Sept. 22, 2021
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is hosting its annual Marksmanship Challenge for youth in grades 1 through 12 at each of its nature centers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 25.
Considered the outdoors version of the NFL’s popular Pass, Punt, Kick competition, the Marksmanship Challenge tests the skills and coordination of participants in five outdoor shooting disciplines: BB gun shooting, slingshotting, field archery, 3-D archery and casting a fishing lure using rod and reel.
Eric Maynard, assistant chief of the AGFC’s Education Division, said that participants need no prior skill or knowledge of the tools being used in the challenge.
“We’ll have staff on-site available to teach everyone how to use the equipment safely and accurately,” Maynard said. “Medals will be awarded to the top finishers in each age category at the end of each center’s event.”
The event is being held in celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day and Arkansas Hunting and Fishing Week. Now in its 50th year, National Hunting and Fishing Day is the largest, most effective grassroots movement ever undertaken to promote outdoor sports and conservation. Celebrated on the fourth Saturday of September, the federally recognized holiday brings together sportsmen and women from across America to celebrate the rich tradition of hunting, sport shooting and fishing through organized local, state and national events aimed at introducing new audiences to the outdoors.
“It’s just a great way to get out and learn how to use these hunting and fishing tools and learn a little more about nature,” Maynard said. “The whole family is invited to come look around the nature centers and learn about conservation and the outdoors. They’ll also get a chance to see some of the other great hunting, fishing and wildlife-oriented activities we host at our nature centers. Maybe one will pique their interest and prompt a return visit before hunting season.”