Dylan Arnold, foreground, Brayden Farrow and Blake Chaloupek take aim at their targets in Tuesday evening’s BB gun shootout with the Seward County 4-H Shooting Sports team, the Sharp Shooters. Though Tuesday was the last night of BB gun season, shotgun trap shooting will start up Sunday, April 27. For more information, call 624-5604. L&T photos/Larry Phillips
• L&T staff report
The Seward County 4-H Shooting Sports BB gun season finished up on April 1 for the Sharp Shooters spin club with the 2014 BB Gun Shoot-Out at the Ag Building in Liberal.
The event challenged club members to see how high they could score on targets from two of the four state-required shooting positions in BB gun at a distance of 5 meters. Members had been practicing since the season began in mid-January.
Members from ages 8 to 12 competed with all shooters taking five shots from the standing position, and the next five shots were at the choice of the shooter – either kneeling, sitting or prone. The maximum score attainable was 100 points.
In the boys division – ages 7 to 9 – Hunter Werkmeister, 8, won first place with a score of 74. Chris Dozier, 9, finished second, and Dakota Compaan, 9, took third.
Girls in the 12 to 15 age division competed with Dylan Arnold, 12, taking first place with a total score of 92. Emily Bremenkamp won second, and finishing third was Bri Dozier.
In the boys division – ages 10 to 15 – first place was won by Blake Chaloupek, 10, with a score of 86. Cody Bremenkamp, 10, took second place honors and Brayden Farrow, 12, won third place.
Seward County Shooting Sports Coordinator Larry Phillips was excited with the efforts of the club members.
“They’ve come a long way,” Phillips said. “Last year, we only had about five shooters in BB gun, and we had to operate out of the basement of the K-State Extension Office.
“This year, Seward County Activity Center Director Linda Johnson and her crew allowed more than a dozen of us to use county buildings, and it was great to be able to have the room and measure out our target boxes correctly,” he continued. “We can’t thank Linda and her staff enough for what they did for us.
“And our shooters – I’m really proud of them – learning, and trying to remember the safety aspects of shooting. That’s our No. 1 priority, and we’ll continue to work diligently on that.
“They all improved their marksmanship in just a couple of months, and I believe they had a good time. That’s our second priority – having fun,” he said
A new shooting sports instructor has joined the Seward County 4-H Shooting Sports Club, according to Phillips.
“Jim Stoddard just got back from a three-day school at the Rock Springs 4-H Camp,” he said. “And now he’s a certified shooting instructor and will be helping us in other disciplines as well.”
Though BB gun season has ended, Phillips said the Sharp Shooters are gearing up for shotgun-trap season, which will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, at the Liberal Gun Club trap and skeet range on east Tucker Road.
“We’ve now got two new 20-gauge shot guns, thanks to Billy’s BBQ and Bill Hill, and a new 12-gauge. We also have three other guns that we can use,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to trap shooting, and hopefully, we’ll be able to do some skeet training as well – if things work out.”
The age limit is usually from 10 years old to 18, but Phillips said some children younger than 10 can shoot if they’re checked out with the instructor.
“Some 8- or 9-year-olds have been taught to handle a shotgun from their parents or family and know the basics of safety, but that is left up to the instructors to decide. That’s the same with guns that youngsters might want to bring from home to use at the range – we’ll check it out to ensure it’s in a good, safe condition.”
If children do want to use their own shotguns, they will need to provide their own shells if the gun is other than 20 or 12 gauge.
And trap shooting is for boys and girls, as is all 4-H shooting sports, including archery, which will start sometime in May or early June.
“If anyone is interested in signing up for 4-H Shooting Sports, they can get a participation form from me or stop in at the K-State Extension Office at 1081 Stadium Rd. at the fairgrounds,” Phillips said.
Phillips can be reached at 655-9227 or call the K-State Extension Office at 624-5604.