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Cooper’s my name, hunting’s my game

posted Nov 30, 2015, 10:09 AM by Unknown user

    Cooper Boyles.jpgCooper Boyles participates in a target shooting competition at the Kansas State YHEC. Boyles won first place in the junior category. (photo courtesy of the YHEC website)

        Freshman Cooper Boyles has participated in 4-H for the past six years. In the past year, he has attended the Sumner County fair with 4-H, as well as YHECs in both Kansas and Oklahoma. YHEC stands for Youth Hunter Education Challenge and showcases the talents of young adults and teenagers such as Boyles. Last year, Boyles attended the National YHEC in Raton, N.M.

Boyles got involved in 4-H to show animals but also because he enjoys being outdoors. One of his favorite pastimes is hunting. He hunts all kinds of animals. He has set his sights high hoping to add a bobcat to the list.

“I hunt deer, pheasants, doves, turkeys, and coyotes, but I still haven’t got a bobcat,” Boyles said.

Even though he participates in 4-H, a lot of his time is spent preparing for YHEC. When participating at YHEC, there are many competitions, such as shooting with shotguns, .22 rifles, bows, and muzzleloaders; wildlife identification; Hunter Safety Trail Orienteering and a knowledge test. Orienteering shows how well you use a compass, and the knowledge test covers hunting and fishing rules and regulations.

Being a part of YHEC takes a lot of time. The club that Boyles is part of practices shooting once a week during the summer and every two weeks during the winter. All year long, they are working on different projects. If you are showing animals, you have to walk them every day for about four months, not to mention the other time put in for woodworking and leather.

“You put in as much time as it takes to get the job done,” Boyles said.

Not only does Cooper enjoy participating in YHECs and 4-H, but he also has many trophies to show for his hard work. Last year, Boyles left the Kansas State YHEC with first place and received second place at the Oklahoma State YHEC. His antler coat rack also received reserve Grand Champion in 4-H and champion at the county level, as well.

“I like competing and showing what I have been working on,” Boyles said.