UI Extension 4-H Shooting Sports Program Popularity Growing
May 25, 2017
The University of Idaho Extension 4-H Youth Development program can boast more than a century of helping young people learn leadership and good judgment in hitting targets — ranging from earning blue ribbons for sewing projects to mastering animal showmanship at county fairs.
It turns out that hitting the bull’s-eye is a goal that is becoming increasingly popular — literally.
Scores of 4-H members already enrolled in shooting sports projects will participate in the state shooting sports competitions June 23-24 at the Jerome County Fairgrounds and Jerome and Twin Falls, Idaho, gun clubs.
This year’s competitive shooting events include shotgun, small-bore rifle and archery. Youth will also test their hunting skills, including decision-making, wildlife identification and wildlife management knowledge.
The small-bore rifle contest will require youth to test their marksmanship with open sights in the three standard shooting positions, prone, kneeling and standing, and on silhouette targets.
In archery, 4-H shooting sports members test their skills on 3-D and standard targets.
Shotgun sports participants will try to bust clay targets on trap and skeet ranges.
The state competition is a highpoint for some 4-H members’ years. They spend much of their time learning about gun and archery equipment safety. The shooting sports projects also help 4-H’ers learn the fundamentals of marksmanship.
More than 1,000 Idaho 4-H members enroll in shooting sports projects each year. With the popularity of shooting sports in Idaho, the goal is to double the number of 4-H youth participating in the program to 2,000 by 2021.
The NRA Foundation and Friends of NRA provide financial support for the 4-H shooting sports program. So far this year, the groups have provided nearly $50,000 in grants to the state 4-H office and to eight counties — Ada, Adams, Bingham, Canyon, Caribou, Elmore, Latah and Minidoka — to buy equipment.
The 4-H shooting sports plan requires extensive training for instructors. The state office funded national-level training for instructors, who are then authorized to train and certify instructors.
“We are very excited about the Expanding Youth Involvement in Idaho 4-H Shooting Sports Programs initiative,” said Jim Wilson, University of Idaho Extension 4-H regional youth development educator and shooting sports coordinator in Coeur d’Alene. “And we are pleased that the NRA is making a substantial investment in youth education and safety programs statewide.”
Idaho shooting sports coordinator
UI Extension 4-H Youth Development
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu