Teams are halfway through the 29th annual International Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC). As they progress through the eight events the teams will soon determine who is the best of the best in youth hunting and responsibility.
YHEC doesn't just teach safety and responsibility. It also imparts focus, strength, comradery and a bond amongst a group that is elite among hunters and shooters.
Being from Colorado, a state that didn't hold a qualifying YHEC state or regional event this year, we headed to Raton, N.M. so our daughter could compete. She was welcomed by the Taos Young Guns and joined their team to compete in the state event. It afforded her the opportunity to qualify for this international competition. Due to extenuating circumstances, her new teammates were unable to make the trek to Pennsylvania for the International competition, so it was determined our daughter would be competing as an individual this year.
We traveled nearly 2000 miles across the country for our daughter to compete solo in an international competition with over 300 entrants. Some would think this would be frightening or intimidating, but that hasn't been the case. As our daughter makes her way through the eight YHEC events we've been highly impressed by the youth, coaches and volunteers involved in the YHEC program. No matter where she's gone, she's been confronted with nothing but kind people.