WINSIDE – Several members with the Sharp Shooters 4-H Club recently competed in the 44th annual Nebraska Youth Small Bore Silhouette Invitational in late September.
Over 70 competitors from across the state made their way to the Pressey Wildlife Management Area south of Broken Bow on September 26. The event is the longest running youth shooting competition in Nebraska which was established in 1977.
The Sharp Shooters 4-H Club in Wayne County placed third as a team featuring Emily Eilers, Kieziah Connell, Carter Anson and Mitchell Fischer (Wakefield) hitting 106 of 160 targets in the 4-H Division. Individual medals went to Tristian Connell of Waterbury (Best Novice – first, 17 targets), Carter Anson of Winside (Jr. Shooter – first, 27 targets), Emily Eilers of Wayne (Sr. Shooter – third, 28 targets) and Kieziah Connell of Waterbury (Female Shooter – third, 28 targets).
Organizational Leader, Darin Greunke has led the Wayne County 4-H Sharp Shooters for 29 years. Greunke said the main focus is to go out and have fun.
“The next biggest thing that we promote is firearm safety of course,” said Greunke. “This shoot is actually sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Hunter Education Division.”
The wind challenged each shooter from calm weather up to 10-20 mph gusts and then back to calm. The two requirements for shooters to participate is they must have completed firearm hunter education class and cannot have graduated high school (at least 11 years old).
Greunke added he always tells the group to expect the unexpected.
“Every year we go out there and the wind conditions are different,” Greunke added. “There’s times the air temperature in the morning we’ve gone out and it’s been frost on the ground and by that afternoon everybody came around in t-shirts.”
The 2020 Nebraska Youth Smallbore Silhouette Invitational overall state champion was 12-year-old Gavin Carrizales who shot the first perfect score in history. The Scottsbluff sixth-grader hit all 40 silhouette targets to win the championship in just his second year of eligibility. He had the second-highest score in the 2019 shoot at 34.
The Western Nebraska 4-H Team (Carrizales, Austin Rahmig, Danika Bohl and Laney Bohl) won the team championship for the second year in a row. The group hit 144 of 160 targets, a 25-target improvement from 2019.
The 74 competitors fired 40 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition with a rifle unsupported and off hand at steel silhouette targets. Each shot 10 shots at targets that were 43 (chickens), 66 (pigs), 84 (turkeys) and 109 (rams) yards in distance.
McKenna Darby of Pleasanton will also join Eilers, Kieziah Connell and Mitchell Fischer to represent Nebraska during the National 4-H Sports Championships next June in Small Bore Rifles in Grand Island.
The Wayne County 4-H Sharp Shooters will next prepare for their Air-Gun season with competition starting in early January of 2021.
Greunke mentioned the nice thing about shooting sports is it’s primarily an individual sport.
“But we put kids together to form teams and that way they can learn how to work as a team member,” Greunke mentioned. “So, first thing we do is we teach firearm and archery safety and practices.”
For more information on this event or the Sharp Shooters 4-H Club, contact Darin Greunke at 402-286-4895.
State Champion – Gavin Carrizales, Scottsbluff, 40 of 40
High Girl – 1. Danika Bohl, Mitchell, 38; 2. Lilly Hanley, Lincoln, 31; 3. Keiziah Connell, Waterbury, 28
High Boy – 1. Austin Rahmig, McGrew, 39; 2. Wyatt Hebbert, Ashby, 34; 3. Colt Dittbrenner, Beatrice, 31
Class B – 1. Cabe Schluckebier, Seward, 31; 2. Ethan Wooldrik, West Point, 30; 3. Beau Ruskamp, Pender, 28
Light Scope – 1. Evan Oltmans, Beatrice, 26; 2. Sara Thomsen, Pierce, 25; 3. Jaden, Guernsey, Pickrell, 25
Senior Division – 1. Braden Hiser, Seward, 28; 2. Caleb Pobanz, Grand Island, 28; 3. Emily Eilers, Wayne, 28
Unclassified – 1. Nate Kaup, West Point, 30; 2. Caydence Schumacher, Clearwater, 27; 3. Nathan Kastens, Anselmo, 26
Heavy Scope – 1. Andrew Enns, Holmesville, 27; 2. Dylan Glendy, Broken Bow, 26; 3. Andrew Borgelt, Wisner, 26
Junior Division – 1. Carter Anson, Winside, 27; 2. Isaac Enns, Holmesville, 27; 3. Laney Bohl, Mitchell, 27
Light Iron – 1. Tanner Kudera, Battle Creek, 12; 2. Braeden Anderson, Gothenburg, 12; 3. Matthew Dailey, Thedford, 12
Best Novice – Tristan Connell, Waterbury, 17
Novice Light Scope – 1. Gage Andersen, Gothenburg, 16
Novice Heavy Scope – 1. Seth Chandler, Anselmo, 14
Overall High Score – Western Nebraska 4-H Team (Austin Rahmig, Danika Bohl, Gavin Carrizales, Laney Bohl), 144 of 160
4-H Division – 1. Cuming County Sharpshooters (Andrew Borgelt, Beau Ruskamp, Ethan Wooldrik, Nate Kaup), 114 of 160; 2. Homestead 4-H No. 1, 108; 3. Wayne County Sharp Shooters, 106
School Division – 1. Anselmo-Merna (Cort West, Joel Finney, Troy Kirkpatrick, Seth Chandler), 83 of 160; 2. Missed Again, 49; 3. Litchfield No. 1, 37
Open Division – 1. The Misfits (Braden Hiser, Cabe Schluckebier, Kyle Rote, Wyatt Hebbert), 117 of 160; 2. Brandon’s Angles, 104; 3. Team G & K, 91