4-H Shooting Sports offers an opportunity for Caldwell County youth between the ages 9-18 as of Jan. 1, 2020, a chance to learn about firearm safety and compete in marksmanship competitions.

Youth gain valuable skills from participating in shooting sports. They develop friendships with other youth and learn to think for themselves, gain self-discipline, but most importantly they learn to practice gun safety. Youth meet weekly on Tuesday night for target practice at the Sportsman's Club on Dawson Road. There, they are reinforced with principles of gun safety, sportsmanship and competitive shooting.

The Caldwell County program is led by several 4-H certified volunteers in a variety of different disciplines including rifle, shotgun and archery.

Each interested youth and a parent must attend two mandatory orientations before they will be allowed on the shooting range. Orientation meetings will be held at the UK Research and Education Center at 6 p.m. on March 10 and 17. There is a $25 fee per shooter to help offset the cost for clays, targets, archery equipment and trap maintenance.

In addition to the weekly practices, there are several competitions scheduled in different Kentucky counties throughout the summer. The competitions are voluntary and there is usually a minimal entry fee to help defray the cost of medals and trophies given. For those interested and who meet the requirements, the season ends with a state competition, held outside of Lexington in September. Participants also have the opportunity to attend 4-H Shooting Sports Camp held each March at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp.

For more information about 4-H Shooting Sports, contact Rhonda Jewell at the Caldwell County Extension Office at 270-365-2787.