New Mexico Youth Hunter Education Challenge
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New Mexico Youth Hunter Education Challenge

August 15, 2019

[MUSIC PLAYING] – The Youth Hunter
Education challenge is a great way to have fun while
learning the correct, safe way to enjoy the great outdoors
and all its rewards. YHEC as it’s called, allows
youngsters of all ages, coaches, and youth
teams to participate in a series of
challenges designed to ensure hunter safety, and
to help make the most out of your wilderness experience. YHEC events are designed to
test your skills and knowledge in hunter safety, wildlife
identification, orienteering, shotgun shooting, archery,
riflery, and muzzle loading. Your first station will be
the hunter safety course. Hunter education training
will come in handy here. The program will test your
knowledge of firearm safety in a variety of conditions you
may encounter in the field. Your guide will lead you
through the 16-step course. And scores are based
on your ability to make quick decisions in
shoot, don’t shoot situations. The course reemphasizes
the importance of safety and responsibility
for all hunters. Now we’re ready for the
shooting challenges. We’ll start at the
shot gun range. The course has several
stations to test your skills at different levels. Don’t rock the boat
in this exercise. Your reflexes will be tested
in the report peer contests. Two targets are
fired in rapid order. And it’s your job
to nail them both. Or you can try to follow a
wascaly wabbit and a game bird in the fur and feather shoot. Your next stop is
the archery range. As with all the stops
in the YHEC competition, safety is the main focus. You’ll be shooting your bow at
life-sized three-dimensional game targets. Contest officials have
placed these targets at all kinds of distances and
angles throughout the course. Your score will soar when you
hit vital areas of the target. – Remember what you were
taught in hunter ed. – Now we’ll move on to the
light rifle hunter trail. Your goal here is
to locate, identify, and shoot at small
iron silhouettes strategically hidden among
the native northern New Mexico vegetation. You can choose to score
points from standing, sitting, or lying down
shooting positions. Next, we’ll shift gears and head
for the wildlife identification course. After all, YHEC is not
just a shooting challenge. This walking course
will test your ability to identify different species
of wildlife and game placed in their natural habitat. You also need to be
able to recognize the signs and markings
of specific animals. Wildlife identification
is a valuable tool that can be used for
pleasure, or it could be your profession for a lifetime. You’ll always know your
way around in the woods after you’ve completed
the orienteering portion of the program. Orienteering
challenges your ability to follow directions, use
a compass, and read a map. You’ll be asked to find a
specific point in the field by using only those tools
and your navigation skills. Orienteering skills
can be invaluable. They can prevent you from
getting lost in the wilderness, or help you find someone who is. The next stop on
the tour has you entering the field
of white smoke known as the muzzleloading range. In this challenge, you’ll
shoot at life- targets like white tailed deer, black
bear, coyote, and antelope. These targets are placed at
varying distances on the range. Scoring in
muzzleloading is based on hitting a vital area
on any given target. Accuracy counts in muzzleloading
and all of the shooting sports. The final step in the challenge
will test your memory. An exam covering
the entire contest will be given after completion
of the seven courses in the YHEC competition. The National Rifle
Association’s Hunter’s Guide, the New Mexico
Hunter Education book will serve as textbooks
for your test. The top individual
performers in each age group are rewarded with great
prizes for all seven events. Awards are also presented
to the top teams in the YHEC competition. The New Mexico Youth
Hunter Education challenge is sponsored by the New
Mexico Shooting Sports Association, New Mexico 4-h,
and the State Game and Fish Department. If you’re under 18
and have successfully completed a hunter
education course, you’re eligible for YHEC. Come join the fun. [MUSIC PLAYING] For more information on
this exciting challenge, contact your local county
extension office or the Game and Fish Department. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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