“Are you sure they have enough ammunition for us?” “I don’t think there is enough for us” joked one sheriff’s deputy as they watched Brown County 4-H Shooting Sports Team Havoc compete. On Saturday, October 23rd, members of 4-H Team Havoc competed against members of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department in a Steel Challenge, something they hope to make an annual event.
Bill Dunning is the coach for Team Havoc and the Brown County 4-H Shooting Sports coordinator; he is also a Deputy Sheriff. “We thought it would be a positive experience for both groups, let the Sheriff’s Department see good kids doing good things, and let the kids see the Sheriff’s Department positively,” said Dunning.
Team Havoc is part of the advanced pistol program of 4-H Shooting Sports. These youth participate in the Scholastic Action Shooting Program which holds shooting competitions for youth. The participants shoot steel targets in a series of four stages, with the overall goal to safely get the fastest time possible.
For the 4-H VS Sherriff challenge, the teams completed two of the four stages, Go Fast and In and Out. Each shooter had five attempts at each stage, with their slowest attempt dropped. All competitor’s combined time contributed to the teams’ average.
The day started with a safety and rule briefing by Dunning, who tried to switch sides a couple times during the event, serving as coach for Team Havoc and a shooter for the Sherriff Department. Seth Dunning then demonstrated both stages with a rifle to help explain the course of fire to the deputies. “Dad hasn’t let me practice with a pistol” explained Seth, “but that hasn’t kept me from practicing with my rifle.”
The youth participants were up first, with other 4-H volunteers and parents running the range and keeping score. Chief Deputy Chris Hodges intently watched the youth complete both stages. “These kids are good,” said Hodges as he grabbed a can of spray paint to cover targets between shooters.
When it was time for the Sheriff’s Department to compete, members of Team Havoc took over. The 4-H’ers served as the stage safety officer and scorekeepers. Dunning explained “we wanted to showcase not only for the deputies but also the family members here, what all these kids are capable of. Plus, they are going to make sure the deputies follow every rule.” And they did.
“He’s counting every shot on every target” pointed out one parent. “He’s making sure it was a hit.” A miss on a target is a three-second penalty and the kids weren’t letting them get away with anything. This added to the good-hearted bantering that was present throughout the entire event.
Everyone pitched in to clean up the range while waiting on final scores. Dunning brought out the trophy that would go to the winner, staying at the Extension Office if 4-H won, or the Sheriff’s Department if the deputies won.
The trophy will be at the Extension Office for the next year.
Hodges said he wasn’t surprised Team Havoc won. “They are an exceptional group of shooters and kids,” Hodges said he wants to see the event continue and grow next year. “We’ll be back next year...and I plan on practicing.”
Article by: Christy Clary, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
Printed in the News Democrat on 11/2/17 "4-H Holds 'Shootout' with BCSO"