By Lars Dalseide | March 12 2013 08:08

International Youth Hunter Education Challenge ready for competitors in New Mexico

Junior shooters take part in the light rifle competition at an NRA YHEC event

Fairfax, Virginia - More than 50,000 kids throughout the United States and Canada participate in NRA's Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) each year. Two things come from these regional, state and provincial challenges; knowledge of the outdoors and the chance to compete in the International YHEC competition this July.

That competition will take place this year at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. Despite local reports to the contrary, there will be plenty of ammunition on hand for the .22 rifle portion of the challenge.

"We started receiving calls about the light rifle section of International YHEC," said NRA Hunter Services Manager Bob Davis. "People read that an ammunition shortage meant we might cancel that portion of the event ... that is not going to happen."

Anyone who's looking for ammo knows about the shortage. Whether searching at Brownells, Walmart or the local range, the ability to walk away with a box of favorites has been severely hampered over recent months. Always one to plan ahead, Davis acted long before any problems with supply surfaced.

"The ammunition for the International YHEC Competition this July in Raton is already in our warehouse," said Davis. "We stocked up a long time ago."

While supplies for the International Competition may be fully stocked, there are several state and regional YHECs still in need of the appropriate ammo. According to Davis, they are working on a solution for those who are currently short.

(List of state, local and regional YHEC events for 2013.)

.22 ammunition at an NRA YHEC event in Arkansas "Our coordinators are calling suppliers, showing up every day to the guns shops and seeking out donations from the community. They are working on it and they are working hard. One way or another, we're going to do our best to make sure every YHEC is running at full capacity."

NRA's International Youth Hunter Education Challenge runs from July 21st through the 26th at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. To learn more about YHEC, visit their website at


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