the weather, Lindell and some of the volunteers got the kids back out on the Archery range. Game Warden Sexton continued to lead the children through the Hunter Safety Trail in the rain and since the area had seen severe droughtt, nobody seemed to mind getting wet. The Wildlife Identification event was held inside so everyone was able to participate and stay dry.
The group had plans to get together the following weekend and do some more rifle shooting and they are starting to put together plans for a 2012 Altus YHEC event.
For more information on the YHEC program or how to get one started in your area, visit www.nrayhec.org or contact the Hunter Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.