Shooting sports

Breaking clays, punching paper, busting caps, flinging arrow and counting Xs are all part of the 4-H Shooting Sports project. Safety first — but lots of fun! The Shooting Sports project includes many options for 4-H members. You will learn safe gun handling skills, and sound fundamentals of shooting under the guidance of caring and knowledgeable adult volunteers.

4-H Shooting Sports is a youth development educational program. It uses the skills and disciplines of shooting to assist young people and their leaders in obtaining knowledge and developing skills. Development of skills within the discipline of shooting and "life skills" is implicit in the program curriculum and explicitly stated for volunteers. It appeals to young people and volunteers from a wide range of urban and rural backgrounds. 4-H Shooting Sports promotes positive youth-adult interaction and peer leadership.

The focus of the Missouri 4-H Shooting Sports program is the total development of the young person. The shooting sports and related natural resource activities are utilized as a vehicle for human growth and development. The Shooting Sports program attracts new audiences as well as enhances the traditional 4-H club program.

As with all Missouri 4-H projects, Shooting Sports is open to any youth from ages of 8 through 18.

State specialist contact: James Sappington

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    Projects

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      Resources for all levels

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      SS740 Shooting Sports Safety

      All 4-H members wishing to enroll in a Shooting Sports project (SS741-SS749) for the first time must complete 6 hours of instruction in shooting sports safety. Young people are encouraged to enroll in a shooting sports discipline project (SS741-SS749) during the same year. The SS740 project does not count against the project limitation.

      Procedure for the SS740 Shooting Sports Safety project:

      • The project should be completed in a short time period — in two or three meetings within a week.
      • Local certified 4-H Shooting Sports volunteers present the 6 hour safety instruction.
      • All shooting disciplines of the 4-H Shooting Sports program are to be covered in the 6 hours of safety instruction.
      • Instructions must use the draft 4-H S Safety Curriculum as the core curriculum, available at your local University of Missouri Extension center.
      • The SS740 Shooting Sports Safety course must be completed prior to the youth participating in a discipline project (SS741-SS749) but need only complete it once.
      • It is strongly suggested that 8- and 9-year-old members* repeat the safety instruction a second year.
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      SS741 Archery

      Learn how to tune out all distractions, while shooting either a compound or recurve bow; by focusing on form and release, for either traditional or Olympic style shooting, to build self-esteem in a fun and rewarding way.

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      SS742 Air Rifle (BB and/or Pellet)

      Experience the Standard Air Rifle along with the Aperture Air Rifle while learning about target diversity in a standing, prone and kneeling position 10 meters (33 feet.) from the target.

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      SS743 Smallbore Rifle (.22 cal.)

      Learn about breathing techniques, sight picture and sight alignment, along with trigger control; while building a comfortable and stable standing, kneeling, sitting and prone position.

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      SS745 Shotgun

      Learn about teamwork while busting clays in trap, skeet and sporting clays.

      Age guidelines: 11 years of age and older*

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      SS747 Smallbore Pistol

      Learn basic shooting skills and utilize them in hunting small game; or for competition on paper to steel targets ranging from 25 to 100 yards.

      Prerequisites:

      • 14 years and older*
      • Previously completed 10 hours of instruction and practice of SS744 Air Pistol project OR (if at least 16 years old, may participate in lieu of the SS744 project requirement, if they pass a competency test, written test, and skill demonstration administered by a certified pistol instructor).
      • Written parental permission
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      SS748 Muzzleloading

      Experience how to properly load and fire a black powder firearm when aiming at a variety of target types.

      Age guidelines:

      • 11 years of age and older*
      • Recommend at least one year participation in SS742 Air Rifle, or 743 Smallbore Rifle.
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      SS749 Hunting and Outdoor Skills

      This project has no association with the Missouri Department of Conservation Hunter Education class. It is a 4-H project designed for those members interested in hunting, game or non-game wildlife, observation and concealment skills, the relationship of people and wildlife, and other hunting/wildlife related subjects. Requires leader certification.

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      SS750 Western Heritage and Cowboy Shooting

      In order to offer this program, volunteer leaders must be trained and certified by 4-H. The western heritage training and certification workshop is conducted separately from the regular workshop and is offered only once a year.

      Purpose: To provide an avenue for 4-H members to experience the lifestyles and cultures of the Old West through a living history approach to learning.

      Objectives: Preserve and gain an appreciation for the heritage of the Old West within the time period of 1860-1900. Teach in a living history style by using historically accurate firearms, clothing and accessories while participating in the 4-H Western Heritage Project. Instill in 4-H members an investigative interest in Missouri and western history that will lead to personal research and increased knowledge of the Old West.

      Participation guidelines: 4-H members, 11-18 years of age who have completed at least on year in 4-H Shooting Sports rifle, pistol (air/smallbore), muzzleloading or shotgun. However, young people ages 11-13 are not eligible to participate with revolvers.

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      SS744 Air Pistol

      Beginning from a seated and supported position, youth will progress to a two-handed standing position and finally to a one-handed International style shooting position.

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    Program objectives

    • To enhance the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of youth through safe, educational, and socially acceptable involvement in a shooting related activity.
    • To teach safe and responsible use of firearms and archery equipment including sound decision-making, self-discipline, and concentration.
    • To promote the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship, and ethical behavior.
    • To encourage understanding of our natural resources and the development of a personal environmental stewardship ethic by young people through participation in shooting, hunting, and related activities.
    • To strengthen families through life-long recreational activities.
    • To expose participants to the broad array of vocational and lifelong vocational activities related to the shooting sports.
    • To complement and enhance the impact of existing safety and hunter education programs.
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    Safety requirements

    All 4-H members wishing to enroll in a Shooting Sports project (SS741-SS749) for the first time must complete 6 hours of instruction in shooting sports safety. Young people are encouraged to enroll in a shooting sports discipline project (SS741-SS749) during the same year. The SS740 project does not count against the project limitation.

