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Local 4-H members excel at State Shooting Sports competition

Mason 4-H archery team

LEWISTOWN, Ill. - For many people, when the discussion of sports comes up in the fall the conversation tends to lean towards football and cross country. But for some local 4-H members the sports focus is on preparing for the Illinois 4-H State Shooting Sports competitions. Fulton and Mason 4-H is proud to announce top awards earned in the disciplines of shotgun and archery.

The Fulton County 4-H Shotgun team earned third place overall at Bunker Hill on Saturday, September 23. Team member Morgan Tracey placed fourth in individual scores and was selected for the Illinois 4-H Shotgun team. The other team members included Curtis Chambers, Zack Miller, Blake Shelby, Carson Stuckel, and coaches Lee Roy Knuppel and Lonnie Van Pelt.

Mason County 4-H was also represented at the state competition by Brady McLaughlin, Kaden Hurst, Austin Kluthe, Kallen Pequignot, and Karlie Hurst. The team placed sixth overall, competing against thirteen teams. The team score fell just 26 points behind the fifth place team. Jennifer Dye is the Mason 4-H Shooting Sports Shotgun instructor.

In the shotgun competition a county score is tallied from the top four shooters from one county. County scores are highly coveted as a sense of pride and accomplishment by a county 4-H program. Members look forward to this culminating event each year. Two separate sessions are offered each year in the Fulton 4-H program: 6-weeks in the spring and another 6-weeks in the late summer/fall. Mason’s 4-H Shooting Sports program includes weekly, outdoor sessions during the spring and indoor educational meetings, monthly during the winter. 

This year’s State 4-H Shotgun contest was sponsored by Ducks Unlimited and 250 people attended.  Other results included Piatt County 4-H – First Place; Franklin County 4-H – Second Place; Macoupin County 4-H – Fourth Place; and Madison County 4-H – Fifth Place

The statewide archery competition was on Sept. 16 at Pekin Archers Range in Tazewell County, also sponsored by Ducks Unlimited. In addition to skill levels, the competitions focus on building teamwork abilities, camaraderie, and of course fun. Two Mason 4-H members were recognized for outstanding achievements: Eve Snider, first place Recurve Bow, Sr. Division and Kallen Pequignot, second place, Recurve Bow, Jr. Division. Coach Ted Snider volunteered at the state event also.

“I know at first it appears odd to have competitions at the start of the program year, but these teens have been mastering their skills for a long time,” says Curt Sinclair, University of Illinois Extension 4-H shooting sports state coordinator. “This system gives us a chance to choose our National 4-H teams now as they need to be prepared to shoot against the best of the best from other states next June.”

Eve Snider will be offered the opportunity to represent Illinois 4-H on the Recurve Archery team at the National Competition in 2024. Top finishers in each discipline will begin training for competition at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition held in June. Competitors compete in Senior Division which is for youth ages 13-18 and Junior Division for youth 12 years old.

Local 4-H shooting sports programs are open to any youth. Disciplines offered between Fulton and Mason counties include archery, shotgun, air rifle, .22 rifle, and pistol. Participation is open to youth within the appropriate age divisions. County residence does not matter to participation. If you are able to get to the range, you are welcome to join.

To learn more about 4-H Shootings Sports or other 4-H programs visit the website at and navigate to the county of interest.

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.