Madison County, Miss. (WLBT) - On the back roads of Madison County and in the woods, 150 high school students from all over Mississippi are competing in a shooting sport.
“The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks wants to get the kids outside. We want to get them involved in outdoors and hopefully this will turn into license sales down the road for us,” said Jad Touchton, head of Shooting Sports with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.
The competition is being held at the Turcott Shooting Range. Students are shooting at a flying orange disc and competing for 10-thousand dollars in scholarship and other prizes.
The sport is gaining popularity in schools across the country. The competition started in the metro about four years ago.
Some school districts are concerned about having guns on campus, but the department of wildlife eases those fears and assures everyone is safe.
Touchton stated, “All of these coaches have to go through a very rigorous safety training. There’s a coach out there with every group of children out there.”
Walker Milner competed when he was home-schooled in Madison. He’s now part of the shooting team at Mississippi State University. He’s trying to recruit others and says safety is priority number one.
“We always have it in the back of our heads about the safe thing to do, but no safety concerns. Everybody’s watching for it any safety issues. If there is a safety issue, it’s taken care of immediately,” said Milner.
The shooting sport in Mississippi started with about 40 students competing but has since grown. The department of wildlife hoping to have hundreds of students competing next year.
Donavan Carr from Tri-County Academy in Flora is the winner of the individual competition. Tri-County Academy won overall.