Sept. 8, 2014 – Louisiana youth hunters garnered top honors this summer at the 2014 NRA’s International Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) held in Mansfield, Pa., in July.
Their efforts were recognized by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Hunting Heritage Coordinator John Sturgis at the Sept. 4 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge.
The top 20 seniors and juniors from the state competition were awarded the opportunity to attend the International Challenge following their success at the Louisiana State YHEC event held in Pollock, La., on the weekend of May 31 – June 1.
Youth from across the state, ranging in age from 10 to 18, competed in eight different events that tested their shooting and mental skills. The eight events were comprised of four shooting and four non-shooting events: archery, muzzleloader, shotgun, 22 rifle, plus hunter responsibility, hunter safety on the trail, orienteering skills and wildlife identification.
The top 15 seniors at the State Challenge included: Terrebonne Parish participants Doyle Donaldson (overall state Senior champ), Conner Chaisson, Jordan Palmisano, Ian Duplantis, Matt Braud, Brennan Lirette, Lane Leblanc and Christopher Becnel; Greater New Orleans participants Brad Petras, Blake Morris, Austin Faucheau and Seth Rome; plus Austin Pace from Desoto Parish; Elijah Dupree from Acadiana Parish; and Emily Fulton from northwest Louisiana.
The top 15 juniors at the State Challenge included: Terrebonne Parish participants William Powell (overall state Junior champ), Justin Guillory, Blake Johnson, Jason Danos, Kyle Landry, Adrienne Talbot, Lacey Bonvillain, Rory Bergeron and Adam Hubbell; Greater New Orleans participants Blake Rogers, Jay Madden, Gavin Madden, Jacob Landry and Tyler Abadie; and Austin Daily from Rapides Parish.
The top 10 senior and top 10 juniors from the state then advanced to the YHEC International Challenge held in Mansfield, Pa., during the week of July 18. The Louisiana competitors were broken into five-man shooting teams. The Senior Gold Team included: Doyle Donaldson, Emily Fulton, Conner Chaisson, Brad Petras and Jordan Palmisano. The Senior Silver Team included Ian Duplantis, Matt Braud, Brennan Lirette, Austin Pace and Christopher Becnel. The Junior Gold Team was comprised of William Powell, Justin Guillory, Blake Johnson, Jason Danos and Jay Madden. And the Junior Silver Team was comprised of Kyle Landry, Adrienne Talbot, Lacey Bonvillain, Rory Bergeron and Adam Hubbell.
The Louisiana teams, competing at the International Challenge as the Bayou Bandits, received the following awards:
Senior Gold Team: Team Overall International Champion; including 3rd place muzzleloader, 1st place shotgun, 1st place rifle, 3rd place hunter responsibility test, 2nd place safety trail, and 2nd place wildlife identification
Junior Gold Team: 1st place shotgun and 3rd place safety trail
Doyle Donaldson: Senior Individual Overall International Champion; including 1st in rifle, 3rd in shotgun and 1st in hunter responsibility
Ian Duplantis, Senior: 1st in safety trail and 2nd in shotgun
Jay Madden, Junior: 3rd in muzzleloader
Brad Petras, Senior: 1st place in wildlife identification
William Powell: Junior Individual Overall International Champion; including 1st in shotgun, 1st in hunter responsibility, 1st in orienteering and 3rd in wildlife identification
YHEC is a National Rifle Association youth program that teaches youth outdoor skills with its main focus being the safe handling of firearms. The program is taught by certified hunter safety instructors, coaches and parent volunteers.
The YHEC program is committed to providing youth with top-notch shooting, hunting and safety skills by challenging their minds and cultivating high standards for hunting and wildlife. YHEC strengthens values such as concentration, commitment, sportsmanship and teamwork.
For more information on the YHEC Program, visit website http://hservices.nra.org/youth-hunter-education-challenge.aspx or contact John Sturgis at 337-948-0255 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
*More Louisiana International YHEC Photos can been viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/yhec/sets/.