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By Dena Wood
The Times 

Daves Qualifies for National 4-H Shooting Competition


Timothy Daves

State 4-H Shotgun Shoot earns Timothy Daves a spot at Grand Island, Neb. competion

WAITSBURG – Training and hard work paid off for 4-H sharp shooter Timothy Daves, whose performance in the Washington State 4-H Shotgun Shoot in May earned him the opportunity to compete in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition in Grand Island, Neb.

Daves knew he would perform well in the trap category, where he placed 4th in the senior division. He has spent the last two years as a participant of the Pomeroy Gun Glub's 10-week youth shoot, that starts each January. Daves worked with Range Master Kenny Bott, as well as other senior shooters, who helped him hone his skills.

The Shoot required that he compete in all three categories, and Daves had never competed in skeet and sporting clays before.

In skeet shooting, participants shoot targets, launched from either the right or left side instead of in front of them, two at a time. Daves caught on quickly and was able to earn fifth place, overall.

"You have to be ready to shoot high and fast! You don't want to use a pump shotgun, which is all I have," Daves said. "I will be saving up to get something that will work better at Nationals," he added.

Daves said he enjoyed the sporting clays category where participants shoot clays that are launched into the brush like rabbits or high up like pigeons emerging from the brush. He managed to take another fifth place in this new event as well and earned overall second place standing as a member of the Columbia County 4-H Marksman Club.

Because Washington State 4-H is unable to fund national events, the organization is allowing students to defer their attendance at the National competitions for one year, in order to raise funds. Daves will have until next year to find sponsors and raise the roughly $4,000 required to pay for entry fees, ammunition, airfare, hotel, rental car, and meals for the week-long trip.

Timothy's mother, Cindy, leads the Waitsburg-based Home Grown Go Wild 4-H group, from which adults recently completed the classes required to support additional youth in learning pistol, rifle, archery and shotgun projects.

"We have a lot of grant writing to do to have firearms available for the kids to learn with, but we hope to be up and going for the next 4-H year that begins in October," Cindy Daves said.

"Every kid should learn how to handle and use a firearm safely and should learn that a firearm is a tool. Learning firearm discipline is necessary so that kids know what to do if they find one and know how to use one when they need to. 4-H is a way youth can do that," Timothy said.

Daves plans to continue honing his shooting skills through high school by remaining involved with the 4-H Marksman club and becoming part of the Waitsburg FFA trap team.

To learn more about participating in 4-H shooting clubs, or to sponsor Daves in the national competition, contact Cindy Daves at (509) 524-2685 or Jeff Jenkins via Columbia County Marksman 4-H, at (509) 382-4741.


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