Hubbard County 4-H shooting sports program takes off
By Anna Erickson
The Hubbard County 4-H shooting sports and wildlife program has grown to include many members and a variety of activities.
Monday night, members met in Akeley to practice shooting an air rifle.
“Is the line ready? Pick up and load,” 4-H volunteer instructor Jim Engst called out Monday night. Safety goggles are a must before they begin. They also learn gun safety, eye dominance and other rules of the shooting range.The group meets each Monday to learn about a different wildlife topic such as ice fishing or bird habitats or practice archery or air rifle.“It really helps strengthen your skills outside of hunting season,” said 4-H member Jesse Engst.Dylan Schroeder said he likes shooting and this gives him more practice.“It’s very rewarding,” said volunteer and instructor Ron Schroeder.The program has activities for all ages of kids. Older participants can go to the state shooting event in September if they qualify.Older kids learn to shoot in different positions such as prone, sitting and standing. “I like hunting so it gives me more practice,” said Sabrina Schroeder.An important piece of the program is the education and wildlife nights.Earlier this year, Ron Schroeder taught kids about ice fishing and then took them out on 11th Crow Wing for a fishing outing.They are also making bird houses and wood duck houses with Mantrap Valley Conservation Club. The houses will be placed throughout trails in the county and kids will maintain them.The shooting sports and wildlife club has activities planned throughout the spring and summer. Once the weather is nicer the group will also go to the Osage Sportsman’s Club range to practice outside.