Conservation, Wildlife & Shooting Sports

Superintendent- Tammy Stuhr, Central City


  1. Show What You Did and Learned - All exhibitors are encouraged to show evidence of their personal field experiences, study, or observations that relate to their exhibit. This helps judges understand what the 4-H'er did and learned in the process that led to the exhibit. 
  2. Proper Credit - Show proper credit by listing the sources of plans or other supporting information used in exhibits. 
  3. Whose Exhibit? - The exhibitor's name, county, and age must be on the back or bottom of all displays so that the owner can be identified even if the entry tag becomes separated from the exhibit. 
  4. Wildlife and Wildlife Laws - "Animal" or "wildlife" in the following instructions includes wild fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, or mammals. Follow wildlife laws; example: wildlife laws do not allow collection of bird nests, eggs, or any of their parts. 
  5. Entries per Individual - Each individual is limited to a total of four (4) exhibits, each in a different class. Maximum of 4 entries per county in each class. All static exhibits must have received a purple ribbon at the county fair to advance to the State Fair. 
  6. Project Materials - Related project booklets include Exploring Your Environment Series, 4-H Shooting Sports, Amphibians, Bird Behavior (EC 59381), Fishing for Adventure Project Manuals, Wildlife Conservation (4-H 125), Outdoor Skills: Learning Science in the Outdoors series (Science Signature Outcome Program).
  7. Board and Poster Exhibits - These are displays that show educational information about a topic of interest. Board exhibits can hold objects such as fishing equipment or casts of animal tracks. Mount all board exhibits on ¼” plywood, Masonite, or similar panel no larger than 24” high by 24” wide. Poster exhibits should be on regular poster sheets, no larger than standard size (22 by 28 inches) but half size, 22 by 14 inches, is recommended. 
  8. Scoring - Sample score sheets are available at your county extension office and on the UNL 4-H web page ( 
  9. Premier 4-H Science Award is available in this area. Please see General Rules for more details.



  • Mammal Display - Class D340001 - see below
  • Bird Display - Class D340002 - see below
  • Fish Display - Class D340003 - see below
  • Reptile or Amphibian Display - Class D340004 - see below

    Wildlife and How they Live (Classes 1-4) are board or poster exhibits. Display may show any aspect of wildlife, wildlife habitat, or related conservation, restoration, or management. Examples: life history or other facts about one type of wildlife; how to manage wildlife on a farm or in town; managing habitat for one kind of wildlife; life requirements for one kind of wildlife during one season or through the year; wildlife study methods; wildlife behavior (example: when nesting, finding food, moving, etc.); habitats (examples: grasslands, wetlands, river or stream corridors) and what wildlife is found there; habitat needs for a specific kind of wildlife. For more ideas, refer to project booklets.
  • Wildlife Connections - Class D340005 - Board or poster exhibit. The purpose of this display is to show interconnections and related aspects among animals, plants, and other habitat components. All displays should show two or more interactions (connections) that occur between/among animals or between animals and their habitat. Displays might show how animals interact with other animals, with people, or with their habitat.
    1. Food chain display. Use pictures, drawings, or other items to illustrate the source of food energy and where it goes - who eats whom or what. Use arrows to show the direction of the energy (food) flow.
    2. Show the role of predators, scavengers, insect eaters, or others in nature.
    3. Show how wildlife numbers (populations) change through the year or with their habitat.
    4. Show predation, competition, or other behavioral interactions of wildlife.
    5. Choose one kind of wildlife and make observations through a season or year, keep notes of interactions, then make a display of what you saw.
    6. For more ideas, refer to project booklets.
  • Wildlife Tracks - Class D340006 - Board or diorama-type box exhibit. Make a display of animal tracks using plaster-of-paris casts. There are two options. For both options, include a brief description of your experiences in making the tracks so the judges better understand what you did and learned. Positive casts (impressions as they would be in nature) are preferred.
    • Option 1 should show plaster-of-paris tracks of five or more kinds of wildlife along with a picture or illustration of each kind of animal. (OR)
    • Option 2 should show two or more plaster-of-paris tracks of one specific kind of wildlife and should include a picture or illustration of the animal, what the animal may eat, and what may eat the animal.
    • Option 3 should show two tracks and include the animal’s habitat needs including preferred food, shelter, water, and space in addition to picture or illustration of the animal.
  • Wildlife Knowledge Check - Class D340007 - Use electrical circuits, pictures, or other methods of teaching wildlife identification or other wildlife related knowledge. Plan size and shape to fit transportation and display; maximum size 24 x 24 inches. Example: prepare a list of animals and questions about where each would most likely live. Rabbits-brushy areas along field borders; ducks-marshes, etc.
  • Wildlife Diorama - Class D340008 - Box must be no larger than 24" x 24". The exhibit might show a grassland, prairie, agricultural, woodland, riparian (stream or river corridor), wetland, and/or other area with wildlife habitat. Example: show a large unbroken grassland or prairie for species such as meadowlarks, greater prairie-chicken, lark bunting, grasshopper sparrows, Ferruginous hawk, burrowing owl, horned lark, upland sandpiper, or pronghorn; AND/OR show an area interspersed with several habitats such as windbreaks, farm fields, woods, waste areas, ditches, and pastures for edge-adapted species such as white-tailed deer, Northern bobwhite, mourning doves, cottontail rabbits, fox, squirrels, Northern cardinals, or blue jays. Label the habitats displayed and show at least five kinds of wildlife in their proper habitats.
  • Wildlife Essay - Class D340009 - Learn how to share educational information by writing. Choose a conservation or wildlife topic that interests you and write an essay about it. For example, write about a particular species of wildlife that you have observed or about the values of wildlife. You might write about wildlife on a farm, in town, in a backyard, at a backyard feeder, or at other places. You might write about hunting, fishing, or ethics and proper behavior for hunting or fishing. For other ideas, refer to project booklets. The essay should be between 100 and 1000 words long and should be typed, double spaced, or written so that it can be easily read. Standard size paper (8 ½ x 11) format is preferred. You might use books, magazines, or personal interviews as resources, but you must give credit to all sources by listing them.
  • Wildlife Values Scrapbook - Class D340010 - Make a scrapbook about the various values of wildlife following guidelines in the Wildlife Conservation project booklet (4-H 125).
  • Wildlife Arts - Class D340011 - The purpose of this class is to allow artistic exhibits that contain educational information about conservation and wildlife. Examples might include paintings, photographs, wood carvings, painted duck decoys, or songs or poems written by the exhibitor. Entries must be appropriate for fair display and no larger than 24" x 24". For example, paintings or photographs should be displayed in notebook format or mounted on a sturdy display panel. All entries must include a title and brief explanation of the purpose or message (what is the exhibit meant to show).


