4-H Shooting Sports Introduction
4-H Shooting Sports: Part of American Life
Guns play major parts on television programs featuring cowboys or law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, the news is filled daily with crimes committed by those carrying guns. Because of this, guns can be perceived as scary, but with proper instruction, they can be understood and respected.
Shooting Sports: Are They Safe?
You bet shooting sports are safe—safer than football, basketball, fishing, and many other sports. Of course, improperly handled firearms and bows are dangerous, so learning to handle a firearm or archery equipment is integrated into the 4-H Shooting Sports Program. Education is the key in helping to reduce firearms accidents.
Who Enjoys 4-H Shooting Sports?
4-H Shooting Sports can appeal to almost every person. Many participants will want to learn the entire program; others may be interested in only one area. Students and historians can have hours of enjoyment off the range reading references on firearms and archery history.
Why 4-H Shooting Sports?
The rewards of 4-H Shooting Sports are varied. There is action for the active. Accuracy is a pleasant reward for nearly everyone. Achievement soon follows the development of skills, no matter how basic. Adventure and suspense are the byproducts of some shooting sports, while for others, relaxation is reason enough for being outside with gun or bow. No matter what your rewards, 4-H Shooting Sports can be a source of satisfaction for all participants.
Young people in many new clubs and activities have a time of enthusiasm, followed by a certain amount of achievement and satisfaction—then they lose interest and move on to the next activity. 4-H Shooting Sports is not such an activity. The knowledge and interest acquired often enrich an entire lifetime.
What’s Your Favorite Discipline?
- Archery—Since the beginning of time, the bow and arrow have helped shape the history of the world. Early people provided for their families with the skills gained in the search for food. Hundreds of years later, the challenge and fun of archery continues. Viewed not only as a way to provide table fare, archery is now a competitive sport. Patience, skill, repetition, and attention to detail are just a few of the added benefits.
- Muzzleloading—Smokepole and frontstuffer are just a couple of the names used to describe this fun and exciting discipline. You will learn how to use this firearm, as well as how to clean and care for it.
- Pistol—Handguns have been a controversial subject in recent years. Through the 4-H Shooting Sports Program, you will learn the safe and correct way to use these firearms.
- Rifle—Keep your eye on that target, control your breathing, and squeeze the trigger. These are just some of the commands you will hear in this discipline. In this sport, you learn how to use your body to steady your shooting form and improve marksmanship.
- Shotgun—Pull! Few things can compare to the feeling of watching a clay target flying through the air to be broken by a well-placed shot. The shotgun discipline helps develop hand-eye coordination.
Where and When to Start?
The interest in 4-H Shooting Sports has never been higher. The time to get involved is now. Contact your local MSU Extension agent and get started!
You have heard “anything is easy if you know how” and “anything worth doing is worth doing well.” These statements are especially true of the 4-H Shooting Sports Program. So from us to you—good shooting and good luck!
The information given here is for educational purposes only. References to commercial products, trade names, or suppliers are made with the understanding that no endorsement is implied and that no discrimination against other products or suppliers is intended.
Publication 3876 (POD-03-23)
Reviewed by Reid Nevins, 4-H Environmental Science and Education Specialist, Center for 4-H Youth Development.
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