SAFETY. COMES. FIRST.
Any 4-H’er who wishes to participate in shooting sports in Montgomery County MUST first attend a one-time, in-classroom safety training.
- There is no substitution for this requirement.
- Every shooter in any discipline, including archery, must attend prior to being allowed to practice.
- The classes tend to be offered in August to September to facilitate new shooters coming in as the new year kicks off. Sometimes they are scheduled at other times depending not just on the interest level but also volunteer availability.
To put your youth on the list to be notified of an upcoming class date, add them https://agrilife.org/montgomery4h/shooting-sports-safety-interest-list/ along with which discipline is preferred. Due to the nature of shooting sports, there are quite a few detailed rules it is critical everyone knows and follows. But remember, FUN and safety are the primary goals.
We Need Coaches
In Montgomery County, shooting sports is an exceptionally popular project. This is a blessing but also presents a challenge. Practices will and do fill up, especially at the beginning of each year. As a program, we rely on volunteers, for whom we are very grateful. In order to continue to accommodate interested 4-H’ers, we need to identify and train more coaches. All our 4-H’ers are counting on volunteers like you. Please consider becoming a certified coach. This is the only way we could raise the clubs’ practice capacity and might be able to increase night or time slot options.
Ready To Commit? Pick The Right Club
When enrolling on 4-H Online, we have 2 clubs that offer this project. There is no overlap in disciplines. They both hold meetings in Conroe. Their practice locations vary but are all closer to Conroe than other less central parts of the county. Be aware after the 4-H enrollment is complete, you will also have a separate registration process (along with dues) for the club that you choose below:
Montgomery County 4-H Shooting Sports Club
You need to select Montgomery County 4-H Shooting Sports Club for:
This discipline teaches safety, basic bow and arrow mechanics, as well as the fundamentals of shooting. 4-H’ers may purchase and use the type of bow they prefer, but we introduce 4-H’ers to an unaided Genesis Universal Compound bow. We focus (repeatedly) on 11 steps to help each archer attain the correct form, then establish muscle memory as they strive for the perfect shot.
We typically practice at either 10- or 20-yard targets. At competition, the distances vary but an event is commonly comprised of shooting 60 arrows over the course of 20 rounds. The target can vary as well, with Genesis and Barebow being as large as 60 cm or Aided Compound as small as 40 cm or a 3-spot target. Competitions are offered at most major stock shows as well as individual tournaments throughout the state.
This discipline teaches safety, basic gun handling, and covers the fundamentals of shooting. 4-H’ers practice using the Daisy 499B “training rifle,” which is designed to build marksmanship skills. As a 4-H’er builds his or her skills, position shooting is introduced. The BB gun discipline uses four positions: prone, standing, sitting, and kneeling. The foundation built in the BB gun discipline is the basis for other rifle disciplines, including air and smallbore rifle. Attending competitions is not required, but should a member choose to pursue that avenue, competition format and rules are taught and practiced. This prepares those who are interested to compete anywhere from the local to national level.
This discipline teaches safe gun handling, range safety, the fundamentals of shooting and marksmanship, as well as more advanced techniques. Mastering the fundamentals helps establish a positive competition mindset. Air rifle is shot at 10 meters using 3 positions: prone, standing, and kneeling. The center on paper targets is the size of a period on a page. In addition to paper targets, the air rifle discipline offers members an opportunity to expand to silhouette shooting. Silhouettes are animal shaped steel targets placed on a rail system they drop from when hit.
The air rifle discipline is divided into two classes: sporter and precision. The main difference is that precision allows more equipment and additional shooting apparel. The price point of the precision rifles, it should be noted, is considerably higher than sporter class rifles.
The air rifle discipline offers a lot of room for growth and additional competitive activities if a 4-H’er is interested.
Numerous competitions are offered locally, throughout the state and even at the national level over the course of the year.
Smallbore (.22) Rifle
The focus of this discipline is on safe gun handling, range safety, and marksmanship. This discipline offers the most variety as far as courses of fire go, ranging from 50 feet to 50 yards. Youth primarily use rifles with open sights only (no scopes). Members can continue with 3 position shooting in either the sporter or precision class, as taught in the air rifle discipline, as well as steel silhouettes. In addition to these options, 4-Her’s can try light rifle (all standing) or shoot an all prone (laying down) course to build good foundational skills. We are limited in the number of regular practices we can offer in this discipline due to range availability. Competitions are available at the local, state, and sometimes national level.
The pistol project is divided into air pistol and smallbore pistol. In either case, 4-H’ers are taught safe gun handling and marksmanship.
In air pistol, paper targets are set at 10 meters. Juniors (3rd-5th graders) start in a seated position with gun supported to establish good shot technique and reinforce safety habits. As Intermediates (6th-8th graders), they move to a two-handed standing position. As Seniors (9th-12th graders), they progress to a one-handed standing position. Air pistol also offers the opportunity for members to try silhouettes (shooting at targets shaped as small steel animals that fall off a rail system when hit).
Smallbore pistol targets are shot at 25 yards with varying courses of fire and time limits. Steel silhouettes are also an option. As 4-H’ers move into the Senior age group, some centerfire events are also allowed. Opportunities to compete in either air pistol or smallbore pistol are available regionally or even nationally.
You can find more information on their website: https://www.service-life.com/tx/4hshootingsports/
Montgomery County 4-H Shotgun Team
You need to select Montgomery County 4-H Shotgun Team to participate in the 4 separate events, described in more detail below…
This team expects each year to max out on shooter:coach ratio. Their goal is to be able to incorporate 20 new shooters annually, so it is of critical importance that you add your interested youth to the interest list, which also serves as a wait list for openings. Their website is https://www.mc4hst.org/
This event is shot from numerous stations, somewhere between 10 and 12, on a course spread out over many acres. It is best compared to golf, but each station may have a different set of combinations (ex. true pair vs. report pair or 5 pairs vs. 4 pairs). Sporting clay competitions usually consist of 50, 75 or 100 total targets.
This event consists of 25 targets shot from 8 different station locations on a field. Clays will come from 2 different houses (one left, one right) and both will throw a high clay and a low clay in the same pattern for each game.
This event is also comprised of 25 targets and shot on a field, but its targets come from one central housing unit. Targets are thrown in random directions and orders so shooters must be prepared to follow the clay.
WhizBang (4-H version of 5 Stand)
This event is managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife and is only offered to 4-H and FFA members. It is similar to Sporting Clays in that combinations of clays are unique to each course. In contrast to sporting clays, the shooter stays within 5 stations set up within several feet of each other (not over many acres). Texas Parks & Wildlife holds a yearly Championship competition that takes the accumulation of WhizBang scores and placements throughout the year. Top awards have included Lifetime Hunter Licenses, money, guns and more. FMI: Sporting Clays Mobile Range — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
State Fair of Texas (Dallas)
September 30 – October 23, 2022
Galveston 4-Hers, download entry packet
More Information Can Be Found On Our District & State Project Pages