    Procedure for the SS740 Shooting Sports Safety project:

    • The project should be completed in a short time period — in two or three meetings within a week.
    • Local certified 4-H Shooting Sports volunteers present the 6 hour safety instruction.
    • All shooting disciplines of the 4-H Shooting Sports program are to be covered in the 6 hours of safety instruction.
    • Instructions must use the draft 4-H S Safety Curriculum as the core curriculum, available at your local University of Missouri Extension center.
    • The SS740 Shooting Sports Safety course must be completed prior to the youth participating in a discipline project (SS741-SS749) but need only complete it once.
    • It is strongly suggested that 8- and 9-year-old members* repeat the safety instruction a second year.
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    Policies and procedures

    A 4-H member may only be enrolled in a 4-H Shooting Sports project is it is led by a certified 4-H Shooting Sports volunteer. There is NO exception to this policy for a parent working with his or her own child. Only a certified 4-H Shooting Sports volunteer may lead any 4-H member in a 4-H Shooting Sports project.

    4-H Leader Certification Workshops are conducted twice annually by a team of state 4-H instructors, usually on the first weekends in October and April. Contact your 4-H youth development staff about these leader workshops. Leader materials are distributed only at the leader workshops.

    Project completion hours: Each shooting sports discipline/project number requires a minimum of 10 hours of instruction and/or practice under the direction of a 4-H certified leader.

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    Kids 'N Guns National 4-H Shooting Sports Committee position statements

    • Why does 4-H have a Shooting Sports program?
    • 4-H uses shooting sports to teach youth development. Our programs are valuable for helping young people develop self-confidence, personal discipline, responsibility, teamwork, self-esteem and sportsmanship. The discipline and self-control required for responsible firearms use carries over into many other aspects of life.

      4-H programs provide a positive experience for youth and promote the safe and ethical use of firearms.

      It is our belief that firearms education reduces gun accidents.

      Hunting and shooting are rich American traditions. 4-H shooting sports programs help continue this tradition through involvement of the total family: youth, teens, parents, grandparents, etc.

    • Don’t shooting programs like those run by 4-H help spread American’s violent gun culture?
    • No! In fact, there is ample evidence that the opposite is true. The 4-H shooting sports program is designed to teach good self-concept and character, and to promote the highest standards of safety and ethical behavior. In addition, with 60-80 million gun owners in America, and the vast majoring of them using guns safely and responsibly, America has a peaceful gun culture.

      In a society that has chosen to possess firearms, all members, regardless of age should be provided adequate training to ensure safe, ethical and responsible interaction with firearms.

    • Isn’t easy access to firearms one reason for the violent behavior we’ve seen in Columbine and other school shootings?
    • The safest location for a responsible gun owner to store a firearm is the secure environment of his or her home. Firearms should be stored so that they are inaccessible to unauthorized users.

    • Isn’t hunting inhumane and unnecessary in modern life?
    • There are four primary values that arise from hunting: societal, economic, ecological and historical.

      • Societal. Hunting is a viable and healthy food source, promoting good sportsmanship and ethics. It is a valued part of our American heritage and is exceptionally good mental/physical exercise. Hunting is an ideal and common family activity.
      • Economic. Hunting minimizes the economic loss of human life and property damage that may result from road kills and crop depredation. Hunters spend millions of dollars each year to pursue the sport, and much of that money goes directly into wildlife management.
      • Ecological. Hunting is a vital wildlife management tool. Hunters’ dollars support wildlife habitat projects in every state in the USA. Hunting improves the health of natural wildlife populations and contributes to the conservation of our natural resources. A well-placed shot by a skilled marksman is a more humane cause of death than natural causes experienced by wildlife.
      • Historical. Hunting was a necessary method of obtaining food and clothing by our forefathers. The act of hunting and utilizing game animals, in similar ways, helps us to appreciate the demands and sacrifices that our ancestors faced in the historical development of modern civilization.
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    Opportunities

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      Shooting Sports Ambassador Program

      Missouri 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Program is designed to promote 4-H and 4-H Shooting Sports. Youth selected to serve as Ambassadors will receive training that will allow them to return to their homes and advocate for the program at the county, regional, and state level.

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      Fundraising

      Earn money for your county or local 4-H Shooting Sports group and the state program.

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      More events

      Events and workshops that go along with those that are enrolled in the shooting sports project.

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      State Shoot

      The State 4-H Shooting Sports contest will be held over three weekends and at four separate locations.

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      State team tryouts

      The selection process for the nine state shooting teams begins this fall after the completion of the state shoot. 4-H youth selected for the state shooting teams will represent Missouri 4-H at the National Invitational Match to be held June 23 - June 28 in Grand Island, Nebraska.

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      Western Heritage and Cowboy Shooting

      The 4-H Western Heritage Project combines a study of the Old West with a different type of 4-H shooting – western action shooting. The purpose of this project is to provide an avenue for 4-H members and adult leaders to experience the lifestyles and cultures of the American frontier during the period of 1860- 1900 through a living history approach to learning while instilling the concepts of gun safety and personal responsibility.

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      State Fair

      4-H exhibits and competitions are part of the fun of the Missouri State Fair. You won’t want to miss this special event; visit the 4-H building to see the projects of our 4-H youth or catch the judging competitions. Whatever your niche, there is something for everyone. Bring the family! The Missouri State Fair is located at the intersection of Highways 50 and 65, and less than 20 miles south of I-70, Sedalia is roughly an hour from Kansas City, Columbia and Jefferson City.

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*Ages for the shooting sports project are based on 4-H age (age on Dec. 31 of the current program year).