4-H Vermont Team Prepares for Nationals

Vermont 4h teen thumbnailST. JOHSNBURY- A team from the Northeast Kingdom is heading to Nebraska this summer to take part in a national competition. The "4-H Shooting Sports National" pits the best teenaged sports shooters in the country against one another.


There are two disciplines at the competition that the team will focus on which are shooting and animal identification.

Jack Chairvolottie who is one of the members representing the Muzzleloader team says the muzzleloaders. "Instead of putting a cartilage or round next to or inside the trigger like you normally see in movies, you have to literally pour the powder in and then put a patch and ball in and jam it down and then fire it using a blast cap."

Nigel Waring, the longest 4-H member is competing in the Hunting and Wildlife discipline says, "We're representing Vermont in the Hunting and Wildlife division, which involves identifying skulls, furs, and wings. Basically, any part of an animal is fair game."

He says the team also has to learn about topography and be able to identify landmarks such as bodies of water and mountains on the maps.

The Hunting and Wildlife discipline is slightly more complex than the other disciplines. "Doing two different disciplines is pretty hard because you have to balance both of them. With one you can just give your focus to one. With this one you have to memorize big mammal's skulls, wings, furs, tracks, scats, map and compass."

There are members on the Northeast Kingdom team and they all qualified for the national competition. For some this is the first time they have reached that level, Waring says "doing well and showing that Vermont isn't just a one show wonder and proving that we have what it takes would mean a lot to me."

The competition is next month and from now until then it's all about the practice. "Practice every single day, anytime you get the chance and take care of your muzzleloader; make sure it's clean" says Michaud

The team practices at the Caledonia Forest and Stream Club in St. Johnsbury and will head to Grand Island, Nebraska from June 24th to the 29th for the competition.
The team is fundraising in order to attend the competition, if anyone would like to help the team, donations can be made out to Vermont 4-H Shooting Sports at 607 Lackey Hill Road St. Johnsbury, VT.