Louisiana 4-H Shooting Sports has won the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships for the second time in three years, with the tournament being cancelled last year due to COVID concerns. This year, Louisiana competitors placed in the Top 4 in six of nine team categories.
The championships were held June 20-25 at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Neb. At the event, 4-H youth from across the country competed in compound archery, recurve archery, air rifle, air pistol, .22 rifle, .22 pistol, shotgun, muzzleloader and hunting skills.
“We knew we had a good team going into the competition,” said 18-year-old Adam Hubbell of Lafourche Parish, who finished first in two compound bow categories and second overall in the compound bow division. “It felt good to be out on the national field, knowing that we were the best of the best, and that we were all fighting for the same thing.”
“It was awesome to meet so many new people,” said 14-year-old Kaeli-Gracyn “KG” Bourgoyne of Assumption Parish. “(My participation in shooting sports) has made me a lot more confident, and it gives me a better understanding of how to focus, especially in school.”
Bourgoyne competed with the Louisiana National Air Rifle team at the event, finishing seventh as an individual on the team, which placed second overall.
Reese Burnett, 16, of Assumption Parish, also on the air rifle team, said that she had a wonderful time at the championships.
“I learned a lot of things, and I met a lot of really great people,” said Burnett, who placed ninth in silhouette, her favorite air-rifle category. “I definitely want to go back.”
Outdoorsmanship key to success in Nebraska
Hubble, Bourgoyne and Burnette are experienced hunters.
“When I was 16 or 17, I went on my first deer hunt by myself,” Hubbell said, “and I killed a doe the second day I sat in my stand that weekend; it just sort of exploded from there, and now I’m hooked on it.”
Bourgoyne and Burnett have each harvested a buck in recent years.
“I began shooting when I was in the fourth grade,” Bourgoyne said. “I started rabbit hunting when I was about 8 … and last year, I killed my first deer, a button buck, with a bow.”
Danette Bourgoyne, Kaeli-Gracyn’s mother, said, “I’m very proud of all the hard work that KG and all the other shooters have put in to make their dreams a reality. They’ve done well. Our scores showed that, and Louisiana has won the national championship two years in a row. We’re very proud of all of them.
Bourgoyne and Burnett will be eligible to represent Louisiana at next year’s tournament. Hubbell will compete on the ASA Pro/Am Tour.
“Shooting has taught me to be humble,” Hubble said. “You go into an event to shoot, knowing you’re one of the top guys there, and you’ve got to remain grounded to keep yourself composed if you’re going to shoot well.”