4-H WHEP is a hands-on environmental education program dedicated to teaching wildlife and fisheries habitat management to youth.
It provides participants in grades 3 through one-year post-high school (grade 13) an opportunity to test their wildlife knowledge in a friendly competition in teams of 3-4 similarly aged individuals led by a local 4-H volunteer coach.
The winning senior WHEP team (14-19 years old) will attend the annual National WHEP Contest in late summer.
Resources and lessons
4-H WHEP state contest
$50 - team registration fee
Complete and submit the paper registration form with payment by April 14 to:
University of Minnesota Extension
ATTN Drew Winegar
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
The state contest will be held at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls on April 24, 2024, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Things to note
- All team members must be enrolled in 4-H and eligible to take a national trip for the trip to be awarded.
- Coaches must be screened Minnesota 4-H volunteers.
- Contestants must provide their own lunch, snacks, beverages, pencil and clipboard.
- Participants should be prepared to be outdoors and dress appropriately.
Schedule of events
9 - 9:30 a.m. - Registration check-in and teams set up "area"
9:30 - 10 a.m. - Welcome and Opening, move to the activity I & II stations
10 - 11 a.m. - First rotation of activity I (wildlife challenge) and II (wildlife management individual plan)
11-11:15 a.m. - Move to second rotation
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Second rotation of activity I and II
12:15 - 1 p.m. - Lunch (participants bring their own) and move to Activity III station
1 - 3 p.m. - Activity III - wildlife management plan (Team)
3 - 3:30 p.m. - Educational offering for all
3:30 - 4 p.m. - Awards ceremony and closing
Team grade divisions
- Junior teams are youth in grades 3-5
- Intermediate teams are youth in grades 6-8
- Senior teams are 9 grade+ youth
- Teams with mixed ages will be determined by the grade of the oldest youth.
What happens at the contest
- The ecoregion for the contest is Great Plains Grasslands – Tallgrass/Mixed Prairie.
- Please refer to the National WHEP Manual for additional information regarding WHEP activities and scoring on pages 10-16.
Wildlife challenge (activity I)
The wildlife challenge combines wildlife identification and general knowledge. Participants visit stations where they may be presented with a wildlife specimen and questions related to the species. Participants may be asked to identify an animal by specimen or portion of specimen, photo, animal sign, or sound. Questions for the wildlife challenge may be from information within concepts and terms, ecoregions, wildlife species, wildlife management practices, and the glossary.
- Juniors - will complete 25 questions, including multiple choice and species identification. Juniors may have assistance with reading.
- Intermediates and Seniors - will complete 50 questions on their own. When identifying species in the wildlife challenge, the correct spelling, capitalization and hyphenation must be used to receive credit. Refer to Index of Wildlife Species pages 69-70 of the National WHEP Manual for proper spelling and capitalization.
On-site recommendations of wildlife management practices (activity II) and written management plan (activity III)
On-site recommendation of wildlife management practices (WMPs) involves recommendations of WMPs to manage wildlife and habitat on a given site. Management recommendation in activity II should consider each species listed separately, and WMPs should be recommended as if each species was the only species considered on the site. Information will be given about the site prior to starting the activity.
The written management plan is a team event where team members discuss, consider, and provide written recommendations that address current conditions and objectives regarding wildlife populations and habitats on a specified property. A written scenario will be provided.
- Juniors – will have a guided session related to plan writing and wildlife management practices.
- Intermediates - will be able to have assistance with the wildlife management plan activities.
- Seniors - will complete all events on their own.
- Top 3 placings in each individual event and grade division will receive medals.
- Top 3 teams in each grade division will receive medals
- Top senior team is eligible for the National WHEP contest in Milford, IA, July 30 - Aug. 2, 2023.