Shooting sports

Marty Larson and Bryce Bedord show off their medals and the tomahawks they won at the Western Heritage State Shoot in August.

Two Teton County 4-H members competed in the Montana 4-H Western Heritage State Shoot Aug. 23-24 at the Manhattan Wildlife Association in Logan.

Marty Larson and Bryce Bedord represented Teton County exceptionally well. The competition requires members to dress in period costume and take on the persona of an historical character, real or fictional. Bedord’s character was “Elliot Parker,” one of the first game wardens in Montana in the 1890s. Larson’s persona was “Emmett Arlow Lee,” a camp cook famed for his cowboy coffee.

The championship event includes 4-H members shooting for time and accuracy, a history exam and persona knowledge, including costume. It isn’t always the fastest shooter who wins. However, both Larson and Bedord placed first in the shooting aspect of the competition. Both are members of the Rocky Mountain Top Shot club and hone their shooting skills under the tutelage of the very dedicated certified 4-H shooting sports volunteers in Teton County.

The coaches who attended the meet were Brian Larson and Lisa Bedord who assisted with a variety of contest details and Brian Bedord who served as a range master.

Larson took third place overall in the junior division. Larson scored first in shooting, second in test scores and fourth in the interview.

Bedord took first place overall in the intermediate category. He was first place in shooting as well, second in test scores and second in his interview.

The 4-H Western Heritage Project combines a comprehensive study of the Old West with the fastest growing shooting sports discipline in the world — western action shooting. The purpose of this project is to provide an avenue for 4-H members and adult leaders to experience the lifestyles and cultures of the Old West during the late 1800s through a living history approach to learning.

Teton County 4-H parent Amber Larson praised the program for the firearms safety training it teaches. She commented about the diligence of the program in training youth to be respectful, safe and attentive with their firearms.

During the Western Heritage shoot the 4-H members dress in period costumes, shoot replica firearms from the frontier period and expand their knowledge of U.S. history, which connects youth to the values and traditions of the past. The project also aims to instill investigative interest in the American frontier history, personal research and the accomplishments and importance of both men and women and people from a variety of cultures and races in our nation’s history.

This project is now active in Montana, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, Kansas, Colorado, California, Alabama and Oklahoma.

Congratulations to Marty Larson and Bryce Bedord for a great showing at the Western Heritage State Championship.