Monday, February 14, 2011

Florida 4-H State Muzzle Loading Rifle Tournament, 2011

February is a beautiful month in central Florida, and on this particular day, (Feb.5) the conditions were perfect, about 70 degrees, for a day at the range shooting "black powder guns".  I quote those words because I believe all of the shooters were using synthetic black powder that day.  This was an important day for six shooters and their coaches because it was the Florida 4-H State Muzzle Loading Tournament.  Other than just testing the shooters skill for pride and bragging rights, this particular match determines which senior 4-H'ers will be selected to go to the National Invitational this year in San Antonio, Texas.

The participants included two shooters from Brevard County, two from Indian River County, and two from Okeechobee County.  They all did very very well at each of the 5 events which were 50 yard bulls-eye, off-hand and bench rest, 50 yard silhouette, two 25 yard novelty targets and the knowledge test "Skill-A-Thon".  There was a total possible score of 50 points per target and 130 points for the academic portion.  If you've never participated in a Muzzle Loading Skill-A-Thon, you've missed a challenging and fun opportunity.  Laid out on the table are at least one firearm, and the contents of a Possibles Bag such as ball starter, capping tool and spare flint.  On our table were about 30 different items and the youth were under a three minute time limit to properly label all of the components.

After the shooting we went straight to the awards ceremony, which was a good one!  Not only did we have ribbons for each shooter and a few plaques, but the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association gave copies of their Muzzle Blast magazine and a pin for all, the black powder shooters at the Titusville Rifle and Pistol Club (TRPC) gave shooting gifts to each of the kids and the Brevard County 4-H, Mosquito Lagoon 4-H Muzzleloaders, an NMLRA chartered club, gave old fashioned fixed grain finger chargers to each shooter from Track of The Wolf.

Many thanks to all the parents and coaches who helped prepare and put on this event such as Sylvain Roberge, Lars Lutton and Don Richards for running the line.  Lori Menendez for administrative help.  TRPC for hosting us.  The NMLRA for the gifts and Chris Hodgdon of Hodgdon Powder Company for their donations of powder for the shooters.

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