4-H Shooting Sports - Introduction
4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. (Safe Archery and Firearms Education and Training for Youth): Part of American Life
Guns play major parts on television programs featuring cowboys or law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, the news is filled daily with crimes committed by those carrying guns. Because of this, guns can be perceived as scary, but with proper instruction, they can be understood and respected.
Shooting Sports: Are They Safe?
You bet shooting sports are safe—safer than football, basketball, fishing, and many other sports. Of course, improperly handled firearms and bows are dangerous, so learning to handle a firearm or archery equipment is integrated into the 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. Program. Education is the key in helping to reduce firearms accidents.
Who Enjoys 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y.?
4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. can appeal to almost every person. Many participants will want to learn the entire program; others may be interested in only one area. Students and historians can have hours of enjoyment off the range reading references on firearms and archery history.
Why 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y.?
The rewards of 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. are varied. There is action for the active. Accuracy is a pleasant reward for nearly everyone. Achievement soon follows the development of skills, no matter how basic. Adventure and suspense are the byproducts of some shooting sports, while for others, relaxation is reason enough for being outside with gun or bow. No matter what your rewards, 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. can be a source of satisfaction for all participants.
Young people in many new clubs and activities have a time of enthusiasm, followed by a certain amount of achievement and satisfaction—then they lose interest and move on to the next activity. 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. is not such an activity. The knowledge and interest acquired often enrich an entire lifetime.
What’s Your Favorite Discipline?
Archery—Since the beginning of time, the bow and arrow have helped shape the history of the world. Early man provided for his family with the skills gained in the search for food. Hundreds of years later, the challenge and fun of archery continues. Viewed not only as a way to provide table fare, archery is now a competitive sport. Patience, skill, repetition, and attention to detail are just a few of the added benefits.
Muzzleloading—Smokepole and frontstuffer are just a couple of the names used to describe this fun and exciting discipline. You will learn how to use this firearm, as well as how to clean and care for it.
- Pistol—Handguns have been a controversial subject in recent years. Through the 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. Program, you will learn the safe and correct way to use these firearms.
- Rifle—Keep your eye on that target, control your breathing, and squeeze the trigger. These are just some of the commands you will hear in this discipline. In this sport, you learn how to use your body to steady your shooting form and improve marksmanship.
- Shotgun—Pull! Few things can compare to the feeling of watching a clay target flying through the air to be broken by a well-placed shot. The shotgun discipline helps develop hand-eye coordination.
Where and When to Start?
The interest in 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. has never been higher. The time to get involved is now. Contact your local 4-H agent and get started!
You have heard “anything is easy if you know how” and “anything worth doing is worth doing well.” These statements are especially true of the 4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. Program. So from us to you—good shooting and good luck!
Information Sheet 1353 (POD-04-20)
Distributed by the MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program.
Copyright 2020 by Mississippi State University. All rights reserved. This publication may be copied and distributed without alteration for nonprofit educational purposes provided that credit is given to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Produced by Agricultural Communications.
Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity institution. Discrimination in university employment, programs, or activities based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, or any other status protected by applicable law is prohibited. Questions about equal opportunity programs or compliance should be directed to the Office of Compliance and Integrity, 56 Morgan Avenue, P.O. 6044, Mississippi State, MS 39762, (662) 325-5839.
Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is working to ensure all web content is accessible to all users. If you need assistance accessing any of our content, please email the webteam or call 662-325-2262.