Ohio youth wins event at national hunter challenge in N. Mexico

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SALEM, Ohio – A team from Columbiana County represented Ohio in the national Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Raton, New Mexico, this summer.

The team placed second in the Ohio competition to earn a berth in the national event.

Ohio winner. In New Mexico, Nate Mullen of Salem won the orienteering event, earning a gold medal award.

The Ohio group competed against 50 teams and 425 youths representing 20 states.

The competition is sponsored by the National Rifle Association and is held at the NRA Whittington Center.

Other team members are:

Junior team: Bill McGuire, Lisbon; Alex Hull, Lisbon; Mitch Sabo, Columbiana; Chad Raber, Salem; Jerrett Welton, Leetonia; William Paynter, Hanoverton; Candie Grubbs, Leetonia.

Senior team: Andy Clutter, Salem; David Tobin, Calcutta; Mullen; Gabe Maine, Canfield; Jamie Garrod, Leetonia; and Samantha Miller, Leetonia.

State winners. At the Ohio competition in June, the team placed second in both the junior and senior divisions, against 125 team members from across the state.

At the state contest, Bill McGuire placed second in individual placings.

Events at the state and national level include: shotgun marksmanship (clay targets); 22 cal. rifle marksmanship; muzzle loader marksmanship; archery; orienteering (compass reading); safety trail; wildlife identification; and a written exam on all categories.

Pa. won it all. The youth team from Pennsylvania earned first-place finishes in both the senior individual and senior team events.

Devon Babcock of Rome, Pa., was the top individual in his first year competing as a senior.

This is Babcock’s third first-place individual win.

Louisiana’s junior team won their age division.

Join the fun. The Columbiana County team is open to any youth in the county who has completed a hunter safety education program and is 19 or younger.

For more information contact coach Jeff Sabo at 330-482-4186.

Practice runs form January through the state event in June.

About the program. The Youth Hunter Education Challenge encourages young hunters to build basic skills learned in the state hunter education courses.

Next year’s national challenge will be held in Mansfield, Pa.

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