The Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) combines competition, education and fun for kids ages 12 to 18, at the 4-H Education and Natural Resources Center, in Madrid. The YHEC is set for June 5 to 7, and registrations are due May 1. Participants, coaches and volunteers are encouraged to register soon as the event fills quickly.
Youth from all over Iowa compete as part of a team in four shooting events and four non-shooting events. The events are all held on Saturday and include the Hunter Responsibility Exam; the Hunter Safety Trail Challenge that simulates hunting and includes the 'dos and don'ts' of firearm safety and shoot/don't shoot situations; the Hunting Shotgun Challenge, including shooting at clay and/or life-size targets.
Other events include the Light Hunting Rifle Challenge; the Hunting/Wildlife Identification Challenge to identify animals, tracks, or wildlife signs without an identification book; the Hunting Orienteering Skills Challenge covering map and compass skills; the Hunting Muzzleloader Challenge taking shots at life-sized targets at varying distances and positions; and the Hunting Archery Challenge requiring shots at life-size game targets.
Each event is scored. Teams compete against each other in each event and for the overall competition. Hunter education instructors are encouraged to put a team together and coach their participants.
Youths may register as a five member team or as an individual who will be placed with a team. All participants must compete in all events. To participate, the youth must have passed a hunter education course and be a resident of Iowa.
Volunteers are needed to assist with the eight events that take place on Saturday. Volunteers should contact Donise Grygierczyk at 515.205.8709 prior to May 1. Volunteers, businesses, and organizations may donate money to the event to reduce the cost for participants. All donors of $250 or more are recognized on the official YHEC t-shirt.
Iowa YHEC is co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State University Extension Wildlife Programs and the Iowa 4-H Safety and Education in Shooting Sports program.
For more information, visit the YHEC homepage at www.iowadnr.gov/law/yhec/  or contact Donise Grygierczyk at 515-205-8709.