By Lars Dalseide | May 9 2014 09:35

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks partner with Wyoming Game and Fish Hunter Education Program test tomorrow's hunters

Shooting at muzzleloader at 3-D targets during NRA's International Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Raton, New Mexico

Pierre, South Dakota - With the International Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) Championship a touch more than two months away, today's young hunters are flocking to their local YHEC competitions in an attempt to qualify for the national event. Believing in the old adage of killing two birds with one stone, South Dakota and Wyoming are teaming up to take care of the of their kids in one fell swoop.

Here's the plan.

On May 31 at the Upton Gun Club in Upton, Wyoming (where else?), South Dakota competitors will join the under 18ers from Wyoming in test of their outdoor knowledge and skills. The day is divided into two age divisions and eight separate competitions including rifle, muzzleloader, shotgun, archery, hunter responsibility, trail safety, wildlife identification and orienteering ... that's using a map for the outdoor novices.

“YHEC is a chance for youngsters to hone their hunting skills by shooting shotguns, muzzleloaders, .22 rifles and archery equipment as well as test their knowledge on hunter responsibility and wildlife identification,” said Jason Kool, South Dakota HuntSAFE coordinator. “I would encourage anyone who has completed their HuntSAFE course, and is under age 18, to participate in this event.”

What do you have to do to attend? A few things.

First you have to apply. Just download Wyoming YHEC application and fill in the blanks. But that's just the beginning.

You're also going to need your Hunter Education card, a recent photo, your birth certificate and parental or guardian approval. Easy enough, right?

One thing to remember is that local YHECs are for hunters of all ages and skills. Don't think you have to be Jeremiah Johnson or Jim Shockey to walk in the door.

"Local and state YHEC events are for everyone," said Hunter Services Manager Bob Davis. "Sometimes you don't know what you don't know. So if you come out and participate in the challenge, you're going to leave with a better understanding of what you can do to expand your overall outdoor abilities. And if you win, then we'll see you in a few months in Pennsylvania."

Mansfield, Pennsylvania to be exact. That's the location for this year's International YHEC Championship. Running from July 20-25, this six day competition is the ultimate test of your youngster's hunting and outdoor skills.

So if you want to represent your state, be it South Dakota or Wyoming, then sign up for your local and state YHEC event now. It'll be well worth the effort.

Find a YHEC in your area or learn more about NRA's Youth Hunter Education Program by visiting their website at


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