Top Youths Chosen To Represent Florida at National Youth Hunter Education Challenge

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Five Florida youths will be representing their state at the National Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Mansfield, Penn. in late July.

Seventeen-year-old James Barton and 16-year-old Robert Hickman from Jupiter, 14-year-old Colter Brown and 18-year-old Isaac Amicarelle from Jacksonville and 13-year-old Jesse Bodden from Okeechobee won the right to attend the annual prestigious event by beating out 32 other youths during the state challenge at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Ocala Conservation Center on May 3.

The national challenge will be at Mansfield University’s Mill Cove Environmental Center from July 28 through Aug. 1.

Competition in these challenges is based on the eight disciplines of archery, muzzleloading, shotgun and small-bore/light rifle shooting skills, firearm responsibility, safety trail (obstacle course on hunting safely), orienteering and wildlife identification.

Participants compete in two age divisions.  The junior division is made up of kids 14 and younger.  Youths 15 to 18 years of age must compete in the senior division.

Every participant in the state challenge won his or her regional event to earn the right to compete in Ocala.  The top five finishers in both divisions of the state competition were:

Junior Division (14 and younger)

  1. Colter Brown
  2. Jesse Bodden
  3. Nate Richards (Lithia)
  4. Cory LaRoe (Valrico)
  5. Mike Sharp (Royal Palm Beach)

Senior Division (15-18 years old)

  1. James Barton
  2. Robert Hickman
  3. Isaac Amicarelle
  4. Shawnee Epps (Tamarac)
  5. Brian Richens (Jacksonville)

Anyone wanting to help send the Florida team to the national competition in Pennsylvania can do so by making a check out to the Wildlife Foundation of Florida and writing in the Memo blank: For YHEC and mailing it to P.O. Box 11010, Tallahassee, FL  32302, or if you would like to charge your credit card, you can do so online at and include the words “for YHEC” in the special instructions page, or you may call 1-800-989-4889 and mention the donation is for the YHEC fund.  All contributions are tax deductible.

Local sportsman’s clubs wanting to sponsor a youth to participate in next year’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge can do so by contacting Greg Workman at 352-625-2804 or Gregory [dot] Workman [at] MyFWC [dot] com.