New Wildlife Agency program aims to improve target shooting skills

Published 11:07 am Saturday, December 23, 2023

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) invites the public to take the 2024 Top Shot Challenge. It’s a 12-month, themed target shooting “challenge yourself” program being offered at six NCWRC-run shooting ranges, to include one in Northampton County.

“Besides target shooting being an enjoyable sport for many people, it creates an opportunity to improve shooting skills and become more familiar handling a firearm, which is a recommended safety measure for firearm owners,” said Josh Jernigan, NCWRC’s shooting range facilities manager.

There are three categories offered in the Challenge based on the firearm being used: rifle of any caliber, handgun of any caliber, and .22 caliber rifles and pistols. Participants may attempt the challenge once per day for each themed challenge until they complete it. Shooting range staff are available to provide guidance and suggestions on how to beat the challenge.

The Challenge begins January 1, 2024 at the following NCWRC range locations:

Lenz Hunter Education Complex in Richmond County,

Flintlock Valley Shooting Range in Montgomery County’s Uwharrie National Forest,

Odom Shooting Range in Northampton County,

Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center,

Wayne E. Smith Cold Mountain Shooting Range in Haywood County, and

R. Wayne Bailey-Caswell Shooting Range, Caswell County.

Noah Secrist manages the John Lenz location, where a 2023 pilot challenge program took place this year.

“We’ve seen a sense of camaraderie among the participants,” said Secrist. “We have every level of experience participating, from people who are new to target shooting to old pros at the sport.”

Participants receive a themed patch for each monthly challenge they complete. Make-up challenges will be offered to participants in August, during National Shooting Sports Month.

For more information visit NCWRC’s shooting range webpage.