4H Shooting Sports Creates Winners In Pinedale & Sublette County

The 2012 Sublette County 4H Air Rifle Shoot

Pinedale Wyoming –April 10, 2012

Written by: J.C. Commodore for Sublette Times.com

Full Event Photo Gallery with 100 pictures is available at Sublette Times.com

After several months of weekly practice, learning, and improvement, the Sublette County 4H Shooting Sports–Air Rifle participants wrapped up their 2012 season with a formal competition on Tuesday afternoon at the Ice Arena in Pinedale Wyoming.  The eleven local shooters challenged themselves, their previous scores, and their fellow shooters.

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The 2012 4H Air Rifle Team

Click thumbnails for larger images.

The entire event ran extremely well, from prompt relay start times to the final awards,  which is a credit to both the shooters and all 4H volunteers involved.  Mr. Ron Kamp, in his eleventh year as head air rifle instructor in Sublette County, said, “I’ve been doing this since I was their age.”

Mr. Kamp’s commitment to the success of all the children, not only on the firing line, but throughout their lives was very evident in the warm thank you’s he received from all the children following the event.  Everyone involved expressed not only the 4-H’s, through their words and actions:

Head – Managing, Thinking
Heart – Relating, Caring
Hands – Giving, Working
Health – Being, Living 

but embodied the 4-H National Shooting Sports slogan as well:

Skills For Life.  Activities For A Lifetime. 

The Shoot

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4H Air Rifle Target-Can you see the bullseye dot?

The four-position air rifle competition is shot from a distance of ten meters (approximately thirty-three feet) and may sound easy.  However, you only need to reflect on the fact that the Bullseye is only a very small dot, which must be hit by the 0.177 pellet.  When you convert this for distance, it is scoring a hit on a 10″ target at 600 meters (650 yards) or sub-2 MOA, which is sniper-level ability for all the non-shooters out there!!  Just add in wind, earth rotation, humidity…well, a lot more to become a sniper.  However, ALL expert shooting begins with good position and technique and this is precisely what our Sublette County and 4-H Shooting Sports kids are learning around the country in addition to building life skills and discipline.

When you also consider ten shots were taken from each of four challenging positions: standing, kneeling, sitting and prone,  the successes accomplished by everyone participating is astounding.

The Results

While the main competition for each shooter is against their personal previous best score, there are bragging rights involved and, well, the Sublette County shooters take those pretty seriously.  Consequently, they shooters continually offered good-natured challenges and conversation throughout the event.

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Nikki W., the 2012 Champion, receives a "Shoot Like A Girl" t-shirt for her seven years in 4H Air Rifle. Mr. Kamp tells those gathered, "Girls are winning shooting competitions around the world! The boys are going to have to catch up!"

The top overall winner of the competition, Nikki W., in her seventh and final year of 4H, shot a combined score of 331 out of a possible 400…meaning she shot a Bullseye on more than 8 out of every 10 shots.  In the stiff competition for top of the order, Nikki beat out Tyler M. by just one point, which if this was a Nascar race equals only three thousandths of a second.

While the super close “by-a-nose” finish says a lot about the level of competition, the fact that almost half of the shooters scored at or above 300 points is proof of the great training, discipline, and commitment of the teachers AND the students.  Way to go everyone!!

The Future

While a few of the 4-H shooters will be moving onto other life challenges due to growing older, they will forever have the lessons learned from Mr. Kamp and all their 4-H instructors with them.  As Chase A. summed up his opinion of his sixth year shooting Air Rifle, “Mr. Kamp is a great teacher and it [air rifle] is just plain fun!”    Not only did the 2012 Sublette County Air Rifle season wrap up strong, but several new shooters joined the ranks of Sublette County 4-H Shooting Sports and they now have a solid baseline foundation to build their own personal achievements upon.

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Grant F. draws a bead in the sitting position.

What is next for them?  Only time and their own drive and desires will tell as they continue to answer the final call of the 4-H pledge:

for my club, my community, my country, and my world!!

Be sure to check out Sublette County 4-H’s website to stay up to speed on the next season of Air Rifle, or any of the many other local 4-H activities and events in Pinedale and Big Piney.

Permission to re-print or use Sublette Times.com articles and pictures to publish elsewhere is granted as long as all links remain active.

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