Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We’re Ready for the Challenge

(l-r bottom row, Seiler Johnson, Tanner Johnson, James-Michael Cook, Colton Rader, Reed Wiser and Austin Witt l-r back row, Jr. Coach Tim Johnson, Ryan Jones, Matthew Brooks, Tyler Brigance, Robert Jones and Sr. Coach Gary Brigance)

Are you ready for the Challenge?

By Regina Slack-Rader

Each year over 16,000,000 men and women purchase a hunting license. In 1949, New York was the first state to pass a law requiring hunter safety training. Today, hunter's education is required in all fifty states and provinces. Each year, the states and provinces put on the Youth Hunter Education Challenge for the graduates of the hunter safety program to provide a greater knowledge of what was learned in the classroom and a to provide a more enhanced hands-on skills competition.

In Missouri, the YHEC contest is held in June at the United Sportsman's Club in Jefferson City. Participants range in age from eleven through eighteen years of age and compete individually and as teams. Everyone competes in eight disciplines.

They must shoot a .22 caliber rim fire hunting rifle at silhouettes, a repeating shotgun at sporting clays, a traditional type muzzleloader at swingers and a hunting type bow on a 3-D course.

Contestants also must be able to do an orienteering course which includes direction and distance finding, estimation of distance, map reading, plotting a course, interpreting a map and other general knowledge of maps and symbols.

Each participant must also walk a hunter safety trail. On this trail they will cross obstacles or be presented with a shoot/don't shoot situation. This competition presents the participants with many ethical, legal and safety situations.

Wildlife identification is another important part of this challenge. Contestants are asked to identify wildlife from fur, feather, skull, track, mounts, antler, horn, scat or other signs that wild animals may leave in an outdoors environment.

The final and most crucial component of the competition is the 50 question written test. This test includes questions from the Missouri Hunter Education Student Manual, the Missouri Wildlife Code Book and the Summary Code booklet.

A senior and a junior team from the Fair Grove area competed in the state competition on June 12-14th. In the senior division, The Missouri Sharp Shooters, led by Gary Brigance, consisted of Matthew Brooks (Fair Grove), Tyler Brigance (Fair Grove), Ryan Jones (Fair Grove), Robert Jones (Fair Grove) and Derek Wilson (Jefferson City) placed second with only 99 points separating them from the first place team. In the junior division, The Missouri Tack Drivers, led by Tim Johnson, consisted of Tanner Johnson (Fair Grove), James-Michael Cook (Fair Grove), Colton Rader (Buffalo), Austin Witt (Bois'd Arc), and Reed Wiser (Jefferson City) took top honors as the first place team. Tanner Johnson also won the Junior Division Overall Champion and James-Michael Cook won the award for having the Highest Combined Responsibility Events score. Seiler Johnson from Fair Grove competed as an individual at the competition also.

These area youth will be advancing to the International Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Raton, New Mexico. This event takes place July 27th through July 31st .

If you would like to learn more about the Youth Hunter Education Challenge competition you can find this information on the web at http://www.moyhec.com/ , contact a Missouri Department of Conservation Outdoor Education Center near you, or a local hunter education instructor.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So much to do...

I'm on overload!!

With summer courses winding down, I am definitely ready for a breather. Actually, I'm just ready to get this International YHEC shoot over with and for life to regain some sort of semblence.

I was informed by my Nutrition teacher yesterday that I have the absolute worst diet he has ever seen. My diet has taken a backseat in the last 30 days. With school Monday through Thursday followed by practice every evening until at least 10pm, I have had no time to cook for myself or anyone else for that matter. The past two weeks have been spent trying to collect donations to help with registration and travel expenses. We are still short of our goal by about $500. I have this week and next left and very few places left on my list to go see. This has taken all my spare time. I haven't even got to study like I like to for my two classes. I'm making a B in Nutrition and I'm not happy with that. I like two points having an A and I know that with some effort I can make a last ditch effort and pull it out.

Today, I took Colton to school with me. Actually, Colton will be accompanying me for the final weeks of classes. He developed an attitude with his coach and he also sluffed a test off that he should have known by heart and I'm not happy with him. He gets to set in class or in the hallway and look up ALL the answers to the questions.

After class, we went back to Fair Grove and picked up James-Micheal and Tanner then came back to Springfield to shoot archery at Archery Quest. I am half tempted to take my bow and just go shoot by myself for a stress reliever. I have a new bow that I haven't shot more than a handful of times.

The boys wanted to go eat but I took them all back to Fair Grove. I didn't know if I wanted to feed three teenage boys. I figured they may have used all the spare cash that I had on me, though the temptation of Mexican Villa was definitely a strong one.

Off to do the laundry, some Chemistry and a Nutrition paper that I can't put off any longer.

I shall return to the blog world in a few weeks on a more frequent basis. I do enjoy reading everybodies posts in the wee hours of morning or late at night. Thank you Kristie for the beautiful YouTube video of the Baptism on Sunday. I miss all of you and Steve has said that after this shoot is over we will be coming back. I think that will help add some order in our lives.

Miss ya'll!!!