Taking Aim at Youth Development
4-H Shooting Sports is a youth
development educational program. It uses the skills and disciplines of
shooting to assist young people and their leaders in obtaining knowledge
and developing skills. Development of skills within the discipline of
shooting and "life skills" is implicit in the program curriculum
and explicitly stated for volunteers. It appeals to young people and
volunteers from a wide range of urban and rural backgrounds. 4-H Shooting
Sports promotes positive youth-adult interaction and peer leadership.
The focus of the Missouri 4-H
Shooting Sports program is the total development of the young person. The
shooting sports and related natural resource activities are utilized as a
vehicle for human growth and development. The Shooting Sports program
attracts new audiences as well as enhances the traditional 4-H club
As with all Missouri 4-H projects,
Shooting Sports is open to any youth from ages of 8 through 18. Project choices for youth include:
740. Shooting Sports Safety –
pre-requisite for other SS projects. See SS policies for additional
742. Air Rifle/BB Gun
743. Smallbore Rifle - .22 caliber
744. Air Pistol
745. Shotgun (11 years of age and
747. Smallbore Pistol (14 and
748. Muzzle Loading (11 years of
age and older)
749. Hunting & Outdoor Skills
the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of youth through
safe, educational, and socially acceptable involvement in a shooting
To teach safe
and responsible use of firearms and archery equipment including sound
decision-making, self-discipline, and concentration.
the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship, and ethical behavior.
understanding of our natural resources and the development of a personal
environmental stewardship ethic by young people through participation in
shooting, hunting, and related activities.
families through life-long recreational activities.
participants to the broad array of vocational and lifelong vocational
activities related to the shooting sports.
and enhance the impact of existing safety and hunter education programs.
What We Know About Youth and
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Kids ‘N Guns
Shooting Sports Committee Position Statements
Why does 4-H have a Shooting Sports program?
4-H uses shooting sports to teach youth
development. Our programs are
valuable for helping young people develop self-confidence, personal
discipline, responsibility, teamwork, self-esteem and sportsmanship. The discipline and self-control required
for responsible firearms use carries over into many other aspects of life.
4-H programs provide a positive
experience for youth and promote the safe and ethical use of firearms.
It is our belief that firearms education reduces
Hunting and shooting are rich American
traditions. 4-H shooting sports
programs help continue this tradition through involvement of the total
family: youth, teens, parents, grandparents,
Don’t shooting programs
like those run by 4-H help spread American’s violent gun culture?
In fact, there is ample evidence that the opposite is true. The 4-H shooting sports program is
designed to teach good self-concept and character, and to promote the
highest standards of safety and ethical behavior. In addition, with 60-80 million gun
owners in America, and the vast majoring of them using guns safely and
responsibly, America has a peaceful gun culture.
In a society that has chosen to possess
firearms, all members, regardless of age should be provided adequate
training to ensure safe, ethical and responsible interaction with firearms.
Isn’t easy access to
firearms one reason for the violent behavior we’ve seen in Columbine and
other school shootings?
The safest location for a responsible gun owner to
store a firearm is the secure environment of his or her home.
Firearms should be stored so that they are
inaccessible to unauthorized users.
Isn’t hunting inhumane and unnecessary in modern life?
There are four primary values that arise from
hunting: societal, economic,
ecological and historical.
Societal. Hunting is a viable and healthy food
source, promoting good sportsmanship and ethics. It is a valued part of our American
heritage and is exceptionally good mental/physical exercise. Hunting is an ideal and common family
Economic. Hunting minimizes the economic loss of
human life and property damage that may result from road kills and crop
depredation. Hunters spend millions
of dollars each year to pursue the sport, and much of that money goes
directly into wildlife management.
Ecological. Hunting is a vital wildlife management
tool. Hunters’ dollars support
wildlife habitat projects in every state in the USA. Hunting improves the health of natural wildlife
populations and contributes to the conservation of our natural
resources. A well-placed shot by a
skilled marksman is a more humane cause of death than natural causes
experienced by wildlife.
Historical. Hunting was a necessary method of obtaining
food and clothing by our forefathers.
The act of hunting and utilizing game animals, in similar ways,
helps us to appreciate the demands and sacrifices that our ancestors faced
in the historical development of modern civilization.
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Shooting Sports Policies
Policies and Procedures in
4-H Shooting Sports is a
unique 4-H project in that there are social issues and concerns with
shooting sports that other projects do not deal with. Because of this uniqueness, Missouri 4-H
has developed some special guidelines and policies for the Shooting Sports
projects. 4-H members, parents, and
leaders are responsible for understanding and following these policies.
A 4-H member may only be enrolled in a 4-H Shooting Sports project
if it is led by a 4-H Certified Shooting Sports volunteer. There is NO Exception to this policy for a parent working with his or
her own child. Only a certified 4-H
Shooting Sports leader may lead any member in a Shooting Sports
4-H Leader Certification is required for volunteers in the Shooting
Sports discipline projects: Archery, Air Rifle (BB/Pellet), Small bore
Rifle, Pellet Pistol, Shotgun, Muzzleloading, and Hunting & Outdoor
Skills. No other certification or
qualifications are accepted as a substitute.
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