State 4-H Shoot draws record participants
Douglas – Whether you’re male or female, eight or 18, the annual State 4-H Shoot provides competition and fun for 4-H members of all varieties.
The Wyoming State 4-H Shooting competition took place July 7-10 in Douglas with a record number of participants this year – over 600 members from across the state took part at state shoot, with all of them competing in an average of three events.
Each day the events began first thing in the morning and the shooting ranges didn’t close until after sundown.
There are seven disciplines, or divisions, in which youth members can compete: Shotgun, .22 Pistol, .22 Rifle, Muzzleloader, Air Pistol, Air Rifle and Archery, and all members can participate in Outdoor Skills as well.
To participate at State Shoot, 4-H members have to include Shooting Sports as one of their 4-H projects, and they need to have qualified through their individual county programs.
Participants can compete in multiple events throughout the weekend, and there is an awards ceremony Sunday to recognize the members’ successes. The largest prize, dreamed about by shooting sports participants since they were eight years old, is summed up in one word – Raton.
A trip to Raton, N.M. is awarded to the top 12 shooters from the entire event, according to Lindsey Moniz, State Events Coordinator for Wyoming. The trip takes place in November, when students get to visit the National Rifle Association’s Whittington Center. Although there is no competition in Raton, the trip is the dream of a lifetime for many shooting sports members
The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens, and the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program stands out as an example. Youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery and much more. The activities of the program and the support of adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth and conservation ethics, according to National 4-H Shooting Sports information.