Illinois Man Wins Shooting World Championship
EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Clark Bush of Carbondale, Ill., took aim and fired his shotgun in the final round of the National Wild Turkey Federation's 2009 World Still Target Championships . Once the targets were scored, Bush emerged the world champion in the Hunter Division.
Qualifying rounds last for a day and a half, so that alone makes it tough," said Bush. "I am really happy to win the Hunter Division with a stock shotgun and turkey choke. Anyone can go into a store and buy the same set-up I used to win. The gun I used is actually borrowed from my son."
Bush's decision to borrow his son's 12-gauge Browning BPS, combine it with a Truglo Strut-Stopper Xtreme (SSX) turkey choke and use Truglo Magnum Gobble-Dot open sights, paid off as he earned his first world title. Bush had previously set 3 World Records but this was his first World Championship. "It's great fun to travel here and see old friends as well as to meet people from different parts of the country. My wife and I do it together; she set a World Record in 2006 that still stands and she's the women's world champion from 2007," added Bush.
The decision to use open sights on his gun could have been considered a real gamble. Most competitors use high-powered telescopic sights on their shotguns. Bush wanted his set-up to be just like a turkey hunter would take to the field. It paid off for him and he may be the first World Champion at this event to have ever used open sights.
Still-target shooting simulates turkey hunters shooting a wild turkey gobbler at 40 yards. Winners are determined by the number of pellets a shooter is able to put in a 3-inch circle on a paper target. Bush's winning score in the finals was 29.
Competing in the hunter division requires participants to use factory shotguns and accessories. No modifications or customizations are allowed. All participants are required to wear eye and ear protection and be NWTF members.
Bush also came into this competition without having any "seats" from regional or state shoots. "I wanted to prove to myself at least, if no one else, that it was possible to come here, qualify for the finals and win it, without having an edge of taking 20 or more seats to the semi-finals. Since earning those seats requires a lot of travel and expense, I think it discourages some shooters from participating. Now, they know they can come here, qualify and win, without traveling and spending a lot of extra money."
Originally known as a "turkey shoot," the NWTF's Still Target Championships were conceived 17 years ago as a conservation effort to help turkey hunters better understand point of aim and point of impact of their turkey guns.
"The ultimate goal of the competition is to reduce crippling loss and misses in the field, but it's also a great way for equipment manufacturers to improve their turkey hunting products," said Rhett Simmons, NWTF director of special events.
Founded in 1973, the NWTF is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of the hunting tradition. The NWTF has a membership of nearly 400,000 people in the Unites States, Canada and Mexico.
Together, the NWTF's partners, sponsors and grassroots members have raised and spent more than $286 million upholding hunting traditions and conserving nearly 14 million acres of wildlife habitat.