Jackets take third at State Hunter Safety Tournament

May. 01, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Lee County finished third and Lee County's Matthew Spartz and Luke Dickens won individual championships at the State Hunter Safety Tournament at the Millstone 4-H Center in Richmond County on Saturday.

The Yellow Jacket Hunter Safety team finished third place out of 55 schools at the tournament.

Spartz won first place in the Overall Hunter Safety competition. Dickens won first place in the Overall Shotgun competition. Morgan Cox finished third place in Overall Hunter Safety. Spartz finished second in the Overall Individual category (combined scores in hunter safety, archery, rifle and shotgun).

The State Hunter Safety Tournament is sponsored by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission. The commission's Hunter Education Program holds the tournaments to give youth the opportunity to showcase outdoor skills and demonstrate safety.

Students compete in rifle, shotgun, archery and orienteering (compass) events. The top schools, including the Yellow Jackets, advanced through district tournaments to qualify for the state tournament. Gray Stone Day won the overall team title.

“The competitors are a great reflection of hunting, conservation and the outdoor recreational community. These kids are exemplary in their skills and commitment,” said Travis Casper, the state hunting education coordinator and tournament director.

“The competition is based on demonstrating the basic elements of hunter education, the same things that are taught in courses offered free by the Wildlife Commission to the general public throughout the year," Casper said.

The Lee County team is Spartz, Dickens, Morgan Cox, Jordan Cox, Tyler Underwood, Christine Holt, Layne Baker, Britt McRae, Cody Whitehead, Storm Whitehead and Phillip Morie.

The Lee County Wildlife Club sponsors, provides facilities and provides instruction for all the hunter safety teams in Lee County.