Texas County 4-H Shooting Sports shotgun team members practice trap shooting last Tuesday evening at the Big Piney Sportsman's Club east of Houston. From left, Pierce Ford, Levi Garrett, Cody Brooks, Zack Russell and Blaine Shelley.

Right now is the best time ever in the history of the Texas County 4-H Shooting Sports program.

With a record 60 youth involved, the program has more members than ever before, and a whopping 17 certified instructors volunteer their time to guide the shooters.

There are now five disciplines shooters can choose from: Shotgun, rifle, muzzleloader, archery and the recently added “western heritage cowboy shooting.”

Program director Susan Ford said there are so many kids involved that practices at the Big Piney Sportsman’s Club are now scheduled for more than one day each week, with archery and western heritage on Monday evenings and muzzleloader, rifle and shotgun on Tuesdays. There are 30 shotgun team members.

“It’s all so amazing to me,” Ford said. 

The county 4-H shooting program has recently received financial boosts from two organizations. The National Rifle Association Foundation provided a $2,700 grant in late April, and six pistols for the western heritage project were procured, along with gun cases, a timer and eye and ear protective devices. In February, a $1,330 grant was approved by the National Wildlife Turkey Federation for 10 three-dimensional targets.

Ford said participating in 4-H shooting has a positive effect on kids.

“They’re more responsible,” she said. “I guess because we put a firearm in their hands, they have to be. It increases their concentration and the whole works.

“We’re in a county where a lot of these kids are hunters, and this means we’ll have safer kids.”

Texas County 4-H shotgun team member Travis Hutson will compete with Team Missouri at the 4-H national shoot in late June. He has been with the program for eight years and believes it’s in its heyday.

“I think the program right now is at its peak,” Huston said. “We have quite a few new, young shooters who look very good, and if they stay on track we’ll have a good team in Texas County in a few years.”

For more information about Texas County 4-H Shooting Sports, call Ford at 816-805-6927 or email the3fordsfarm@gmail.com.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply Cancel reply