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4-H Shooting Sports Day

Butler County 4-H held Range Day for BCMS students on Wednesday, May 18th to conclude their Kentucky Hunter Education course. The course has been required for all hunters in the state of Kentucky since 1975. Kentucky hunters must have a hunter education completion card, which is awarded at the end of the course, in order to hunt legally. 


The course is funded by the Pittman/Robertson tax on firearms and ammunition. Hunter education courses pushed by the National Rifle Association have reduced firearm accidents by more than 80 percent in the last 70 years. The course is taught each year in Butler County because over 90 percent of Butler County children have a firearm in their home or in the home of someone they are exposed to.


The Kentucky Hunter Education course consists of hunting safety, firearm safety, first aid, outdoor survival, wildlife habitat, wildlife management, and hunter ethics. It includes 5-6 hours of instruction and testing, as well as a range day to physically demonstrate safe firearm handling and habits. The course teaches four basic rules: treat all guns as if they are loaded at all times, keep firearms pointed in a safe direction at all times, do not put a finger on the trigger and always make sure the safety is on until sights are on the target, and be sure of the target and what’s behind it. 


Bobby McKee, who is now retired but has been a hunter training officer since 1986, Melissa Goodman, the current hunter training officer, and Butler County Extension Agent Lloyd Saylor taught the course. According to Saylor, “The youth of Butler County will one day own land in Butler County and become stewards of the land. Their decisions will affect the future of wildlife and wildlife habitat in Butler County.” The course is held each year, with exception during the pandemic. This year’s course looked a little different than usual. “We love having the opportunity to introduce something new to the youth of Butler County and teach them necessary skills. We normally instruct the sixth graders, but due to COVID we offered this opportunity to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders this year,” Saylor explained. 


Many conservation officers also assisted in making Range Day possible. Conservation Officers Ethan Vincent, Nathan Tapp, Sergeant John Jackson, Trevor Lowe, Brad Bowles, Kenny Kemp, Cody Fox, Mark Coin, and Bryce Young were involved, as well as Hunter Training Officer Courtney Goodman. 4-H students Ellie Moore and Brodie Vincent also volunteered to help, along with Extension staff members Kadi Skipworth and Greg Drake. All sixth grade teachers were also involved in the course.


Story by: Delaney Daugherty 

Pictures gathered by: Brady Jones


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