  • Houses - Class D342001 - Make a house for wildlife. Examples: bird house (bluebird, purple martin, wood duck, kestrel, barn owl, etc.) or bat house; no insect houses. Make the house functional so that dimensions, hole size etc. are appropriate to fit the intended species' needs. Include the following information: 1) the kinds of animal(s) for which the house is intended, 2) where and how the house should be located for best use, and 3) any seasonal maintenance needed. Tips: check NebGuide on bird houses and shelves.
  • Feeders/Waters - Class D342002 - Make a bird bath or feeder. Examples: seed, suet, or nectar feeders. Squirrel feeder okay; no insect feeders. Indicate the kinds of animal(s) for which the feeder or waterer is intended. Make the feeder or waterer functional so that it fits wildlife needs. 
    Include the following information:
    1. where and how the feeder or waterer should be located for best use and
    2. how it should be maintained. Tips: check NebGuide on feeding birds.
  • Wildlife Habitat Design Board or Poster Exhibit - Class D342003 - Choose a backyard, acreage, or farm, and design a habitat plan to meet the food, water, shelter, and space needs of at least three kinds of animals you would like to attract. Draw an outline of the area and show what plants or other habitat will be provided. Indicate how the various parts of your plan provide the desired habitat needs. You might include an aerial photo of the area if you have one. For ideas, check the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Handbook, Participant's Manual (NE 4H4300).


  • Fish Harvesting Equipment - Class D343001 - Board exhibit. Display of equipment used in fish harvesting. Examples: fishing knots, hooks (with corks over ends for safety), lures. Label all items displayed. 
    Include in your exhibit the following information:
    1. the purpose of each item
    2. when or where each item is used in relation to other equipment
    3. any personal experiences you've had with the item(s).
  • Build a Fishing Rod - Class D343002 - Build your own fishing rod for exhibit and for fishing use. Rod building blanks and kits with instructions are available for this purpose. A fishing rod educational exhibit may not exceed 96 inches in length. Exhibit must be mounted on a board and labeled with the member’s name, county and class number. 
    Include with the exhibit the following items as a brief attachment:
    • Explanation of cost of materials/components
    • where materials/components were purchased
    • how made
    • number of hours required for construction.
    Identify all parts. Necessary components which must be included are grip, line guides (based on manufacturers specifications), guide wraps, and hook keeper. Reel seat needs to be aligned with guides, and guides aligned accurately down rod. Guide wraps of size A to D, nylon or silk thread. 
    Exhibit will be judged on: workmanship, labeling of parts (guides, etc.), correct information, and neatness.
  • Casting Target - Class D343003 - Make a casting target for exhibit and use, following guidelines in the project booklet, Fishing for Adventure Manuals. 
  • Wildlife Harvesting Equipment Board Exhibit - Class D343004 - Display of equipment used in harvesting wildlife. Examples: expended ammunition casings (no live ammunition permitted), steel traps, hide stretchers, fleshers, etc. For displays of shotguns, rifles, or bows, use drawings or pictures. Label all items displayed. 
    Include in your exhibit the following information:
    1. the purpose of each item
    2. when or where it is used in relation to other equipment
    3. any personal experiences you've had with the item(s).
  • Inventing Wildlife/Fish Harvesting Equipment, Aid or Accessory - Class D343005 - Use engineering principles to invent or adapt equipment that helps you harvest fish or wildlife. This could include wildlife calls, adapted fishing pole for shallow water, a blind, decoys, etc… Share your drawing (or adapted plans), how the equipment works, how you tested it, and the results of testing your prototype and any adjustments you made. 


