Linwood youth hones shooting skills
Normally, children bearing arms wouldn't be something encouraged by parents.
However, in the case of Linwood youth Josh Oelschlaeger, shooting has become a rewarding experience. He learned the craft with his father, Dennis.
"It's something they do together as a father and son thing," Josh's mother, Nicole, said. "Josh has always enjoyed shooting."
Oelschlaeger, 12, earned a blue ribbon during a BB gun shooting contest at the Leavenworth County Fair on July 13.
It was the second year Oelschlaeger, a member of the Linwood Lucky Clovers 4-H club, placed in the competition.
"He usually shoots well enough to get a blue ribbon," Nicole said.
Last year, he was on the Leavenworth County shooting team that went to the state competition.
The team did well enough to earn a spot in the national competition in Colorado Springs. The national contest took place at the Olympic training facility in Colorado.
Both Josh and Nicole said the national competition was a valuable experience in furthering his shooting.
"It was a good learning experience," she said. "(The other competitors) were looking at the BB's to make sure there were no flat spots. We had no idea that anybody did that."
Although the Leavenworth County team did not place in the national contest and won't be eligible to go back for another year, Oelschlaeger said he hoped to return someday.
"It depends on where it is," he said. "This year it was in Georgia and that would be a little far, but someday I wouldn't mind (going back to nationals)."
Until then, Oelschlaeger said he would keep shooting and practicing, honing his craft for next year's competition.