AMES, Iowa--Shooting sports comprise the fastest growing project area in 4-H and it’s easy to see why at the Iowa State Fair 4-H Exhibits Building. Youth enrolled in the project can have fun, learn skills and share their newfound expertise with others.
Experiencing the youthful, can-do spirit is one reason the building is a “must-see” for fairgoers, said Mitch Hoyer, 4-H program coordinator with Iowa State University Extension and the 4-H Exhibits Building superintendent. Located in the southwest corner of the fairground, the building houses nearly 4,000 exhibits and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Aug. 19.
See a display by Natali Fylstra, who will be a sixth-grader this year in Woodbury County. Natalie wanted to learn taxidermy skills and her display shows how she mounted the head of a fox. The first of 24 photos shows Natalie holding up the fox on the snowy day it was shot. The last photo shows the finished product, also on display, a fine specimen under glass with a snowy rock for its base.
Zack Price from Poweshiek County learned taxidermy skills from his father. His display, a mounted deer head, includes a step-by-step report and numerous photos showing the taxidermy process in detail. Zack shot his deer in November 2006. Another blue ribbon display by Sean Robinson from Sioux County shows how he mounted a turkey he shot.
Safety is a major part of the shooting sports project, according to Gary Bickmeier, program coordinator and ISU Extension education director in Keokuk County. Several exhibits share the basics and fine points of hunter safety.
One such display by Taylor Bennett, an eighth grader from Lucas County, shows the right way to carry a gun when hunting with others and the proper way to cross a fence when carrying a gun. Another exhibit by Louis Stevens from Van Buren County shows how to safely and comfortably carry firearms in the field. Nate Thompson, who will be a sixth grader in Harrison County, shows the proper way to clean a shotgun.
Archery hunters can check out an exhibit, The Perfect Arrow, by Alex Rosberg from Emmet County. Alex compared two vanes, the QuikSpin and the ViBrake. Stop by the 4-H Exhibits Building to find out which one made the greatest difference in arrow speed.
Carol Ouverson, Extension Communications and Marketing, (515) 262-3111 ext 380 at State Fair, firstname.lastname@example.org