Frank Folb Jr. wants you to know that you need not be concerned if you hear gun shots in the Buxton Woods on Sunday afternoons.
“I would like to get a message out to the residents of Hatteras Island and especially those in Buxton to please have patience with our shooting and please understand that this is a great group of young folk trying to get better at something they love. We are not just random hoodlums shooting guns!”
Folb, a certified hunter safety instructor, is the coach of the Hatteras Island Target Shooters (HITS), which is comprised of young men and women from grades six-12 at Cape Hatteras Secondary School.
Currently, Hatteras Island has no firing range, so Folb meets with the students at the back of his family’s property in the woods in Buxton.
Folb says that all participants are expected to be respectful and responsible students in school and in the community and must have a hunter safety course certificate.
The group meets every other Sunday to practice through the fall, winter, and spring to compete in the North Carolina Hunter Education Tournaments, held in the spring at the Tyrell County 4-H center. The coach says sometimes half a dozen students attend and other weeks, a dozen are there.
The goals of both HITS and the tournaments are to promote in both the schools and community the Hunter Education Program, to develop the skills and knowledge of the apprentice hunters, to create safer and more responsible sportsmen and women, to offer the young people a positive experience in all disciplines of the shooting sports, and to promote the safe sport of hunting and shooting.
At the practices, the team works on the four aspects of the competition — archery, shotgunning, rimfire rifle, and hunter skills. The hunter skills aspect includes preparation for a 50-question exam that covers hunter safety and animal/track identification and practice in orienteering.
Throughout practice, firearm safety and responsible handling of firearms are the number one priority, Folb says.
All boys and girls in grades six-12 who attend Cape Hatteras Secondary School are welcome to participate, regardless of current experience level.
For the competitions, the HITS teams will be divided into junior (middle school) and senior (high school) teams, but during practice, they work together as one helping and encouraging one another.
For more information on joining the team or to express concerns about target shooting, you can contact hunter safety instructor and coach Frank Folb Jr. by e-mail at [email protected] or call him at 252-996-0760.
On Facebook, you can join the group, Hatteras Island Target Shooters.