Learning with pinpoint accuracy

A cold, rainy day couldn’t stop the youth of Bowman and Slope Counties from coming outside to learn about the world of shooting sports.

Brent Belland explains to a group about trapping. [PHOTO BY RACHEL BOCK | For The Herald]
Brent Belland explains to a group about trapping.
[PHOTO BY RACHEL BOCK | For The Herald]
By RACHEL BOCK | For The Herald

A cold, rainy day couldn’t stop the youth of Bowman and Slope Counties from coming outside to learn about the world of shooting sports.

The Bowman/Slope 4-H Shooting Sports Day Camp was held in Amidon on Thursday, June 4. Despite the uncooperative weather, 35 children ages eight and above watched demonstrations about various shooting sport activities, they even received some hands-on experience.

The kids were split into groups by age, with one group of eight to 10 year olds and the other comprised of kids 11 years old and up.  The eight to 10 year olds were able to practice their accuracy with target practice. They were also able to practice target shooting with both air rifles and bows. Shotguns and muzzle loading rifles were also demonstrated to the younger group.

The older group practiced on the air riffles and bows, but were also afforded the opportunity to practice with BB guns and shotguns. The leaders of the event also allowed the older kids a chance at shooting the muzzleloaders.

Both age groups received a trapping lesson from area USDA trapper Brent Belland, who showed the youth different traps and techniques that he uses for his job. A noon lunch was served to everyone in attendance.

The Bowman/Slope 4-H Shooting Sports Camp is sponsored by the NDSU Extension Service of Bowman, Dunn, Stark/Billings, and Slope Counties, and the 4-H Councils of Bowman and Slope. The program helps area children develop important skills along with the teachings of firearm safety. Any area youth are encouraged to attend as a 4-H membership is not required.

Demonstrating the shotgun were Kyle Frank, Doug Fitterer, and Kent Maershbecker (Slope County Bandits 4-H Club). Demonstrating the muzzleloader was Eudell Larsen (4-H shooting sports certified Muzzleloader and Archery). Dixie Schulz (Stark/Billings Extension) demonstrated the air riffle. Trapping demonstration was by Brent Belland (USDA/APHIS). Archery demonstration was by Sam Roth (Stark/Billings Extension).

All the North Dakota 4-H Shooting Sports Instructors are certified and trained in their disciplines. Eudell Larsen from Dickinson has been certified for four years in muzzle loading and archery, and has been coming to Amidon for the last three years.

“I just enjoy the kids and helping the young people” Larsen said.

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