BROOKINGS - South Dakota 4-H now offers the Shooting Sports Hunting discipline. Sign up for an opportunity to join the State 4-H Hunting Shooting Sports team by November 13, 2017.

"In order to expand the awareness of this discipline which leads to a greater appreciation of the outdoors, 4-H in South Dakota will field a team for the 2018 National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition," said John Keimig, SDSU Extension 4-H Associate.

This is the first year the hunting discipline is offered in South Dakota. In the Hunting Discipline, competitors shoot in three discipline areas as well as participate in knowledge and skill challenges.

During the 2017 championships, the Hunting division shooting disciplines were archery, rifle and shotgun. There was also animal identification and orientation challenges as well as decision-making tests.

Apply before November 13, 2017

Selection for the Hunting team will be done through an application process. Applications are due to the State 4-H Office no later than November 13, 2017.

Based on applications, six individuals will be selected to receive training for the national competition.

"We will hold several practice sessions throughout the winter while a process will be used to select four of those six whom will make up the official team," Keimig said.

To apply, you must be a senior 4-H member who is currently involved in 4-H Shooting Sports Program. Applications are available on iGrow.org.

Selected applicants will be notified by December 1, 2017, at which time a practice schedule will be organized.

Participants should plan to attend at least three practices during the December to May time period.

"Participation in every discipline is not required but a basic familiarity with them will help," Keimig said.

He added that youth who have gone through hunter safety classes offered by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks will have had a good foundation for much of the knowledge necessary.

South Dakota 4-H will make use of technology to decrease travel expense and time for practices.

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