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Oct. 26, 2017 #12-298 a2z
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Josie Peters wins another shootout

Robert Themer
rthemer@daily-journal.com

Surprise!

It's time for another article about the rifle shooting prowess of young Josie Peters, of Clifton.

The product of a family of skilled shooters and of long-time coach Jim Miller's Iroquois West-Central Co-op rifle team, Josie won the Illinois 4-H rifle competition on Sept. 30 as a member of the Ford-Iroquois 4-H Sharpshooters.

In 2016, Josie placed second in the state 4-H competition after her rifle clip malfunctioned on one of the rapid-fire rounds.

Also in July of 2016, she was a member of the Illinois State Rifle Association team that won the Junior Metallic Sight National Prone Team Championship at the National Rifle Association's Small Bore National Championships at Bristol, Ind.

She also teamed with coach Jim Miller to win NRA competition medals and take "Class C" honors in the Mentor Team Match — made up of an adult and junior shooter.

In the summer of 2015 she won the Illinois State 4-H Smallbore rifle title, after winning the year's state scholastic air rifle title and leading the I-West, Central team to Miller's fourth state scholastic title.

Miller said he also worked with her this year when she went to the NRA Nationals, where the state team won the prone, iron-site team trophy for juniors.

In this year's 4-H championship, she was one point behind after the 30-shot precision shooting -- prone, kneeling and standing, but won by eight points after 30 shots in competition with the Sporter rifle, which she said is "not as accurate."

Miller said his involvement for the 4-H competition "was minimal," but Josie said: "He is very important. He has helped me train so much. You can go to him with any question and he provides solutions to problems. He's a very good mentor."

This year was Josie's last in the 4-H shooting competition. Monday was her 19th birthday, "aging" her out youth membership in the Ashkum Go-Getters 4-H Club. She plans to continue shooting as part of the NRA Collegiate Club team at Central Illinois Precision Shooters, near Bloomington,.

She and Miller have competed together at the NRA Nationals at Bristol, Ind. "I assume we will do it again if he will put up with me again," she said.

She partnered with Miller again this year in NRA competition in July. She made the Randale Women's Team, of top 10 female shooters, and was an alternate for the Drew Cup Team.

She started shooting long before her freshman year at Central High School, when she joined Miller's I-West, Central coop team.

The daughter of Jake and Debbie Peters, of rural Clifton, Josie grew up with skilled shooters,.

"I have always been around guns and rifles and always have been taught respect for guns," she said. "So rifle shooting was something I knew I would do in high school.

"Dad was a really good trap shooter," she said. "He still is, but he just doesn't do it as much any more."

Older brothers Adam and Levi and sister Laura all were competitive shooters, she said.

They still shoot for fun and are hunters too. Sister Brianna is the exception.

Josie said she started shooting tin cans and paper plate targets in the backyard when she was "7 or so."

Family members "still shoot for fun and are hunters too," she said. Is she a hunter? "Not as much. I'm not a fan of the cold, so deer hunting is not my thing," she said. "I hope to go out this year with my dad, though."

Between attending Kankakee Community College and working at Heartland Candle Co. in rural Ashkum, her shooting time is more limited but she still gets in "a few hours every week when I can find time." She hopes to transfer from KCC to Illinois State University "to go into speech pathology" with the goal of "being able to work with kids and have a positive influence on their future."

When she occasionally has time to relax, she likes to go fishing, reach a good book or take her west highland terrier for a walk -- he's named Winchester, for the rifle, but is called Chester for short.

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