This summer, the Barton County 4-H Shooting Sports Program added a new discipline, Small Bore Rifle, to compliment the other disciplines, Air Rifle, Archery and Hunting Skills, that they already have in place.
The Small Bore Rifle program is for 4-H members ages 10 to 18 years old. In this program the youth learn life skills such as firearm safety, the parts of a small bore rifle and operation of a small bore rifle. They also learn three shooting positions, prone, kneeling and standing, as well as the affects that weather and environment have on rifle performance. They also learn shooting range rules, etiquette, and have the opportunity to shoot in a safe, supervised environment.
The Barton County 4-H Small Bore program got help from two local organizations, as well as 4-H trained shooting instructors and parents, to get the program up and running. The group applied for and received a grant for youth education and activities from the Golden Belt Community Foundation. The grant is being used to purchase items such as paper targets, steel silhouette targets, the materials to build target stands etc. The 4-H group is also working with the Kiowa Gun Club to have a safe, controlled environment to shoot in. The Kiowa Gun Club has arranged for the 4-H’ers to be the only shooters on one of their ranges one night a week. The instructors and parents of the 4-H members are providing the labor to construct target stands, etc. that are needed on the range.
This summer there are ten 4-H’ers participating in the small bore program. They have been meeting one night a week, since the 1st week of June.
On Saturday, Aug. 10, four of the members of the program traveled to Riley county to participate in their 1st match. In the match, the youth shoot a 3-Position NRA match. They shoot 10 shots in the prone position, 10 shots in the standing position and 10 shots in the kneeling position. Each position is shot in a specific amount of time. There are 300 points possible for the match. If a participant obtains 150 points or higher in the match, they qualify to participate in the Kansas State 4-H Match held in October.
At the Riley county match, in the Junior division, age 12 and 13, Parker Smith from Great Bend placed 1st and Katelyn Reh placed 4th. They both had scores high enough to qualify for the state match. In the Senior division, ages 14 to 18, Ryan Kohman from Great Bend and Caleb Straub from Great Bend also participated.
The youth travel to a match in Reno County on Aug.17 and to a match in Ellis County on Aug. 24.