About

SAFETY is shooting's
most important rule!

HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE

Hunter education covers a variety of topics including firearms safety, wildlife identification, wildlife conservation and management, survival, archery, muzzleloading and hunter responsibility. It is available as a standard  eight-hour course, the internet home study course and the workbook home study course.

Visit the Oklahoma Wildlife Department Hunter Education Website for more detailed information.

EIGHT SKILLS DEFINITIONS

Each event is worth 300 points.

HUNTER SAFETY TEST
The Hunter Safety Test consists of 50 to 60 multiple choice and true or false questions regarding rules and regulations, survival skills, parts of a gun, parts of a bow, general questions regarding habitat - all questions come from the NRA Hunter's Guide which each YHEC participate receives at the first YHEC event they attend.

HUNTER SAFETY TRAIL
Participants walk through a course set up with 6-8 scenarios of Shoot or Don't Shoot hunting situations.  Many times this event is conducted by the Game Wardens of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.  Common sense and keen eye sight is the key to this event.  You never know when there may be a camoflagued hunter in the tree behind the turkey you think you are going to shoot!

ORIENTEERING
Referred to as map and compass.  Participants take a written test on symbols used on maps.  They then are shown how to use a compass to find direction and points on a walk through course. Don't be hesitant about this event.  Most of the volunteers are former scouts and are willing to teach those who may not be familiar with the art of orienteering. Please remember that the "E" in YHEC stands for EDUCATION!

WILDLIFE IDENTIFICATION
Skulls, pelts, tracks and scat are displayed and participants simply identify the animal that the specimen belongs to.  At the end of the day, the answers will be posted next to the specimens for educational purposes.

ARCHERY
The archery course consists of  10 to12, 3-D targets.  One arrow is shot at each target by the participants.  The key here is to be able to judge the distance and know where to aim at the target for a kill shot.  Partial points can be scored for a hit on the body but more points are scored for a hit in the kill zone.  Binoculars are allowed to scoop the target for the kill area.  RANGE FINDERS ARE PROHIBITED!

SHOTGUN
Course is set up similar to sporting clays with participants shooting clay targets being thrown in the air with a possible mix of some "rabbits" running along the ground.

.22 RIFLE
Participants either shoot at metal silhouette targets or paper targets with animal images (depends on the range set up).  Shooters have different distances to fire from in different positions - prone (on stomach); kneeling or sitting and standing.

MUZZLELOADER
Similar set up as .22 rifle.  Same positions used.  Participants who may not be familiar with the loading and handling of a muzzleloader rifle will be instructed by qualified volunteers.

THE KEY IS TO COME WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE AND A WILLINGNESS TO LEARN.  REMEMBER THE "E" IN YHEC STANDS FOR EDUCATION.  This is set up in a competition format, but the main objective is the educate the youth on the safe and proper use of equipment and responsible role they have as hunters.

Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC)

Recognized as the most comprehensive youth hunting program anywhere in North America, the Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) is NRA’s “graduate studies” program in outdoor skills and safety training for young hunters. Open only to those who have completed hunter-safety training at the state or provincial level, the program is conducted under simulated hunting conditions to provide the best practical environment for reinforcing and testing a young hunter's skills.

From rifle, bow and muzzleloader shooting at life-sized targets, to wildlife identification, to map-and-compass orienteering and more, YHEC participants get hands-on training in eight skills areas, giving them expertise in all methods of take and all types of game.  Visit our GALLERY to see photos and definitions for the eight skills.

  • Muzzleloader
  • Shotgun
  • .22 Rifle
  • Archery
  • Wildlife ID
  • Orienteering
  • Hunter Safety Trail
  • Hunter Responsibility Exam

State - and provincial - level YHEC programs, hosted by volunteer instructors, draw an estimated 50,000 youths each year. Top ranked individuals advance to the annual NRA International Youth Hunter Education Challenge, the pinnacle of the program.  Since its inception in 1985, YHEC has reached more than a million young sportsmen and women.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is there an age requirement?

  • Any youth (boys and girls) 18 years of age and under who have completed the Hunter Education Course through the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation may participate.  At the time of registration, youth must provide a copy of their birth certificate and hunter education card.
  • Visit HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE for more information.

Do I have to provide my own firearms and archery equipment and ammunition?

  • No, due to the generous support of the Friends of NRA the OKYHEC program has shotguns, muzzleloaders, .22 rifles, archery equipment and ammunition available for use at each event.  If youth do have their own equipment, they are welcome to bring it, but the equipment is subject to inspection by the event staff to ensure that it is in safe, working order.  If using their ammunition, it must meet NRA YHEC Guidelines.

Do I have to compete in a Regional event in order to compete at the State Event?

  • No, but participation in at least one if not more regional events is recommended.  Once you try a YHEC you will want to keep coming back.

Do I have to compete in all 8 events (muzzleloader, shotgun, .22 rifle, archery, wildlife ID, orienteering, hunter safety trail and hunter responsibility exam) at a regional or state event in order to be eligible for awards and door prizes?

  • Yes, it is highly recommended that you give all events your best effort.

How long does an event last?

  • Most events begin at 8:30 AM and end around 5:00 PM.  Check-in and late registration begins at 8:00 AM.

How much does it cost to participate and is lunch included?

  • $25 for a regional event and $30 for the state event; ALL REGISTRATIONS MUST BE POSTMARKED AT LEAST ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE EVENT DATE.  A $15 LATE FEE will be accessed for registrations not meeting the postmarked deadline requirement.  (Please remember that an accurate number of participants is important so that the event coordinators can acquire enough volunteers, awards, door prizes and FOOD!)  Lunch is included in participant registration fee; all others can purchase lunch at a nominal fee.

What do I wear?

  • Appropriate clothing (boots, long pants, jacket, hat) to an outdoor situation is highly recommended.  Participants are required to walk through rough terrain (tall grass, dirt, sand, mud) depending on the weather and event location.  If inclement weather is predicted it is recommended that rain gear, warm weather clothing, appropriate footwear be worn.  Most events will continue even if raining (in the case of lightning the event will be closed or postponed depending on the situation.)

Do I have to bring eye and ear protection?

  • It is highly recommended that you bring your own eye protection; however, each event always has extra eye protection.  Ear protection in the form of disposable ear plugs is provided.

THE KEY IS TO COME WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE AND A WILLINGNESS TO LEARN. REMEMBER THE "E" IN YHEC STANDS FOR EDUCATION. This is set up in a competition format, but the main objective is the educate the youth on the safe and proper use of equipment and responsible role they have as hunters.