2018 representatives from New York State 4-H Shooting Sports at the SHOT Show include Director Bill Schwerd, Assistant Director John Bowe, Cornell University Campus Liaison Keith Tidball, Education Specialist Kenyon Simpson, Seneca County CCE Educator Moira Tidball and 4-H Teen Ambassadors Victoria Tidball and Charlotte Tidball from Seneca County.
The following is an excerpt on Day One at the 2018 SHOT Show written by NYS4-HSS Teen Ambassador Charlotte Tidball:
The first day was very exciting, I will admit waking up in a different time zone can be difficult but we soon gained our energy with a big breakfast. Initially arriving at SHOT Show everything looked kind of intimating. With the noise and people, huge banners and walls of all kinds of firearms imaginable surrounding you, you can be easily overwhelmed. We stayed in groups though and made our way to different organizations to look at firearms and promote 4-H Shooting Sports. Many of the people we met with today we already had connections with but we also met a lot of new people.
Today we focused on shotguns and finding the best ones for our program. My sister and I helped from a youth perspective shouldering various guns and seeing how we liked them. I like the Mossberg youth semi-auto and the Charles Daly compact semi-auto even more. Both have simple actions with no locks underneath for the bolt, and were light weight and comfortable.
Overall it was very interesting seeing the inner workings of the industry meeting new people and making connections, my feet are very sore though!
Our New York contingent put on many miles a day at the 2018 SHOT Show that ran from January 23-26 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The following is an excerpt on Day Two at the 2018 SHOT Show written by NYS4-HSS Teen Ambassador Charlotte Tidball:
Day 2 of SHOT Show was a success. Though my feet are still sore we found a cool booth that has American made cushion socks- Farm to Feet, so maybe tomorrow they won’t! All of theirs products are made from wool from local American farms, they believe in safe factory conditions and environmental impacts. It’s great seeing a company 100% made in the US, even the ink is local. This connects to other aspects of 4-H like livestock programs, knitting/weaving, and entrepreneurship.
In other news, Tori, Mo, and I met Jim Shockey at the Crosman booth today. We talked to him about 4-H Shooting Sports and hunting as a family. He autographed our picture books and enjoyed looking through them. We took pictures with him as well. Afterwards he asked us if it was alright if he posted them and added a link to our website on his official social media pages! That was very exciting and will help promote 4-H.
Tori and I looked at a lot of pistols today. At Crosman we saw many light weight air pistols some of which we use for our programs already. Personally, I really liked the tiny North American Arms pistols and the pretty guns – Great Gatsby style with all the cowboy stuff. Hopefully someday I can get one of my own and maybe even engrave it; we looked at some with Baron engravings that were beautiful.
Later on, we visited Winchester and talked with someone about their lead free bullets and the importance of lead free bullets in health and nutrition. Being a hunter who eats my harvest myself, I don’t want to worry about having lead in my food and the impact it could have on my health. Overall today we made some good connections and the day went by much faster now that we knew how the navigate the huge show and knew roughly where we were headed.
Our 4-H Teen Ambassadors also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from several New York State 4-H Shooting Sports sponsors and donors including Tetra Gun (Event Sponsor of the 2017 NYS4-HSS Banquet & Auction), Utica Cutlery, Vista Outdoor (Savage, Federal Premium Ammunition), Hornady, North American Arms, Baron Technology, Crosman and Camp Chef as well as many other friends of 4-H Shooting Sports:
The following is an excerpt on Day Three at the 2018 SHOT Show written by NYS4-HSS Teen Ambassador Charlotte Tidball:
To kick off Day 3, we had a meeting with Hornady where we thanked them for their support and encouraged more of it. Jason Hornady was an outgoing host and his daughter is thinking of attending college in our area.
Afterwards, we walked around a bit and that’s when we saw the Fausti booth. Tori and I already had really wanted to meet them and look at their guns so we went in and started talking to a guy who showed us some of them. We shouldered a beautiful women’s 4 10 and a 28 gauge – they fit smoothly and were light and easy to shoulder. Not to mention how gorgeous they were. Then the Fausti sisters got out of their meetings and we finally got to meet them! They were so sweet and excited to meet us-two sisters, like them who enjoy shooting. They gave us all sorts of goodies and signed our photo books. At the end they asked us for our information so they could follow us on Instagram and the next day they posted one of the many photos we took with them.
We headed for the Crosman booth next, we talked with Mark DeBoard and made some connections as we waited in line to meet Eva Shockey. She was very nice and liked to see us young girls hunting and shooting starting from a young age. She told us she wished she had started young as well but she didn’t think hunting was for girls so she didn’t start until her 20s. She also signed our book and we took pictures with her, she even took pictures on her own phone.
Later we also visited Utica Cutlery and Faulk’s Game Calls to meet and thank them for their support. Additionally Mo (my mom) and my sister, Tori, made a great connection with Camp Chef and Girls with Guns and we will hopefully be receiving baskets for the banquet and from Girls With Guns we might even get some gear to wear during the auction itself.
We ended the day at Excalibur Crossbows. We looked at two bows that were very well suited for youth usage and one in particular had a built in crank system with a strap that prevents dangerous free spooling. This bow is great for kids, especially, or smaller people who struggle with the draw weight. The crank also makes it possible to de-cock the bow without firing using by reversing the crank. The model also has an adjustable stock so the crossbow fit me, my sister, and my dad alike. The versatility of this bow would be great to have on the range.
All in all it was a great day meeting cool people, looking at all sorts of firearms and making great connections.
The following is an excerpt on Day Four at the 2018 SHOT Show written by NYS4-HSS Teen Ambassador Charlotte Tidball:
SHOT Show Day 4 – Friday morning was the last day in Vegas for SHOT Show; but my family and a colleague, John Bowe, and I didn’t go to SHOT show that day. Everyone said that on the last day we got to do something even better. Thanks to a public service opportunity through the Bureau of Land Management, we were able to meet the United States Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke.
After getting to sleep in for an extra hour, we met up with a caravan a little ways outside of Las Vegas and then drove to a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public shooting range that needed to be cleaned up. When we got there, I couldn’t even tell it was a range except for the empty shells covering the ground. There was trash everywhere and it was a mess. Later we found out that the people organizing the clean-up had already been to this range and cleaned it up twice and they said this was nothing compared to what it was like.
There were about 50 people from different organizations there and of course, Secretary Zinke was there too. We all got bags and gloves and were set to work. Being used to clean private ranges back east, it was crazy seeing all of the trash that was there. It felt good cleaning up public lands with all of these people and helping to create a safe range to encourage more shooting sports in the area. It was sad to see the range in that condition and hard to think of the kind of people who would leave it like that. In 4-H we like to leave things better than we found them.
During our work, I was interviewed by a SHOT Show camera crew and that was a little scary but cool. After we were done, we were able to meet with Secretary Zinke and get a picture with him which was very exciting.
When we completed the clean-up, we had some time before meeting up with the others, so we made a little excursion to another BLM managed public land. This one was a park or “scenic loop”, called Red Rock Canyon. The rock formations were so pretty and we hiked around and took picture of the rocks and beautiful views. There was also a trail to see petroglyphs in the rock wall and that was so cool to see. It was a great end to a fun week full of doing new things and meeting cool people.