BURLINGTON – Seven Vermont 4-H’ers and their coaches recently returned from the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Neb.
The annual competition, held June 26 to July 1, attracted 691 youths from 39 states who competed on 169 teams. The Vermont delegation competed in two of the nine different disciplines: hunting/wildlife skills and smallbore .22 pistol.
Members of the hunting/wildlife skills team were Uma Chirkova, Newbury; Colton Masure, St. Johnsbury; Luke McReynolds, North Danville; and Haley Michaud, East Hardwick. They were coached by Tom Decker, St. Johnsbury.
Competitors in this discipline take part in a number of contests with the scores from each combined for a final overall score. These include a timed map and compass competition; shoot/don’t shoot hunting scenarios; identification of waterfowl, furs, tracks, scat and animal skulls; archery, .22 rifle and shotgun.
The team placed fourth overall, narrowly beating the South Dakota team that took fifth place. McReynolds was eighth highest overall individual scorer. Chirkova came in fifteenth, Masure, thirty-seventh and Michaud, thirty-ninth.
Representing Vermont on the smallbore .22 pistol team were Colby Butler, Dorset; Andy McReynolds, North Danville; and Taylor Tetreault, Barnet. Their coach was Dave Hale, Hardwick.
The team placed fourteenth overall. Individual placements were Butler, forty-fifth; Tetreault, forty-ninth; and McReynolds, fifty-sixth.
The 4-H’ers also took part in the opening ceremony parade of participants. A teen social and dance, hosted by the National 4-H Teen Ambassadors, gave them a chance to meet 4-H’ers from several parts of the country.
Butler, McReynolds, Michaud and Tetreault all belong to the Green Mountain 4-H Shooting Sports Club in Lyndonville. Butler is a member of the Oxbow Mountain 4-H Club in Pawlet. Chirkova is part of the Caledonia Sharp Shooters 4-H Club, which is based in Lyndonville and St. Johnsbury.
They each qualified for nationals based on their past performance at Vermont 4-H Shooting Sports Jamborees, recommendations from their 4-H club leader and shooting sports volunteers and an interview.
To learn more about the Vermont Shooting Sports Program, contact Holly Ferris, University of Vermont Extension 4-H Shooting Sports coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.