At the July 22-27, 2012 NRA International Youth Hunter Education Challenge (IYHEC), which was held in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, the five-member junior Cleburne County 4-H Shooting Sports Arkansas Real Tree team took home 18 medals plus equipment and ammunition.
Zach Meyer, Elizabeth Marsh, Baylee Tims, Bradly Cooper and Kathryn Bechdoldt made up the Arkansas Real Tree Team. By competing at the Arkansas Youth Hunter Education Challenge these thirteen year olds were eligible to compete at IYHEC. At the Arkansas YHEC the Real Tree team earned first place overall team honors for which they each received a $725.00 IYHEC registration scholarship from the Arkansas Chapter of Safari Club
International totaling $3,640.00. Cleburne County 4-H Shooting Sports members Nick Meyer, Matthew Stogsdill, Trevor Torres and Coaches Rick Marsh and Lawrence Meyer also competed.
A total of nineteen 4-H shooters, coaches and family members from Cleburne County traveled to Pennsylvania. Thirty Arkansas youth and 11 coaches competed at this year's eight event competition. At the opening ceremonies the Arkansas delegation, the largest group, entered the auditorium by calling the hogs.
Each 4-H shooter competed in the following IYHEC events: 3-D Archery, Muzzleloader knock-down target, Shotgun Sporting Clays, .22 Rifle knock-down targets, Hunter Responsibility Exam, Hunter Safety Trail, Orienteering, and Wildlife Identification. Youth from across the United States compete at IYHEC. There were 269 youth, 128 junior and 141 senior shooters, and 44 coaches that competed this year.
Zach Meyer was a big winner by placing second as overall junior individual. Zach earned medals for placing 2nd in Archery, and .22 Rifle and 3rd in Orienteering and Hunter Responsibility Exam. As overall 2nd place individual, Zach received a medal, plaque, muzzleloader rifle, compound bow, arrows, backpack, knife, day planner, case of .22 ammunition and a case of shotgun shells.
Baylee Tims placed 2nd in the Muzzleloader event. The Real Tree junior team placed 2nd in Muzzleloader and 3rd in .22 Rifle events. Medals are only awarded to first, second, and third place winners.
Many thanks to the Arkansas Chapter of Safari Club International, Lee & Janet Williamson, Eagle Bank, Red River Dodge, and all who supported the smoked pork fundraiser. Your support made it possible for Cleburne County's eight 4-H shooters to attend the very challenging International Youth Hunter Education Challenge.
Throughout the week of competition the group celebrated Baylee's birthday and participated in fun activities such as the Flu-Flu archery shoot, a Turkey Shoot, Swap Meet, the Cherokee Run where participant are timed as they make fire from flint, shoot a muzzleloader rifle and a recurve bow, and throw knives at a target, as well as shopping at the many vendors at the event. As a reward for a long week of competition the NRA served a steak dinner to all the competitors and guests.