Carter Cuthrell leads Davie Hunter Skills teams in district competition

Published 9:07 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

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The Davie County Hunter Education Skills teams enjoyed a day of competition at the NC Wildlife District 7 Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament on March 4 at the Hunting Creek Shooting Preserve, Harmony.

District 7 consists of 432 students from high schools and middle schools in 11 counties in northwest North Carolina. The Davie teams represent  Davie High School, Ellis Middle School, North Davie Middle School, and South Davie Middle School.

In association with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the schools offer the Hunter Education Course to all students in 6th-12th grades.  Students who complete the class will be certified and will be eligible to participate on the Davie County Hunter Education Shooting Teams and represent his or her school.

The team members participate in firearm safety, archery, rifle marksmanship, shotgun (trap shooting), rules and regulations, first aid, wildlife identification, and hunter skills (compass and mapping).

This youth shooting program has been implemented within the Davie County School System and provides an opportunity for students to compete against other schools at the District, State, and National levels.

For 2023,  coaches provided 48 Davie youth with hunter safety skills, learning the responsibilities of firearms and archery equipment at their own range.  Twenty-six coaches/RSOs (Range Safety Officers) volunteered to teach and supervise the teams.

Davie High was represented by four teams – the War Eagles team, the Orange team, the Black team, and the White team.

Ellis was represented by two teams – the Jaguar team and the Purple team.

North Davie and South Davie were represented by one team from each school.  Each event has teams of five members with one alternate if there are over five members on the team.  Each event also has a captain.

In the Senior Division, Carter Cuthrell from the Davie High War Eagles team placed first in the district in shotgun (trap shooting). Shooting perfect scores of 200, Carter along with Jaxon Sechrest and Robby Parks of the Davie High War Eagles team and Levi Taylor and David Hudspeth of the Davie High Orange team participated in the shoot-off of shooting doubles with 11 shooters from other schools.

Carter and a shooter from another school made it to the fourth round with Carter outshooting his opponent with perfect shots breaking both trap discs.  Carter was presented a trophy at the awards ceremony at the end of the day and will compete in the state tournament in April at Ellerbee in the individual category.

With team scores of 990, the Davie High War Eagles team was tied with two other schools in shotgun (trap shooting).  Ties are broken by the highest overall combined scores of the Hunter Education Responsibility Exam for the participants.  With a Hunter Skills score of 586, the War Eagles places third in Team Shotgun and received a team trophy at the awards ceremony.

With 39 teams participating, the Davie High Orange team placed 11th, the Davie High Black team placed 37th with only four team members, and the Davie High White team placed 38th with only four team members.

In the junior division, Davie County had two participants shoot a perfect score of 200 in shotgun and participated in shooting doubles for the tie breaker.

Connor Mathis of the Ellis Jaguar team and Walker Matthews of the North Davie Wildcats team went up against five other shooters for the shoot-off.  Both Davie County shooters did a great job getting to the shoot-off but were unable to break both clay discs in the first round.

In junior competition with 23 teams, Ellis Middle School Jaguars placed ninth, North Davie Wildcats placed 12th, South Davie Tigers placed 15th, and with only a four-member team, the Ellis Purple team placed 22nd.

“The coaches would like continue to promote our great shooting sports and great sport of safe and ethical wildlife management,” said volunteer Dale Wall. “To accomplish this goal, we rely on donations to the Davie County Hunter Education Shooting Team to enable each team member the opportunity to experience the program on completed ranges.”

The teams hold a fundraiser raffle in the fall when practice begins for the middle schools and beginning shooters. Other monies needed to support the program are donations from sponsors and parents, including: Davie Outfitters, Davis Signs, Doodle and Geraldine Allen, Eaton Funeral Service, ForMac Automotive, Harris Pools, Jeff and Lisa Vaughn, Lanie and Susan Wall, Miller Tree Service, Modern Tree Service, Randy Miller & Sons, Riverwood Outdoors, Shore Custom Fencing, and TiffBobbs Creations.  Companies that have donated items to help get closer to completed  ranges:  APAC-Atlantic and Pat’s Trucking. Port-A-John donated port-a-potties for a scrimmage that was held at the local range in January with teams from Starmount and Elkin.  The High Country Shooters from Watauga County were invited but due to snow they were unable to attend.

“At the present time, there is still a lot of work to be done on our ranges and our team building,” she said. “If there is anyone who would like to be a sponsor next year or would like to donate toward completing our ranges and building, please feel free to contact Shannon Mathis at or Brian Harris at (336) 399-2260.

Coaches and RSOs this year were Shannon Mathis (Head Sr, Coach), Brian Harris (Head Jr. Coach).

Davie High coaches and RSOs were: Shannon Mathis, Jessica Moore, Jack and Mandy Murphy.

Ellis Middle coaches and RSOs were Ashley Smith, Chris Simmons, David White, and Joe Bulkley.

North Davie Middle coaches and RSOs were Doug Wall, John Bailey, Kendra Jacobs, and Sean Douthit.

South Davie Middle coaches and RSOs were Blake Nichols, Bobby and Tiffany Rycroft, Brandon and Megan Godbey, Chris Pitts, Danny Whitaker, Dustin Riel, Elizabeth Snow and Susan Young.

The classroom coach was Dale Wall with Wayne Martin and Barron Church overseeing the rifle and shotgun ranges.

For any student who would be interested in becoming a member of the Davie County Hunter Education Skills team for the next season, tables will be set up at all school open houses in August with information and coaches there to explain the program and answer any questions.