Last year, the American Shooting Journal featured a young lady named Moriah Katherine Combs in our July issue, introducing her as one of the new ambassadors of the shooting sports. Moriah is a charter member of Youth Shooters of America, former National 4-H Shooting Sports teen ambassador and competitor in rifle, shotgun and pistol classes. We asked her to contribute her own story in her own words. –The editor
THE 4-H CLUB IS A YOUTH-development program that teaches leadership, interviewing skills and responsibility. I spent eight years shooting with 4-H Shooting Sports, and it has taught me how to properly hold a gun, understand gun safety and responsibility, how to handle a misfire and how to clean a rifle and shotgun, among so much more. I took six years of rifle courses, which was mostly just shooting at bull’s-eyes on paper targets or eggs, golf balls on a wire, bowling pins and playing cards. I held the title of grand champion during all six years. Over the past two years, I started competing in clay shooting and am enjoying mastering my shotgun. We always shoot straight and occasionally play back-up.
I recently started shooting in Scholastic Pistol Program challenges, and I took first place, becoming an Ohio state champion in the senior rimfire division with my team. I have also started to enjoy trap shooting, and this spring I plan on shooting in multiple competitions.
Between 2014 and 2015, I had the privilege of being the National 4-H Shooting Sports Teen Ambassador, and traveled around the US. I was invited to attend the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas and presented thank-you plaques to the companies that sponsored the Ohio Shooting Education Camp, and was honored to represent the 3,000 youth members of the 4-H shooting sports in Ohio. I went to Nashville, Tenn., for a photo shoot with Youth Shooters of America, attended the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championship in Grand Island, Neb., and I got to give out ribbons at the Ohio State Fair for Natural Resources Day.
I’VE MET A LOT of people who are an inspiration to me, folks such as Jarrad Markel, Tom Johnston, Staci Moore, Ryan Bronson, Bob Hodgkins, Troy Landry, Frank Steed, Bob Ladwick, Phil Hanes, Tina Howser and Larry Harris. All of these men and women have taught me so much, including how to run shows, teach others, network and collaborate. These people are a huge part of my life, and have helped me mature into the young lady I am today.
Many of these experiences have helped me grow. I am no longer afraid to talk in front of crowds with hundreds of people, and I now take a leadership roles in activities. I’ve gained so much thanks to shooting sports and have developed a special love for it all.
ALONG WITH MY shooting activities, involvement in 4-H and traveling, I own two businesses: photography and cake decorating. I am in a show choir, attend church and am currently a high school senior graduating this May at the age of 17.
That is my story! I love sharing with people and hope to inspire others. ASJ
Editor’s note: If you would like to know more about Moriah Combs, you can follow her Facebook page here!