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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Why 4-H SS

About 2 /3 of the homes in the U.S. have firearms. Exposure to safe and responsible handling is vital to preventing accidents in or out of the home.

Shooting is the second most popular international sport behind track and field. It is nearly unique in being a lifetime sport.

Shooting Sports attracts new audiences to 4-H and creates adult-youth bonds.


  • Human growth and development is the primary goal of the 4-H Shooting Sports program.
  • Shooting Sports is an outstanding way to provide human growth and development opportunities.
  • Introducing safe and responsible use of firearms and archery equipment opens valuable vocational and life-long recreational education.


  • Is made up of five or more young people ages 9 to 18 and two to four trained adults.
  • Meets at least six times for a shooting discipline during the 4-H year.
  • Has meetings that may consist of an hour of supervised shooting and a short program.
  • Is taught by adult volunteers who have completed a weekend training workshop to learn techniques necessary to teach youngsters the basic fundamentals of shooting


  • Practice safety techniques and response to range Commands
  • Learn basic shooting fundamentals
  • Clean and maintain firearms and equipment
  • Learn about eye and ear protection
  • Develop shooting skills
  • Explore wildlife conservation
  • Take field trips


YES! 4-H is family oriented and parents are encouraged to come to the meetings. They may act as Range Safety Officers, Assistant Instructors, or Club Leaders.


  • To teach safe and responsible use of firearms and archery equipment including sound decision-making, self-discipline and concentration.
  • To enhance development of participant's self-concept, character and personal growth through safe, educational and socially acceptable involvement in a shooting activity.
  • To promote the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship, and ethical behavior
  • To encourage understanding of natural resource concepts through participant's interests in shooting and hunting.
  • To expose participants to the broad array of vocation and lifelong ad vocational activities related to shooting sports.
  • To strengthen families through life-long recreational activities.
  • To complement and enhance the impact of existing safety and hunter education programs.


  • Archery
  • Hunting and Wildlife
  • Living History
  • Muzzleloading
  • Pistol
  • Reloading
  • Rifle
  • Shotgun
  • And much more!

Each discipline teaches safety, concentration, self-discipline, self-confidence, goal-setting, decision-making, and courtesy as the young people learn basic skills and build toward more advanced activities. Both cooperative and competitive skills are included. Participants are exposed to local policies, regulations, laws, and ethical behavior both by repeated demonstration and through personal practice.


  • Lifetime sports
  • Useful knowledge & skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Safe habits
  • Self-discipline & self esteem
  • Respect
  • Personal responsibility
  • Confidence, concentration & poise Opportunities to set & achieve goals
  • Sportsmanship
  • Reasoning skills
  • Ethical standards
  • Friendship
  • Opportunities to compete in matches
  • Exposure to careers
  • Opportunities to earn awards

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Keith L. Smith, Director, Ohio State University Extension.

All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to all potential clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.

Adapted from materials prepared by Texas Agricultural Extension Service and Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service.