GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — A competition for middle and high school-aged youth is preparing the next generation of hunters.

The North Carolina’s Youth Hunter Education Skills tournament allows participants to compete in multiple events including shotgun, archery, rifle, orienteering, and a written hunting skills exam.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission normally hosts nine district tournaments across the state, but this year it is doing virtual tournaments at each of the schools’ home facilities.

Ezekiel Duncan, a sophomore at Southern Guilford High School, says this competition allowed him to stay active and see friends in a time where there is a lot of isolation as a student.

“I enjoy shooting because it gets me out of the house, it’s an activity I can do outside because I live on a farm, and I don’t have to worry about people around me as much as I do here. It really gets me out of the house and lets me do other things besides just school work all day,” Duncan says.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s objective is to promote the safe sport of hunting and shooting and to provide a platform of rules to ensure maximum participation and fairness of competition.