Barker gearing up for 4-H Shooting Sports Nationals with fundraiser

Posted 6/7/19

SILER CITY — Since the age of 5, Siler City’s Luke Barker has displayed a talent for shooting, including winning his first Turkey Shoot at the spry age of 6.

Now Barker, 10 years later and …

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Barker gearing up for 4-H Shooting Sports Nationals with fundraiser

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Posted

SILER CITY — Since the age of 5, Siler City’s Luke Barker has displayed a talent for shooting, including winning his first Turkey Shoot at the spry age of 6.

Now Barker, 10 years later and nearing his 16th birthday, will be one of four North Carolinians representing the Tar Heel state out at the week-long National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition in Grand Island, Nebraska, beginning on June 23.

Before embarking on what will be approximately a 25-hour drive for the local teen and his family, Barker will be holding a 4-H Fundraiser to help whittle down some of the anticipated $4,000 cost to represent his home state. The event will be held at The Exchange in downtown Asheboro on Saturday, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and the event lasting until 9 p.m.

It will be a family-friendly event featuring bluegrass-style music performed by Tim Moon, Nick Honeycutt, Brandon Shepherd, and The Walters Family.

Food will be available for purchase and there will be a silent auction as well as a raffle of a Henry .22 rifle.

Barker, who shoots for the Randolph County 4-H Shooting Club since there is no team in Chatham, will be joined by on the Tar Heel squad by Caleb Mathis of Davie County, Mason Johnson of Edgecombe County and Matthew Daniel of Pitt County.

The state tournament was held in Ellerbe at the Millstone 4-H Camp earlier in the season and Barker posted a perfect 20-for-20 in one Rifle round.

In Nebraska, Barker will go through the opening ceremonies on Sunday evening before beginning practice on Monday and competitions of Rifle, Archery, and Shot Gun taking place there on Tuesday through Thursday. There will be a Hunter Skills competition for all three of the events following the respective competitions daily.

“The Shot Gun will be the most challenging. It’s a two-mile circle radius cut out on the island that is surrounded by a river,” said Barker. “The officials load your gun, then you go down wooded trails and they may throw one clay out, two clays out, or one clay and a hen (which you can’t shoot). With the Shot Gun you have to be on your game the whole time.”

Archery is another interesting event as its done in 3D.

“Sighting the distances in archery is very challenging because they are in 3D and you have to judge the distances,” continued Barker. “It’s also very windy out there from what we’ve been told, and the weather could be hot one day and very cold the next. So that could affect any of the three events.”

As far as the Hunter Safety part of the event, Barker says it will focus on Wildlife Identification.

“It can be challenging but that makes it fun,” Barker said. “You have to focus just like in the shooting. In the shooting, it’s what you are there for, and if you shoot a bad shot, you have to put it off and go to the next one. Some days you are on and can tell, other days you feel a little off. You just have to focus in and take it one shot at a time.”

Barker, who practices with his team once a week out at the Kildee Strawberry Farm between Siler City and Ramseur, also takes all the opportunity he has to shoot archery and rifle at his house when not working at Captain Tom’s.

“Those are the only two shooting events I can practice at home, but I try to get as much practice in as I can.”

Allison Walker, the Extension Agent who handles 4-H Youth Development for the NC Cooperative Extension Agency for the Randolph County Center in Asheboro, says this will be a special trip for Barker and his teammates.

“This trip will provide Luke with a once-in-a-lifetime experience!” said Walker. “I’m sure any donation to help make this trip possible will be appreciated by him and his family. He and his teammates will undoubtedly make the state of North Carolina and our local community proud at the Nationals.”

For more information on the event, to purchase tickets and/or raffle tickets, or to make donations, contact Missy Barker at 919-799-3054.

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