BURWELL, Neb. — If you’re aiming to describe Logan Smith, it’s easy to hit the target.
When is Smith the happiest?
“When I have a gun in my hands,” the Burwell resident told The Grand Island Independent.
Smith was 4 when he had a gun in his hands for the first time, using a .22 to shoot prairie dogs.
The Burwell High School student likes trapshooting, sporting clays and skeet shooting. He also loves to hunt.
Smith, who is entering his junior year of high school, was on the Nebraska team at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in June in Grand Island.
“That was a lot of fun — got to spend it with a bunch of new, great people,” he said.
He says he was about in the middle of the pack at the event. He hit 90 out of 100 in trap, 94 of 100 in skeet and 83 of 100 in sporting clays.
He enjoyed the company. “I made some friends and got to meet a lot of really great shooters,” he said.
His best event is trapshooting.
Smith, 16, has been in 4-H since sixth grade.
He is part of the Karp and Krow group, which is based in Ord. In addition to Burwell, Karp and Krow includes people from such other communities as Taylor, Arcadia and Loup City.
Karp and Krow has about 60 trapshooters.
Smith, who stands 6 foot 5, really enjoys the 4-H conference season each year. Karp and Krow competes in the Mid-Nebraska Trapshooting Conference.
“We start practice in February, and it goes until May,” he said.
The season runs six weeks. To do well, you have to have five strong weeks, Smith said. Your lowest score of the season is dropped.
Smith and his friends spend a lot of time shooting trap next to the rodeo grounds in Burwell.
The Karp and Krow team allows Smith to compete and be around friends at the same time.
When “you’re done, you can sit down and just have fun as friends. That’s the fun part for him,” said his father, Terry.
“Logan likes everybody” and is quiet and reserved, his father said. He doesn’t like the spotlight. If he gets a medal, his mom has to make him put it on to take a picture. When the picture is taken, “he takes it off and puts it away, and it’s over. Then it’s back to just being friends and having fun,” said Terry, who owns the NAPA Auto Parts store in Burwell.
Smith especially likes deer hunting “because it’s always with family,” the youngster said.
In addition to his mom and dad, the group includes his brothers Tyrell, 18; P.J., 37, and Josh, 32. P.J. brings his daughter and Josh brings his son.
P.J., by the way, is assistant principal at Northwest High School.
Smith also has a 28-year-old sister, Cassie.
In addition to deer, Smith also likes to hunt for doves, prairie chickens, coyote, raccoons, badgers, prairie dogs, grouse, geese and ducks.
Asked about his favorite game to eat, he mentioned sausage made from bighorn sheep.
Smith often goes hunting with his friend Sam Lech, who’s also a 4-H trapshooter.
The two young men often hit what they’re shooting at.
“We clean house a lot of times,” Smith admitted.
Smith likes other things about hunting besides the shooting. He likes the laughs that come from almost getting stuck or “taking roads you’ve never been on,” he said.
They also have interesting experiences after dark.
One night, Smith and Lech were shooting raccoons. After hitting one, Lech heard some rustling in the trees. It turned out to be a bobcat.
In addition to his shooting pursuits, Smith is a guard on the Burwell football team. He was also in the one-act play.
During the summer, he works for a local farmer, Marvin Hulinsky.
Since sixth grade, Smith has participated in the Cornhusker Junior/Senior High School Trapshoot in Doniphan and the Cornhusker State Games.
His mother says her youngest child is “very outgoing but he’s tender-hearted, and you wouldn’t know that by looking at him because he’s so tall,” said Marcie, who teaches health and physical education for grades 7 to 10 in Burwell.
He loves to be around people and he encourages them, she said. Trapshooting has been a win-win situation because he’s good at it, and he’s made many new friends through the sport.