Texas Youth Target Shooting Gala Event Set June 21

Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, TPWD, (512) 389-4701 icle__media__contact">Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, TPWD, (512) 389-4701 or steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov; Jeanie Almond, Elm Fork, (214) 682-4210 or www.elmfork.com/nscaevents

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DALLAS — Young target shooters from across Texas and their families are invited to spend a day of fun and competitive target shooting during the first annual Texas Youth Invitational June 21 at the Elm Fork Shooting Sports complex.

The day-long festivities will include competitive shotgun clay target shooting for youth ages 9-18, regardless of experience, and a host of fun target related activities and other outdoors related events and exhibits. The non-profit Youth Target Foundation is producing the event, in cooperation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Scholastic Clay Target Program, Texas 4-H Shooting Sports and a host of sponsors.

Similar events will be planned at ranges throughout Texas in the fall of 2008 and spring of 2009.

The Texas Youth Invitational will feature a 100 target, five-stand sporting clays competition, where shooters test their shooting skills at clay targets resembling bird or small game hunting scenarios, such as a flushing quail or a passing dove. This competition will serve as an official event for the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports and the Scholastic Clay Target Program and features a Lewis-based scoring system providing additional trophy award opportunities.

"This event partially represents the efforts of a new statewide coalition of shooting sports programs, ranges, agencies and organizations coming together to provide even more opportunities for getting youth involved in the outdoors," said Steve Hall, education director for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "Top Texas ranges like Elm Fork in Dallas, and youth shooting sports programs such as 4-H, the largest of its kind in the country, and the Scholastic Clay Target program, a program aimed at getting more schools and youth groups involved in the shotgun sports, are combining their efforts to introduce thousands more to fun, healthy, lifelong outdoor pursuits."

As one way to accomplish the goal of the coalition, a new kid’s clinic will be held for first-timer shooters, who can then compete on an abbreviated rookie course.

"Our motto for this event is ‘No Kid Left Indoors,’" said Jeanie Almond, event coordinator and founder of the Youth Target Foundation. "We’re making this a fun, family-oriented event with everything from clay target shooting to fly fishing instruction and dog handling exhibitions. Any kid that shows up and wants to shoot will not be turned away."

There will also be an opportunity for young shooters to pair up with an adult shooter of their choosing for a Pro Kid/Pro Am adult team competition to help raise funds for future youth target shooting events and programs.

"In this event, the kid gets to select the adult they want to shoot with and earn tickets they can use toward merchandise raffles," said Almond. "We’re also inviting disadvantaged youth from Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the Exodus Foundation to participate."

In addition to the shooting events, attendees can try their hand at pellet gun shooting, archery and a variety of free fun games.

Competitors will be treated to a free wild game harvest and barbecue dinner prepared by the Dallas Woods and Waters Club.

Registration sign-in will be held Saturday, June 21 at 7:30 a.m. followed by a mandatory safety orientation at 8:15 a.m. The shoot starts at 8:30 a.m. Registration fee is $75 and includes Sporting Clays Five Stand, BBQ Dinner and awards, including drawings for merchandise and shotguns to be given away. Practice rounds and games cost $10 per round. Concessions (breakfast and lunch) will be available at the range. Additional dinner tickets for non-competitors cost $10.

Registration and more information about the event is available online at www.elmfork.com/nscaevents or by calling (972) 556-0103.