For seven years, the SCI Arkansas Chapter has sponsored the National Rifle Association’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge at both the state and national level. YHEC is training and mentoring the next generation of hunters. Youth compete in two age divisions — Juniors (ages 10-14) and Seniors (ages 15-18). They compete as individuals/and or team members to test their ability with .22-caliber rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders and archery. Also tested are their outdoor skills and knowledge in compass and orienteering, wildlife identification, safety trail (shoot/don’t shoot) and a hunter responsibility exam. All events are set to depict actual hunting situations.
The Chapter sponsors a team that attends the annual International YHEC event and SCI members assist at the State event. At the June 7-9, 2018 event, there were 200 adult participants, 100 coaches, 100 volunteers, plus 200 youth participants. The catered meals and sandwiches members prepared on Friday and Saturday were a welcome alternative to the standard fare.
AR SCI has also provided three electronic clay throwers for use at the State YHEC and many other local events held throughout Arkansas.--Jeff Nicholas, AR SCI Outreach Chairman