Burbank youth is a hit at hunter education challenge

Burbank youth is a hit at hunter education challenge Jeremy Anderson of Burbank was South Dakota's sole participant in the Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) held recently in Manchester, PA.

"Jeremy recalled the moment when he carried the South Dakota state flag during the opening ceremony and received a standing ovation from the crowd as the high point of his trip," said Game, Fish and Parks Hunting Safety Specialist Bill Shattuck. "Jeremy also received the Sportsmanship Award for the cheerful and enthusiastic way he participated in all of the event's activities."

Anderson is a 2001 graduate of the HuntSafe program in South Dakota, which is required of all hunters under the age of 16. He took his HuntSafe course in Vermillion from Instructor Richard Job.

Youth Hunter Education Challenge, called YHEC by participants and sponsors alike, is an annual, national event. Young people who have qualified in their home state by completing a hunter education course and participating in a state YHEC event meet to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they learned in their Hunter Education course.

"Although technically not a competition, scores are kept and posted, and there is keen interest in comparing scores between each states individuals and teams," Shattuck noted. "Among the events are rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader and archery shooting, a compass course, wildlife management and identification, outdoor safety and others."

Anderson said that the friendliness and sportsmanship displayed throughout all of the events and activities made for a good time.

"People were very nice and I learned a lot," Anderson said. "Teams from other states asked me to shoot with them, for instance, so that I would not have to shoot alone. YHEC will be in New Mexico next year and I would really like to go, but I hope someone else from South Dakota will go too, because it would be even more fun with a

group."

South Dakota's state YHEC is held in Mitchell each year. Anyone interested in next year's event can contact event chairman Gary Stadlman of Ethan at (605) 227-4286.

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