  • Tanned Hides or Taxidermy - Class D346001 - Any legal fish, bird, or other wild animal properly processed by the member. No requirement as to size or mounting. 
    Include the following information:
    1. the animal's name
    2. information about the exhibitor's personal field experiences, study, or observations that relate to the exhibit.


4-H Shooting Sports requires youth to be under the direct leadership of a certified 4-H Shooting Sports Leader in either shotgun, rifle (bb gun), archery, pistol, black powder/muzzleloader, and/or hunting skills. No firearms can be entered as an exhibit, however, information can be shared through pictures.

  • Shooting Aid or Accessory - Class D347001 - Any item which helps the shooter/hunter better perform their sport, examples: rifle sling, kneeling roll, arm guard, shotgun vest, target boxes, shooting stick, etc... Include your design, or plans you adapted, what the item is and used for. 
  • Storage Case - Class D347002 - an item with the purpose to safely hold a firearm, bow, ammunition, and/or arrows, examples: soft sided shotgun case, quivers, firearm safe, include your design, or plans you adapted. Explain how the storage case is used. 
  • Practice Game or Activity - Class D347003 - invent or adapt an activity to practice or teach a project skill. Include pictures of youth playing the game, testimonials for 4-H members who played the game, what skill is being worked on, and directions for the game. Explain how you came up with the game or adapted it to fit the needs of your group members. 
  • Science, Engineering, Technology Advancements of Shooting Sports Essay or Display - Class D347004 - Choose a specific area of shooting sports and share how it has advanced, include a timeline and photos or illustrations. Keep your topic narrow and manageable. Essays are limited to 1000 words and should be on 8 ½ x 11 paper. 
  • Healthy Lifestyles Plan - Class D347005 - Include a shooter’s diet and exercise plan, and how the 4-H member will benefit or improve from following the plan. Ideally, the 4-H member would follow the plan and include some journal entries about adaptions or improvements made while following the plan. 
  • Citizenship/Leadership Project - Class D347006 - Share a display on a citizenship project or leadership project the 4-H member took on individually or with a group to improve some aspect related to 4-H Shooting Sports. Examples could be range development, conservation planting to attract wildlife, a camp, 4-H recruitment event. Include who benefitted from the project, what the 4-H member’s role was, and any results. 
  • Career Development/College Essay, Interview or Display - Class D347008 - Research opportunities for careers related to this area or opportunities for college majors or college activities to help discover using project skills beyond a person’s 4-H career. Essays are limited to 1000 words and should be on 8 ½ x 11 paper. Interviews need to include a picture of the interviewee in their work setting, questions asked, and a transcript of answers. 
  • Community Vitality Display - Class D347009 - Explore the difference shooting sports and hunting make in keeping Nebraska vibrant especially in rural areas. Present facts and research in an interesting way for the public to learn from. 
  • Ag Literacy-Value added Agriculture Interview or Research Project - Class D3347010 - Explore how traditional ag producers are adding value to their production agriculture operations through conservation efforts, hunting, raising pheasants, shooting sports related tourism, etc… Present finding in an interesting way for the public to learn from.


  • Design Your Own Exhibit in Natural Resources, Conservation, or Ecology - Class D361001 - This class is for educational exhibits about natural resources, conservation, wildlife, or ecology that do not fit into other categories. Entries must be appropriate for fair display and no larger than 24” x 24”. All entries must include a title and should be clear (a brief explanation or other method) about the intended purpose or message – what the exhibit is meant to show. Think about accuracy, creativity, educational value for viewers, and evidence of exhibitor’s personal experiences and learning.

Scoresheets, Forms & More