Thirteen 4-Hers from McCulloch County spent three long, hot days June 19-22 in San Antonio competing for the top “shotgun” State 4-H Shooting Sports awards. Over 500 youths from across the state attended the shotgun events held at the National Sporting Clay Center in San Antonio. Members were involved in the three main 4-H shotgun shooting events’Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clays under the leadership of 4-H shooting coaches Jack Richardson and Tom Sammons. According to the team coaches, McCulloch County 4-Hers established that they can compete with the top shooters within the state, as well as on a national level. Sammons added,” An additional attraction this year was the National 4-H Shooting Sports competition was going on at the same time as state. Forty-one 4-H state teams from as far as Alaska, Washington and Vermont were involved. Not only did we have the opportunity to meet and visit other 4-Hers and leaders, but we also were able to see how our group matched up with other state 4-H groups. In fact, the national 4-H state team members involved in shotgun events also participated in our senior division at state as well.” 4-Hers competed as individuals and on teams of 2 or 3 members within the different age groups. Participating from McCulloch County in the Sub-Juniors division, ages 9 to 12, included Zeb Abbott, Katie Kidd, Michael Land, Bonnie Richardson, Sterling Sammons, Luke Sammons, Brandon Sammons, Patrick Sammons and Wade Skaggs. Juniors, ages 13-14, included Heath Hardeman, Taylor Owen and James Ross. Casey Kidd was the only senior competing from the county. “It’s hard to describe the level of competition at state unless you are there to experience the intensity and pressure in such a prestigious event,” stated Richardson. “Near perfect scores were needed to even place at the top. We are extremely proud of our 4-Hers. For some, this was their first time to complete on such a level. Almost everyone shot their personal best in at least one event, and several broke into the elite top state individual and team rankings. But more important, everyone had a lot of fun.” Placing in the Sub Junior 3 member team competition, Zeb Abbott, Sterling Sammons, and Michael Land stood first in sporting clays, third in skeet and fourth in trap and was third when combining skeet and trap. As 4-H leader Jack Richardson pointed out, “Had the officials announced the top “all around” team in all three shotgun disciplines (skeet, trap, sporting clays), McCulloch County would easily have claimed the title of being the ‘Best All Around’ three member team with Zeb, Sterling and Michael.” Placing in the two-member team competition were Wade Skaggs and Luke Sammons at tenth overall in sub-junior skeet. Plus, Heath Hardeman and James Ross tied for fifth in junior trap. In the Sub Junior individual placings, Zeb Abbot – 14th class A sporting clays; Wade Skaggs – second class B trap and second class C skeet: Sterling Sammons – fifth class A trap; Michael Land – 16th Class A skeet and seventh class A trap; Brandon Sammons – sixth class B trap; Luke Sammons – fifth class B trap; Patrick Sammons – tenth class C trap; Bonnie Richardson – seventh overall high female in skeet; Katie Kidd – fifth overall high female in trap. In the junior division, Heath Hardeman and James Ross tied for 20th in class A sporting clays, while Taylor placed tenth in class B trap. Placing in the senior class A trap among the national shooters was Casey Kidd at 20th. Richardson added that the 4-H shotgun group will re-organize this fall after the start of school. A fund raising shoot to help raise funds for next year participants has been scheduled for October 21. The event will be held at Brady’s gun range for anyone interested in shooting skeet, trap or sporting clays. Besides the shotgun activity, the McCulloch County 4-H clubs are planning to start another 4-H shooting sports activity this fall for youth interested in small bore rifle. For details about the October 21 shoot or how to join a 4-H shooting sport group, contact the County Extension office at 597-1295.