Local 4-Hers compete at 2017 4-H Western Heritage Nationals in Montana

All dressed up and ready for competition in the Old West, Montana, from left, Addison Smith, Isaac Durst, Nathan Livingston, Erin Livingston, Emily Livingston, Audrey Durst, Caleb Durst, and Bradley Livingston.

By Ken Wilk
4-H Kansas Shooting Sports Instructor

FORT BENTON, Mont. – The 2017 4-H Western Heritage Project National Competition was held Aug. 1-3, 2017, in Fort Benton, Mont. Nationals is a competitive event that culminates the year long work 4-H members put into the project. In Kansas, there currently is only one club that competes in Western Heritage. Members of this statewide project are currently made up of 4-Hers from the Frontier Extension District and Coffey County.

Eight of the 14 project members competed in this year’s nationals including Audrey Durst, Caleb Durst, and Isaac Durst, all of Coffey County, and Bradley Livingston, Emily Livingston, Erin Livingston, Nathan Livingston, and Addison Smith, of the Frontier Extension District. Members compete in three components of the project: Shooting, which includes learning the safe handling and firing of period specific firearms such as shotgun, lever or pump action rifles, and revolvers; clothing and persona, which includes creating a person from the period and accurately portraying that person in front of a panel of judges; and history – learning and taking a written test on the knowledge of West during the late 1800s.

This year 270 attendees represented 13 states at the nationals. Of those, 85 participants represented five states, California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Montana, in the competition. Awards were given in three age groups, junior, intermediate, and senior, and six categories, girls clothing or persona, boys clothing or persona, history test, rimfire shooting, big bore shooting, and top hand.

The Kansas competitors did an outstanding job with seven of the eight members receiving 15 of the 80 possible awards. However, it was a true team effort that allowed them to do so well. All members supported, coached, and cheered on their fellow teammates.

The Kansas results were:

  • Audrey Durst – intermediate champion girls clothing or persona; third place intermediate history test.
  • Caleb Durst – second place junior boys clothing or persona; second place junior history test; fourth place junior top hand.
  • Isaac Durst – junior champion boys clothing or persona; junior champion shooting; junior champion top hand.
  • Emily Livingston – fifth place junior shooting.
  • Erin Livingston – second place junior girls clothing or persona.
  • Nathan Livingston – intermediate champion boys clothing or persona; intermediate champion history test; second place intermediate shooting; intermediate champion top hand.
  • Addison Smith – fourth place junior shooting.

These members are excited to use the experience they gained this year to help other interested Kansas 4-Hers prepare for the 2018 National 4-H Western Heritage Competition, to be held in Deer Lodge, Mont.

Photo thanks to Ken Wilk.


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