North Carolina teams win championships in international youth shooting sports competition
RALEIGH — Youth teams affiliated with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission emerged as junior and senior division champions at the 30th annual International Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC), a shooting and outdoors skills competition at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.
The National Rifle Association event was held July 26-31. Teams from across the country competed in marksmanship with .22-caliber rifles and black powder rifles at knock-down targets, shotgun on a sporting clays course, and archery at 3-D game targets. Non-shooting events included orienteering, wildlife identification, hunter responsibility exam, and a hunter safety trail test.
The Forbush Raptors of Forbush High School won the senior division with a team roster consisting of Coach Chris Poplin and student competitors Colton Bullin, Jordan Dinkins, Dylan Horn, Dylan Poplin, Jordan Yale and Emry Wingler.
The Yadkin Patriots of Forbush Middle School won the junior division with a team roster consisting of Coaches Carson Hobson and Brian Poindexter, and student competitors Colton Hanes, Matthew Lineberry, Clayton Medlin, Zack Norman and Garrett Poindexter. Both schools are in Yadkin County.
“This makes back-to-back championships for Coach Carson Hobson,” said Tim Lemon, a Wildlife Commission hunter education specialist for the district that includes Yadkin County. “You have to appreciate his level of commitment to the team and all his hard work. And his hard work doesn’t begin and end with the Yadkin Patriots. He is a longtime hunting education instructor, firearms safety instructor, community volunteer and well known for taking every opportunity to engage local youth in outdoor recreation.”
Nearly 340 competitors, coaches and parents attended YHEC this year. Since its inception in 1985, YHEC has reached more than a million young men and women. See complete 2015 team results and individual standings here.
In North Carolina, teams and individuals qualified for YHEC through the Wildlife Commission’s district and state Youth Hunter Education Tournaments, a component of the Hunter Education Program. Teams are organized on senior (high school) and junior (middle and elementary schools) divisional levels. For more information, go to www.ncwildlife.org/huntered.
Wildlife Officers graduate from Basic Wildlife Law Enforcement Training
RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission welcomed into its ranks 19 new wildlife officers with a sworn duty to enforce conservation and boating laws and to assist those who enjoy wildlife-related recreation and outdoor activities across the state.
Graduation ceremonies took place today at Campbell University, culminating 24 weeks of rigorous and intensive training for the Class of 2015. The 19 new wildlife officers now begin six months of on-the-job training under supervision of a veteran wildlife officer. Upon completion of this field training, they will receive a permanent duty station assignment.
“Today, these wildlife officers begin the next step for careers in ‘law enforcement off the pavement’,” said Col. Jon Evans, chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “They epitomize our core values — to serve with professionalism, dedication, and act with integrity, trustworthiness and fairness. The Wildlife Commission hires men and women who not only work hard while on duty, but have an impact in our communities, both on and off the job.”
Wildlife officers must exceed basic law enforcement qualification standards in North Carolina, and complete additional conservation-specific training, including fish and wildlife laws, motorboat accident investigation, and protected species. Candidates for training to become an officer are required to pass extensive background, psychological and physical screenings prior to entering the training school. Instruction covers statutory and investigation procedures, defensive tactics, and fish and game laws, as well as pursuit driving and boating.
“This is an exemplary group, and I am proud to have them join the Wildlife Commission,” said Capt. Mickey Little, Law Enforcement Division training director. “They have faced arduous challenges, worked as a team and as individuals, and now become law enforcement professionals.”
The 19 new wildlife officers, their hometown and county, and assigned county for on-the-job training:
Zachariah Antill, from Henrico, Northampton County; assigned to Northampton County.
Anna Elizabeth Barbosa from Fayetteville, Cumberland County, formerly of Cameron, Wisconsin; assigned to Craven County.
Richard Christopher Becker, from Asheville, Buncombe County; assigned to Rutherford County.
Nathanial James Cox, from Crumpler, Ashe County; assigned to Stokes County.
Jacob Matthew Deese, from Holly Springs, Wake County; assigned to Durham County.
David Michael Descourouez, from Angier, Johnston County; assigned to Cleveland County.
Eric Daniel Gleason, from Charlotte, Mecklenburg County; assigned to Cabarrus County.
Scott Tyler Ingle, from New Bern, Craven County; assigned to Edgecombe County.
Matthew William Lee, from Norwood, Stanly County; assigned to Davie County.
Thomas Zachary Lemonds, from High Falls, Moore County; assigned to Davidson County.
Dale Little, from Cary, Wake County; assigned to Polk County.
Trent Parrish, from Houma, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana; assigned to Pamlico County.
Stephen Wayne Pearce II, from Raleigh, Wake County; assigned to Hyde County.
Miles Davis Sampson from Lumberton, Robeson County; assigned to Rockingham County.
Joseph Daniel Spears, from Fuquay-Varina, Wake County, following an 8-month deployment to Kosovo; assigned to Franklin County.
Jared Hunter Thompson, from Sanford, Lee County; assigned to Brunswick County.
Justin Michael Thompson, from Fayetteville, Cumberland County; assigned to Duplin County.
Daniel Shane Weeks, from Nashville, Nash County; assigned to Bertie County.
Chris Wilkins, from Franklin, Macon County; assigned to Henderson County.
Go to www.ncwildlife.org to learn more about conservation laws, the role of wildlife officers and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. A booklet on careers in wildlife enforcement is available online or upon request by calling 919-707-0101.