Hunters' skills to be put to test

COVINGTON - The Department of Natural Resources has announced its second annual Hunter Education Skills Challenge to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The challenge is designed for young hunters who are divided into two divisions - 14 and under and 15 to 18 - for the challenge. Participants must have completed the Hunter Safety Education Course.

"The challenge aims to test participants' abilities in up to six outdoor components," said Jennifer Pittman, shooting sports coordinator with the DNR Wildlife Resources Division.

The event will be held at the Clybel Wildlife Management Area shooting range in Mansfield. From Ga. Highway 11, participants should take Marbin Farm Road and follow the signs.

Saturday's participants will compete in three events that could include archery, air rifle, a safety trail challenge, orienteering (compass skills), wildlife identification and a responsibility exam.

The top 10 scoring participants in Saturday's event will move on to state competition in January, which will include all six components. The top three scorers Saturday will receive recognition plaques.

"Everything is provided. Participants do not need to bring their own equipment," Pittman said. "Each component of the program simulates realistic conditions in an effort to reinforce and test a young hunter's skills."

For anyone who misses Saturday's event, but would still like to participate, Pittman said more Hunter Education Skills Challenge events are scheduled between now and the end of the year. For more information, visit www.georgiawildlife.com under the education tab or call 770-918-6416.