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Youth learn to aim high in 4-H shooting sports

Travis Jones, Clark County 4-H Shooting Sports air pistol instructor, reports his members have completed their instruction for the year. With an average of six members per session, lessons included shooting off a bench supported by bags, shooting off a table unsupported, shooting while standing using a table for support, and finally shooting while standing unsupported.

Participants learned the four rules of firearm safety, firearm vocabulary, and sight and sign alignment for each shooting session. They also practiced different standing shooting stances.

According to Jones, "We shoot at a variety of paper and steel targets throughout the classes." He added, "The kids like shooting the steel because it gives them immediate feedback if they hit the target."

Members are assigned a rank at the end of the training, indicating their level of expertise. Those receiving the pistoleer or beginner ranking were Michael Cervantes, Tyler Shaffer, and Caiden Garner. Marksman rankings were given to Bricyn Cassagne and Dylan Daughtery. A sharpshooter ranking was given to Adam Morgan, and the highest-ranking of expert was given to Gabriel Cervantes.

Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports offers shooting disciplines of archery, rifle (air and small-bore), shotgun, pistol, and outdoor hunting skills. Youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of shooting, conservation ethics, and much more.

For more information about joining 4-H Shooting Sports or other 4-H programs, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 217-826-5422 or visit online at