BOIS D’ARC, Mo – While most spent the last couple of days celebrating America’s freedoms; nearly 100 4-H kids recently exercised their Second Amendment rights in an annual shooting competition.
But this wasn’t just about learning how to handle a firearm, the kids learn all kinds of life lessons in 4-H. “They’re doing things that we have done throughout our history, throughout our lives; the ones down here are shooting archery, we have kids shooting air rifles, small bore rifles, shotguns, and they’re learning life skills, they’re learning responsibilities, things like that and it’s things they’ll carry on for the rest of their lives,” says event coordinator Parish Witt.
16 year old Austin Witt has been in 4-H for eight years. “In eight years I’ve participated in everything from shooting sports to horse showing to cow showing; I’ve participated in mechanics, woodworking, photography,” says Austin Witt.
He’s been shooting guns even longer. “Since I was tall enough to hold one,” says Austin.
To him, it’s more than a hobby, “It’s a skill that’s evolved, to take you to the level you need to be in this competition,” says Austin, and a skill he enjoys sharing with others. “I get to see all the youth that are getting involved in the organization,” says Austin.
Youth like Clayton Winslow. “I like the shotgun quite a bit; the archery is pretty fun too; it’s just a lot of fun, shooting clay pigeons, see who’s the better shot,” says Winslow.
Clayton may see whose aim is the truest, but Austin sees something more. “I get to see that the program isn’t dying, the program is growing more and more every year,” says Austin.
Wednesday’s competition was a district qualifier; from there shooters go on to state competition, which for shotguns, is in August. The rest of the shooting sports state competition is in September.
To learn more about local 4-H programs contact your county’s University of Missouri Extension office or click here to visit the University of Missouri Extension website.
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Youth exercise 2nd Amendment rights at 4-H shooting competition