Why shooting sports, you might ask? Approximately 45 percent of the homes in the United States have firearms.
Safe and responsible handling of firearms is vital to prevent accidents in the home or next-door. Shooting is the third most popular international competitive sport behind the combination of track and field and swimming and diving. It is nearly unique in that athletes can remain competitive throughout their lifetimes. Shooting and hunting “bridge” the generation gap. Youngsters, their parents and grandparents can all enjoy shooting and hunting together. Additionally, shooting sports attract new audiences to 4-H and create bonds between adults and youth.
Shooting has been part of the 4-H program almost from its beginning. Rifle marksmanship and safety were part of many state programs back in the post World War I era. 4-H members are taught safe and responsible use of firearms and archery equipment including sound decision-making, self-discipline, and concentration. Besides learning fun and new things, we also develop leadership skills by teaching others. There are 6 projects in the 4-H Shooting sports program: Shotgun, rifle, archery, pistol, black powder, and hunting.