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Wichita Falls Living Magazine

4-H Spotlight: Julia Davis

Student: Julia Davis, 17
Burkburnett, TX
Parents: Brian & Melissa Davis

How long have you been a part of the programs and opportunities provided by 4-H Wichita Falls? 
I started in the fall of my 8th grade year.  This will be my fourth year in the program.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about  the
Shooting Sports Program? 
I love that I have had the opportunity to learn to competently use a variety of firearms and archery gear: precision rifles, archery, pistols, muzzleloaders, and shotguns.  My favorite is the precision rifle.  I love the challenge of shooting targets as small as a Kennedy Half Dollar with no magnification on my firearm.  It is so precise that a computer scores the target.  
My least favorite is outdoor archery.  I use a recurve bow. It’s really hard for me to achieve the distances and precision required, but I keep practicing and continue to improve.


How has being a part of the 4-H program prepared you for your future/goals?
As a Texas Shooting Sports Ambassador, I have had great opportunities to meet people from all over the state. The Ambassador Program has training for everything I might encounter when interacting with my peers and possible business contacts.  The first thing our State Director, Larry Perez, teaches the Ambassadors is the value of a firm handshake, eye contact and the all-important ‘Elevator Speech.’  Each year we have a retreat devoted to preparing us to interact and effectively communicate in any given situation and/or age group, including good table etiquette.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with our local Texas Game Wardens who have encouraged me to pursue a career with Texas Parks and Wildlife.  I’m definitely considering earning a BA required to apply to their Academy.  I am also working on my shooting scores to earn scholarships and possibly a spot on a college shooting team.  Additionally, I have 3 different coaching certificates which gives me the opportunity to help others in the program.


 

 Why is being a Texas Shooting Sports Ambassador important to you?

Educating others on gun safety is my biggest goal as an Ambassador.  Unfortunately, we are in a time of almost daily news about new gun laws or another shooting and while that is tragic; it is only one part of the story.  I use my skills, not only for scholarships and competition, but to put food on the tables of multiple households through hunting.  I have also been helping reduce the population of the invasive and destructive feral hogs in our county.  This protects local livestock and land.  Shooting sports provides so many opportunities for physical and social growth.  I am passionate about educating others on the benefits of the program.


What other 4-H projects have you participated in?
I have participated in photography and I have earned Grand Champion the last 2 years for Wichita County Jr Livestock Show.  I love to photograph the incredible Texas landscapes while I’m out tracking.  Taking pictures at shooting competitions is really fun, especially when you can catch the ignition of the black powder by the primer while firing a muzzleloader. Every year I enter a new picture of a truly comical donkey named, Arnold.  His big personality always makes people laugh and he places well.


What would you tell someone thinking about going into 4-H to persuade them to join?
Just get in there, try everything and then pick what you are most passionate about.  You are going to learn so much and meet so many great people.  It truly is an extension of my family.


Other Group/Organizations you are involved in?
I belong to the Red River Renegades which are keeping the rich history of Wichita County alive through various competitions & activities re-enacting the lifestyle of the mid-19th century and earlier.  It’s not just about  firearms.  They have  entire  weekends of dressing in period correct clothing, primitive camping, and demonstrating early survival skills.  It is so much fun and you always come away learning a new skill or piece of history.   


 


Who is your Mentor?
I have had many mentors in the last four years, most from the Ivey family-who also happen to be all of my coaches.  Currently my biggest influence is Theodore (Ted) Ivey, my shotgun coach.  He is also mentoring youth in hunting, tracking, fencing and raising cattle. This past year had so many challenges limiting our interaction with others, but we used that time as an opportunity to hunt for our families as well as donate 250lbs of ground venison to 25 local veterans- all while observing COVID-19 guidelines.  Learning to take care of cattle and building a good barbwire fence is not just a good skill to have, “it builds character.”


What do you want do when you grow up? 
I would love to have the education, land and means to start my own herd of cattle.


Tell us a funny story about something that happened while caring for an animal or during a competition.
This happened a few times during practice with a cow named, Karen. The farm across from the practice range had a Houdini calf named Karen, who started life as a bottle baby. Several times, I would be practicing on the range, see movement in the corner of my eye and usually it was Karen. The calf had found her way out of her pasture into the road, the neighbor’s field, mostly anywhere but where she was supposed to be.  So, I would stop my practice, flag down a friend and go herd Karen back into her fence. Karen seemed to only get out when her owner, a firefighter for Wichita Falls, was working. Sometimes that crazy cow would bring half the herd with her and we had to call for more help rounding them up.  I put Karen back so many times that she learned to recognize me.  Anytime she saw me pull over, she would start working her way back to wherever she escaped from.

What are your hobbies/interest?  
Shooting sports, hunting, tracking and anything with cows.

Words of wisdom or advice: 
Life throws a lot at you and sometimes you just have to Cowboy-Up and deal with it.

 

Pictures provided by the Davis Family




Summer 2021 Issue
Weekly Digital Issue