Hours: Wednesday - Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm / Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
Closed Monday.

Building the next generation of hunters

Are you ready for the challenge?

Improving hunting marksmanship, safety, and survival skills.

Provides a fun environment for kids 

Led by experienced, safety conscious instructors

Build on skills from basic hunter education courses

Participants must have completed a hunter safety course

Simulated hunting situations and live fire exercises

Hands-on training in eight skill areas following NRA curriculum

Designed to promote and encourage safe, lifelong hunting.

What you will learn:

Rifle, bow, and muzzleloader shooting at life-sized targets, wildlife identification, map and compass orienteering, basic first aid, survival skills, and more.

The Program

  • The Youth Hunter Education Challenge program consists of 15 sessions from January to June. Please contact us for our most current schedule
  • Classroom and field sessions are held primarily at the Jack O'Connor Center and the Lewis-Clark Wildlife Club.
  • The Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) was started by the NRA in 1985 and has had 1.2 million participants since its inception.
  • Participants are required to have completed a basic hunter safety course and be 11-18 years old.
  • Equipment is provided by the program. Participants are allowed to use their own equipment with instructor permission.
  • Parents are welcome to attend YHEC sessions at any time
  • The Lewis-Clark Valley chapter is made possible through generous sponsorship from the Jack O'Connor Hunting Heritage and Education Center.


Sign Up Here

Participation for multiple years encouraged.

Scholarships available if financial barriers exist. Please contact us for more information.

YHEC Coordinator

David Pakula

Dave Pakula is a lifelong outdoorsman and retired physician who has lived in the Lewis-Clark Valley since 1984. An avid hunter, fisher, and hiker, he has always placed the highest importance on safety and preparedness. He learned much from the older outdoorsmen in his life - his father, other relatives, family friends, and Boy Scout leaders - and is eager to continue this tradition by sharing his knowledge with interested youth today.

Dave has coordinated the Jack O’Connor Museum chapter of the YHEC program since 2016.

The Crew

Our instructors include active and retired fish and game officers and experienced hunter safety instructors

  • Bill Seybold: Wildlife Identification
  • Zach Swearingen: Archery
  • Pat Ogden: Archery
  • Mike Butler: Rifle
  • Ron Landrus: Ethics, Hunter Safety
  • Dallas Hohnsbehn: Ethics, Muzzleloader
  • Duane VonBargen: Rifle, Bullet construction
  • Ken Wareham: Orienteering, Map & Compass
  • Mandy Miles: Shotgun
  • Jen Bruns: Wildlife Identification
  • Dave Pakula: First aid, Survival, Equipment

Get in touch.

Fill out the form on this page
or give us a call to find out more.

YHEC Coordinator: (509) 780-8058
Jack o'Connor Center: (208) 743-5043

The Jack O'Connor Heritage Center
Hells Gate State Park
5600 Hells Gate Road
Hells Gate State Park, Lewiston ID 83501

Hours: Wednesday - Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
Closed Monday.

Mailing address:
PO Box 394, Lewiston, ID 83501

Driving Directions

The Jack O’Connor name and all images on this web site are trademarked and owned by the Jack O'Connor Hunting Heritage and Education Center®, Lewiston, Idaho. All rights reserved. Materials contained on this Web site may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the Jack O'Connor Center for Hunting Heritage and Education unless otherwise noted.

© 2019 Jack O'Connor Hunting Heritage & Education Center 
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