Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Springtime Has Been A Flurry Of 4-H Shooting Sports Activities

The springtime has been a flurry of 4-H shooting sports activities in and outside of Brevard County. In February, the University of Florida / Brevard County Extension hosted the 2012 4-H Muzzle Loading tournament in Mims, and in March back-to-back was the state rifle match, the state 4-H shotgun tournament and the state archery match.

Of all the tournaments the muzzle loading rifle or black powder tournament is the least conventional match students participate in, shooting a number of strange and unique targets. Not only do they shoot at paper targets but they also shoot at steel silhouettes, and sometimes candles or charcoal hanging on the string to see if they can make it go “poof”!

The state rifle match, open to all kids eight and above is probably the most conventional shooting sports activity, similar to Olympic style shooting. In this match the kids shoot three position (prone, kneeling and standing) air rifle at distances of 10 meters and .22 long rifle at 75 feet.

The state shotgun match coming up this weekend, is a fun filled day of trap and skeet, shooting at bright orange clay targets traveling away from them at 40 miles per hour! At this tournament, kids 12 and above participate in 50 rounds of each game, trap and skeet and scores can be as high as 95 percent! We haven’t had a perfect score yet. Some kids may shoot low or medium range scores, but that’s okay! In 4-H we compete mostly against ourselves, trying to Make Our Best Better (the 4-H motto).

This year at the Eastern-Newberry Sports Complex in Newberry, Florida nearly 200 children participated in the state archery match. At this tournament the kids shot 3-D animal targets, field targets and Olympic style targets. It was a great day with beautiful weather and Brevard County came home with two major awards in First Place Intermediate Team (age 11-13) Unsighted Recurve, and First Place Junior Team (age 8-10) Unsighted Recurve. All of the individual shooters did very well.

If you would like to see 4-H shooting sports in action, join us at the Brevard County Fair! For more information, please contact Gus Koerner at 633-1702 or by email at gkoerner@ufl.edu.

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