How to Get Started Shooting and Competing
This week on the Mac Outdoors podcast we are talking about some ways to get involved in competitive shooting. People are always asking me if I’m a competitive shooter. I am not a competitor, other than the fact that we have an archery contest at Easter, and on Thanksgiving, we have a clay shoot. Lea is the one that has gotten into competitive shooting and has become so good that it’s not too fun for me anymore.
Lea started competitively shooting when she was around 12 years old she was involved in a program called YHEC which is the Youth Hunter Education Challenge put on by the NRA. In that program, she shot .22, Muzzleloader, shotgun and archery.
She got started when a friend invited her to one of their YHEC practices. She enjoyed the format and agreed to become a member of their team. Lea had a lot of fun in and participated for four or five years.
Shotgun and archery tied as Lea’s favorites. In the YHEC program, archery shooting is based on a hunting platform. The youngsters shot 3D targets. One of her favorite memories is of a competition when she had to shoot from a boat. The boat wasn’t in the water, but you couldn’t move it and you couldn’t’ use a rangefinder. It made for a challenging shot.
Speaking of Lea and her favorite shot from a boat, just a week or two ago I found Lea and her bow floating in the front pond. Yes, the boat was in the water. She was shooting at our 3D elk target. It was hilarious because the breeze would push her around the pond, but she was hitting the kill zone on that target every shot. She’s quite an amazing archery shooter. I can see why it’s one of her favorites
Lea’s other favorite is shotgun. In YHEC they shot sporting clays, and at some practices, they would shoot 5-stand, trap skeet. She’s no longer in the YHEC group because the team fell apart. However, another friend told us about a shooting range where she could shoot trap.
One key to getting started in shooting is to ask friends. Another tip is to look to organizations such as NSSF’s First Shots and NRA Courses.
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