Archery is one of the disciplines youths can learn about in the 4-H Shooting Sports project.

As I mentioned in my last article, Texas 4-H is the largest youth development program in Texas. Through 4-H, they can participate in a variety of projects including food and nutrition, robotics, photography, civic engagement, entomology and more.

Today I would like to highlight one of our projects, shooting sports. Youths who participate in shooting sports will learn proper maintenance of their firearms, proper safety procedures in handling and shooting, about shooting sports competitions and how to participate, hunting procedures, laws and ethics related to shooting, hunting, firearms use, and about careers related to firearms and shooting sports.

Denton County has a strong shooting sports program including the following disciplines: archery, shotgun, rifle and pistol. I would like to share an article written by Erik Dieterich of the Argyle 4-H Club. Erik is a part of the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador program, which works to promote the shooting sports project.

4-H Shooting Sports

By Erik Dieterich

Breaking clays, punching paper and flying arrows are all part of the 4-H Shooting Sports project. If you enjoy the outdoors and hunting, now is a great time for you to join the fun that Texas 4-H Shooting Sports has to offer. Through the Shooting Sports project, you can learn self-discipline, self-confidence, firearm safety, sportsmanship and leadership.

My name is Erik Dieterich, and I am a member of the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassadors and a Denton County 4-H Council. I am a 12th grader who has been involved in 4-H for 10 years. Shooting Sports has been one of my main projects for the past nine years. My two disciplines are pistol and shotgun. Four years ago, I became a certified assistant pistol coach.

Shooting sports has taught me leadership, discipline and patience. I want to encourage others to participate in the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports project. 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization which uses the “learn by doing” approach. 4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H is about having fun, learning new things, exploring and discovering. In 4-H, young people make new friends, develop new skills, become leaders and help shape their communities.

In Denton County, you can experience shooting in several types of disciplines: pistol, rifle, shotgun and archery. This project covers firearm safety and teaches responsible handling and use. You will learn how to load and shoot a variety of firearms and how to properly maintain them.

Before starting, you will be required to attend a safety training course for your desired discipline. This course will be led by one of Denton County’s 4-H certified coaches. All practices will be conducted under the supervision of a certified coach.

If you would like more information about 4-H Shooting Sports in Denton County, please contact

STEVEN BARINGER is the 4-H and youth development agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Denton County. Email him at or call 940-349-2890.

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