Hayley Gloeckner, the Community Based Instructor 3 with the UNR Extension Office in Caliente, said the meets are an opportunity for the kids in the program to have a chance to meet among themselves three different times to qualify to go to the state meet this fall.
She explained there is “a certain level of scoring that we have to follow between the intermediates, the juniors, the seniors, whichever age group they fit into, there is a different scoring range.”
The clubs usually start in March/April, have weekly meetings, and then hold three “fun meets” over the summer in order to try to meet the point standards.
Those who do qualify at the county level are able to move on to state, which this year will be in the northern division. “Usually, they rotate divisions every two years,” she said.
Gloeckner said each of the shooting sport leaders has an extensive training program they have to complete before being allowed to be an instructor. “There is only training for one sport at a time,” she said. “So, you have to be trained separately for each shooting discipline you want to lead, including archery, rifles, shotguns and pistols.” There are just two training sessions per year, but she has heard the training sessions are “extremely thorough. Safety is the No. 1 priority, and you’ll definitely know your stuff after the training.”
This fall, the southern Nevada training session will be held at the Meldrum Ranch a bit south of Alamo, Sept. 25-27. “Leaders from all over the state will be attending,” she said.
“In each of the communities, the leaders try to be well rounded,” she explained, “able to do many of the rifle sports as well as archery. For example, there are 13 trained leaders in Lincoln County, but you have to be specifically trained in any given discipline.”
At the fun meets, a person signs up for as many as six shooting disciplines and they rotate among the different stations during the weekend meet, “and we are getting more and more leaders trained in many of the 4-H shooting sport disciplines,” Gloeckner said.
In 2014, Aya Rowe of Caliente, a freshman at Lincoln County High School, became the first ever Lincoln County contestant to qualify for the 4-H National Shooting Sports competition. She won first place in air rifle and .22 rifle last September at the state meet in Carson City, and will be entered in the air rifle national competition June 21-26 in Grand Island, Neb.