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GREENIFELD – A group of youths took aim at a unique 4-H program at the Hancock County Fairgrounds this week.

The county’s 4-H shooting sports program meets throughout the year to teach children as young as 9 not only marksmanship but techniques to ensure they’re shooting safely.

Tuesday night, about 50 youths gathered at the fairgrounds for an indoor practice, shooting at paper targets. They worked to hone their skills in shooting air rifles and air pistols, which shoot small lead pellets.

The shooting program, which Coordinator Greg Hall said has been part of the local 4-H program for about 10 years, covers five disciplines: rifle; pistol; archery; shotgun and muzzleloader.

The youngest shooters get their start in either the introductory rifle or introductory archery class. They are eligible to begin handling the heavier weapons as they get older.

Each workshop is manned by both instructors and adult volunteers who work with the 4-H’ers on shooting position while making sure they practice safely.

The majority of those involved in the shooting program – there are currently 104 registered – shoot for recreational purposes only, though a small number also compete in shooting matches using the skills they learn in the program.

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