Every Saturday about 40 young Cache Valley shooters assemble for practice at the Cache Valley Public Shooting Range in what their leaders say is a great way to improve their outdoor and hunting skills.
They comprise the Cache Valley Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) which is administered thorough the NRA. It is an opportunity to apply skills learned in hunter education in a competitive environment.
“This is a group of young shooters, young ladies and young men, who enjoy the outdoors and enjoy shooting,” said Todd Burrows, one of the coaches. “They range in age from about 8 or 10 to 18. The only qualification is to have their hunter education course completed and to have their blue card.
“We take shooting and hunter education to the next level, teaching them to shoot better. We teach them safety, wildlife ID and make them better sportsmen and citizens.”
Burrows said the objective is to help them become proficient in shotgun, archery, muzzle loader, .22 rifle, wildlife ID, safety trail and then on an exam on information taken from the manual “A Hunter’s Guide.”
The team has performed well in state and national competitions.
“Last year Cache Valley put up three teams and our teams took first, second and third in the state junior division and did very well in the senior division.
“Then Friends of the NRA gave us scholarships to attend the national event in Mansfield, PA . Ten of our shooters made the trip and we competed against teams from all over the country. We took first place in the muzzle loader shooting event and second place in wildlife ID and third in the written test. We are currently ranked fifth in the nation overall.”
Burrows said young shooters interested in joining YHEC should report Saturday at 4 p.m. to the Cache Valley Public Shooting Range and bring a blue card.