In June, Lydia Main and Carter McKenna traveled to Grand Island, Nebraska, to participate at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition in the Hunting Skills category, which lasted June 25-30.
Main and McKenna joined the team in February and had been studying diligently and preparing for the competition with the help of Chuck Berdan. Berdan met with the shooting competitors weekly and provided his upland game birds, pelt, skull, and animal call collections, as well as walked them through the NRA and Game and Fish Handbooks, for both South Dakota and Nebraska, all of which was needed in their competition.
Once in Nebraska, Lydia and Carter met with their other two Hunting Skills teammates from South Dakota, Jaxen Docter and Grady Hemmingson, as well as their coach, Bryce Heinje. The Hunting Skills competition has many more parts to it than any of the other National events. On Day 1, the shooters compete in a 3-D archery course, a Wildlife Management test, and a Wildlife ID test.
Carter placed 9th individual, Lydia 20th individual, and the team placed 5th overall for that day. On Day 2, the shooters compete in a shotgun sporting clays course, a General Hunting Skills test, and a Map Reading/Compass Skills test. Carter placed 3rd individual, Lydia 31st individual, and the team placed 3rd overall for Day 2. On Day 3, the shooters compete in a .22 rifle course, a Decision-Making test, a ShootDon’t Shoot test, and a compass course. Lydia placed 2nd individual, Carter 19th individual, and the team 1st overall for that day.
Overall, Carter placed 6th individual, Lydia 10th individual, and the team 3rd. McKenna commented that the biggest thing he learned from the experience was the importance of studying the material and was very thankful for the time Chuck put in to help him prepare for the book work portion. Main commented that her biggest struggle was the archery and shotgun portions because she hasn’t shot them competitively since she was a beginner in 4-H but was glad to get out of her comfort zone and try something new.
They are both very grateful to the Center of the Nation Sportsman’s Club who sponsored a big part of their travel costs for the trip. They will be presenting their trip to the club at their October meeting.